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Toms River in New Jersey

Trip Overview

Launched from a neighborhood site just upstream of Route 70 for the 4 hour run to downtown Toms River on a drizzly Saturday morning 6/5/04. This was my first river trip since the upper Suwannee River in Florida 20 yrs ago. I'd heard the Toms River run compared to Juniper Springs run in Ocala Nat'l Forest (Florida) and was excited to finally make the run. We made the trip in our new Pelican Colorado (15'6" royalex).

Main comment: The river has many obstructions, from downed logs to very low-hanging branches/leaves/spider webs. This was considerably better downstream of the Route 70 bridge, but still there were places where passage was more work than I'd like. It was nowhere near as tough as the story related at this site: (http://www.beemaster.com/travel/canoe.html), but that one was considerably farther upstream on the Toms.

Downstream from 70, we saw ducks, geese, a heron (several times) and had a possible beaver sighting. We passed several good spots for a picnic stop (a makeshift one on the west bank just south of 70, one on the east bank another couple miles later within a park and another about 10 miles downstream from 70 on the east bank in Winding River State Park).

The river current was around 2 knots so the only paddling really required was for positioning the canoe for best passage through some narrow openings between obstructions. We saw almost no litter until after passing under SR-571 and very little even after that point.

On a nicer day with some of the more troublesome log barriers are cleared, this probably would have been a much nicer trip and a welcome escape from nearby suburban NJ.


None to speak of. Trash cans were seen at the picnic sites mentioned.


Downloaded the highest resolution maps from Mapquest.com and they were good representations of the river's bends and relative width.

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Advanced
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip