What to learn how to canoe or kayak? Have dreams of taking on the Colorado River, but have never even been in a canoe or kayak? Don't despair, there's help at hand, and it's right here in Somerset County. 

The Somerset County Park Commission offers a variety of canoeing and kayaking opportunities to stimulate awareness and understanding of the environment, build an appreciation of New Jersey waterways, and promote interest in the recreation opportunities available through canoeing and kayaking.

Program participants will enjoy fantastic times on various rivers with enthusiastic, experienced, Naturalist river guides.  Programs offer everything from easy, relaxing flat water to more adventurous beginner whitewater.  No matter what level is chosen, river memories will last a lifetime.  Information on all programs including dates and times may be obtained by calling 908-722-1200, ext. 5328 or at www.somersetcountyparks.org.

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These introductory canoeing and kayaking classes will show participants basic paddling techniques, safety aspects of canoeing, and handling a canoe in and out of the water. The programs are available to adults and children, age 7 and older (canoe) and 10 (kayak) and older. An adult must accompany children under the age of 15. Classes will take place on Branta Pond at the Environmental Education Center, 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge.


Participants will learn how to successfully wet exit a kayak and practice getting in and out from both the pool deck and the water.


Trips run by the EEC Naturalists may be for both canoes and kayaks together (Canyak), or just kayak and are intended for beginner to intermediate paddlers. Prior participation in one of the CAN-U-CANNU or KAN-U-KAYAK classes is required. Boats, equipment, transportation, and leadership are provided.

Annual trips include: Passaic Paddle, Delaware & Raritan Canal Paddle, Paddling Afternoon, Pine Barrens Paddle, Millstone Meander, Whitewater Beginnings to the Lehigh, Delaware or Lackawaxen Rivers, Sedge Island overnight and Abbot Marshlands Meander.

Call the Environmental Education Center at 908-722-1200, ext. 5328 for details. Information on these programs and other Somerset County Park Commission activities may be found on the Internet at www.somersetcountyparks.org.