your paddlesports destination

Round Valley Reservoir in New Jersey

by Andy_Szymczak

Trip Overview

Round Valley Reservoir is a man made impoundment which is currently the largest fresh water lake in NJ (in terms of volume). The water is generally crystal clear with the ability to see the bottom in up to 30' depths. The lake itself ranges to depths of 160 feet in places. Becuase of the depth, a population of Lake Trout among other species survive. The lake is set geograhically in an area of rolling hills, allowing for some quite pretty landscapes.

The lake is circular in shape, the perimeter distance is approximately 12 miles. Approximately 3/4 of the shoreline is wooded. I have seen a variety of wildlife including several Bald Eagles which have taken up residense in the area. Power boats up to, I believe 10 HP, are allowed in the lake. But due to the size of the lake, I've never felt overwhelmed by them.

The lake is a great day trip, bring a lunch, a fishing rod, camera and binoculars. Overnight camping is allowed in many established campsites but must be reserved in advance.

The lake is frequented by many paddlers and some commercial interests come and use the lake allowing employees to become familiar with a variety of boats. If you ask nicely they may let you try them as well.

I have found the eastern most portion of the reservoir to be the most sparse as far as other boats are concerned. There is a sand beach that's perfect for a lunch stop and a quick dip. I often use this beach as my halfway point in my excursions. It has a great view of the entire lake and the surrounding countryside.

Accommodations:

Boat launching area has restrooms and plenty of parking.

Fees:

None for paddling, fees for overnight camping.

Directions:

Interstate 78 East or West bound, follow signs for Round Valley Recreational area, launch boats at the Boat launching Area.

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

Locations on this Trip