Surrounded by water, all of the boroughs of New York City and many parts of New Jersey and Long Island offer kayaking experiences in the area’s many waterways. Whether it is the Atlantic Ocean, the East and Hudson Rivers, the Long Island Sound or other bodies of water, kayaking in New York is an adventure – with Manhattan skyscrapers as your mountains or the sand dunes along the ocean coastline.
Here’s a rundown of some of the 6 top New York City region’s free and fee-based opportunities to get out and enjoy the area waterways while the summer is still hot!
New York Kayak Company -- This is the oldest kayak company in the city. The NYKC provides guided kayak adventures, sea kayaking classes and also sells kayaks and related gear. The company is located at Pier 40 at West Houston and the Hudson. Check out their website for more information: www.nykayak.com.
Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse – Free kayaking is available between Piers 1 and 2 within the shadow of that gorgeous Brooklyn landmark – the Brooklyn Bridge. There are 25 kayaks in the fleet of the BBPB and it is quite popular, so expect to wait. This is a great volunteer organization and the BBPB believes in offering privileges to its experienced volunteers. Check out their website: bbpboathouse.org and to find them go to Dumbo at Furman Street at Old Fulton Street between Piers 1 and 2.
Manhattan Kayak Company – Located at Pier 84 at West 44th Street and the Hudson, this company has kayaks and tours available for all levels of kayakers. Offering instruction, as well as the experience of kayaking the Hudson, the Manhattan Kayak Company provides kayak instructions starting at $95 for 2 hours and their tours begin at $35 for the Sun in the Fun tour that last 1 hour. There is also a protected embayment called “lake Intrepid” that is available for beginners at $5 per person per hour.
Long Island City Boathouse – This is a free opportunity to kayak on the East River off of Queens. This Eastside gem is located at Hallets Cove at the north end of Socrates Sculpture Park next to CostCo in Long Island City.
Kayak Staten Island – Another free kayaking experience off of Ocean Avenue. This organization offers “Sit-on-Top kayaking and provides free 15 minute paddling slots that allows you to skim through the bay off shore. If you want more, you can easily jump back in line to get more paddle time. Check out their website at kayakstatenisland.org and to find them at South Beach, Father Capodanno Blvd at Drury Ave.
The New York City Downtown Boathouse – The NYCDB has three launch areas on the Hudson River. They are located at Pier 40, Pier 96 and at West 72nd Street. You’ll have a 20 minute slot after filling out proper paperwork and getting your life vest on. This organization offers a variety of classes on proper paddling and emergency measures if you were to fall into the water. Here’s the logistics for each location: Their website is: downtownboathouse.org and kayak locations are: Pier 40, W Houston St at the Hudson River. Pier 96, W 56th St at the Hudson River. W 72nd St at Henry Hudson Pkwy.
Now get out there and paddle. Enjoy!
-- Kevin Feather