your paddlesports destination

Wallkill River in New Jersey

Trip Overview

The river was very low and I took a chance even trying the trip. According to the Wallkill refuge website ( the river was low and urged caution. I anticipated many small portages. Upon my start at Rt 565, I noticed weeds in the branches above my head that had been the water level about a week ago. As I began to approach some of the downed trees that I feared would be the trouble, I noticed that most of the complete blockages were washed a way from the complete flooding the week or so prior. I was pleased to find that through the entire trip I had no portages at all.

The river slowed considerably after the first couple of miles. The wind was in my face making my out of shape arms and back deal with a higher than anticipated task. It was easily overcome with many small breaks. The birds were great.

There was also an old bridge that I don't think is being used by anyone or anything. There was a concrete pedestal, apparently, formerly a bridge support in the water. It was surprisingly large for the river in question, and many rotten wooden posts in the river bed to the left of the pedestal just under the water level. Take care to keep this in mind because I didn't see it and it surprised me while I floated by trying to take a picture. Almost a soggy digital camera!!

Several times on the trip the air was filled with the smell of mint leaves, making for a very pleasant experience. The trip started at 10:00am and I arrived at Basset Bridge at exactly 12:00pm.


Northwest NJ, intersection of Rt 23 and Rt 565, one mile North of Rt 23.


Either go to the refuge center about 2 miles north on Rt565 and get the map of the river or check out the website: all the info is there including river condition.

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

Locations on this Trip