Autumn has arrived with its chilly mornings and cool nights. But on clear days the sun warms things up quite nicely making it great kayaking weather. The summer crowds are gone and the trees are changing colors. Even though the water is cooler this is prime time for kayakers.
Great places to fall kayak are waters that are surrounded by trees and mountains. A few suggestions for some great fall paddling near the Lehigh Valley are Lake Nockamixon and the Giving Pond in Bucks County, Leaser Lake in western Lehigh County, Mauch Chunk Lake near Jim Thorpe, Lake Minsi near Bangor, Beltzville Lake in Carbon County, the Francis E. Walter Dam near White Haven, Brady’s Lake west of Mount Pocono, and Tobyhanna Lake and Gouldsboro Lake in the Poconos. In northwest New Jersey: White Lake near Blairstown, Swartswood Lake and Little Swartswood Lake in Stillwater and the Merrill Creek Reservoir northeast of Phillipsburg. Also anywhere in the Lehigh or Delaware rivers is excellent.
Kayakers should be aware though of state and local regulations because they may be required to display a sticker or launch permit decal on their vessel while underway.
All unpowered boats used at PA Fish Commission lakes or access areas, PA state parks or PA state forests must be: properly registered, or display an official and valid Commission use permit, or display an official and valid watercraft launch or mooring permit issued by the DCNR.
In New Jersey, non-powered kayaks and canoes do not need to be registered or numbered.
Always become familiar with the body of water you will be paddling and wear your PFD! All persons in Pennsylvania must wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD or life jacket) during the cold weather months from November 1st through April 30th while underway or at anchor on boats less than 16 feet in length or any canoe or kayak.
Take your camera along. Put it in a waterproof container which are available at most sporting goods stores. Don't forget the water and sunscreen. Even though temps are lower you can still get dehydrated and get sunburned.
Make a float plan with information of where you are going and when you expect to return. Give it to a responsible person who can call for help if you don’t return by a specified time.