your paddlesports destination

Cape May Harbor in New Jersey

Trip Overview

Cape May Harbor is a wonderful place for beginning sea kayakers. Although the ICW runs directly through the harbor, there are many places to explore.

There are several launch spots available to paddlers. The best spot, and least crowded is adjacent to the Coast Guard Housing units on Delaware Avenue. Many people launch dinghies there to reach moored sailboats. There is usually plenty of parking along Delaware Avenue. If you have a military ID, launch at the Coast Guard base. There is a boat ramp by the old buoy pad.

Once in the harbor, you can explore for days. Circumnavigate the harbor, or head into the many creeks to meet nature up close. Cape May is a birder's paradise, and what better way to see shorebirds than from a kayak?

If you have the time, head up the Cape May Canal to the Delaware Bay. Be sure to check the tide charts, as the current really can pick up close to the abandoned railroad bridge.

Check out NOAA Chart 12317 for a close-up view of the harbor. The best time of year is probably spring and fall, where both powerboats and mosquitoes are to a minimum.


Although there are limited facilities along the harbor, Cape May is full of excellent restaurants and attractions.


Take the Garden State Parkway to the end. Head over to the bridge into Cape May and follow the signs to the Coast Guard Base. Turn left on Delaware Avenue, and the lauch site is approx. 1/4 mile on the left.


NOAA Chart 12317 and local tide tables.

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Open Water/Ocean
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip