The Splitrock Reservoir is roughly 4 miles end to end, with a dam/bridge on the south side, a large island marking the halfway point, and a few smaller ones to the north. The parking lot is also on the south end, immediately east of the dam, which is also where I put in the water.
I set out around 3:00 from the boat launch. It's about a 120' carry from the car to the water, which isn't too bad going in, but coming back out after paddling all afternoon makes it a little more challenging.
From the launch, I took a straight path to the halfway-island. The wind was at my back, making my effort a little easier. I took about 20 minutes to explore the island before I continued up the reservoir. Though I've never seen a deer swim, there was a mother and two fawns walking around...I've heard there is a submerged bridge which fishermen often use to get out to the island, but I've never seen it.
On towards the other group of islands, I stopped on the largest one to have a small lunch and do some more exploring. This one featured a large clearing with a firepit....but I'm pretty sure it wasn't legal. Still, if you are out with a group looking for a picnic spot, it's perfect.
On the shore, I spotted a rock cliff with a rope swing that caught my attention. Again, it looked like a frequented party spot. I didn't try the rope swing, but I did swim around the cove for a few minutes to escape the heat. By this point, the sun was really starting to beat down on me, so I began heading back to the boat launch.
The nice wind that had been helping me along before was now coming right at me, making the water a little choppy. Now, I could have easily hugged the shore on the way back and reduced my drag a great deal, but it was more fun to ride back over the waves.
There is a restroom right next to the parking lot, on the path to the put-in. This is NOT a boatlaunch, so don't bring anything you can't carry.
Not for kayaking in the reservoir....hiking north of it may require a permit...
Splitrock Road in Boonton, NJ is unpaved, and the potholes keep moving, so unless you have a truck, drive slowly. The Parking lot is directly off the road, right next to the dam.