Circumnavigation (almost) of Cattus Island

by  FreeRover

A self-supported trip created by FreeRover

Trip Overview

Launching from the Administrative HQ of Ocean County Parks & Recreation is easy (and free), once you find it! (See directions above; there is no put-in within Cattus County Park itself. This launch is a few minutes' drive to the west, off of Yellowbank Rd.)

Cattus Island is actually a peninsula (hence the "almost"), but it made for a very interesting and varied paddle, with a scenic cove (Mosquito Cove) on the west side (w- osprey, egrets, herons etc), some lively water from N12 wind and occasional boat wakes (less than in summertime though), and past the point, open views of Barnegat Bay and even the bridge to Seaside Heights on the way in to Applegate Cove (which was broader and with fewer birds about). It was 9.0 miles, 2:07 moving time, but with a lot of looping around in the coves, probably more like six miles following a more direct course.

I paddled near high tide (2pm) and didn't experience any tidal effects (apparently this part of the bay's tide differential is only about a foot); but the water was bumpy almost everywhere outside of the coves today, with steady wind-driven waves, conflicting boat wakes, and some underlying swell past the point. All really fun with a good sea kayak (mine is a 15-year old P&H Sirius, love it!) and appropriate skills. The only downside was a group of party boats was blasting disco music in Mosquito Cove this afternoon, very annoying! Next time would come much earlier since that crowd is not the early-rising type.

Safety Notes

Wear a good (and good-fitting) PFD, watch for the amped-up powerboats and make sure you're visible, and match your paddle route to your skills in the given conditions.


See in general Description given. Barnegat Bay can vary a lot from day to day.

Trip Details

  • Trip Dates: 10/1/2023
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Intermediate, Advanced
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water, Open Water/Ocean

Trip Location