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190 Lord Stirling Rd, Basking Ridge, NJ
908 722-1200 Ext. 5002   EEC Home Page

Maple Sugaring

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 canoeing and kayaking.

Come enjoy fantastic times on the river with our enthusiastic, experienced Naturalist/river guides. Our dedicated and professional guides are sure to provide you with a super river experience! We offer everything from easy, relaxing flat water to more adventurous beginner whitewater. No matter what you choose, your river memories with us will be sure to last a lifetime!

All canoeing and kayaking programs are designed for adults and families. Children must be at least seven years old to participate in canoe programs and at least ten years old to participate in kayak programs. Attendance of introductory programs is mandatory and required prior to participating in canoe or kayak trips. Participants must attend at least one river trip per season/calendar year in order to avoid retaking the introductory classes. A person may register for his/her own household only.

Paddling Repair Party
If you have enjoyed paddling with us this season, come and help us winterize our fleet of boats and paddling gear! They are both in need of some "TLC" by the end of the season, from the final cleaning and minor repairs to new coats of paint. No experience needed, so join us for the entire day or just come for a couple of hours – your choice. Many thanks in advance!! Pre-registration is required.
Course Code: 50768

EEC-19 Sunday, November 3

Canoe and Kayak Trips

All trips will be for both canoes and kayaks together (Canyak) or just kayaks. The trips are intended for beginner to intermediate paddlers. Prior participation in one of our CAN-U-CANNU or KAN-U-KAYAK classes is required. Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a registered adult and both child and adult(s) must take the appropriate pre-requisite classes. Boats, equipment, transportation, and leadership are provided. Participants are welcome to bring their own equipment, at their own risk; however, there is no reduction in price. A review of basic canoeing and/or kayaking techniques and river safety begins each trip, then onto the water for an exciting educational experience. All return times are approximate. Duration and degree of difficulty of the trips are listed in ascending order and river trips are also rated using our system below. Due to possible low water conditions, there may be changes in destinations or cancellations. Trips will run unless dangerous or threatening weather occurs and participants will be notified in a timely manner.

Please read and review the following considerations PRIOR to registering for a river trip:

 Please wear appropriate paddling clothing that can get wet and/or dirty - non-cotton, synthetic, quick-drying fabrics are best. Please also wear proper foot attire – closed-toed shoes that are attached to your foot. Flip flops, clogs, slides, and slip-ons are NOT allowed!

 We reserve the right to deny a participant entry into a program if we deem the participant is not physically fit, does not match the skill level of the program or is ill-prepared. A participant will be turned away the day of the trip if the criteria listed here are not met.

 It is the participant's responsibility to consult the ratings listed below for each trip and match their skills accordingly. Come expecting to get wet on all trips!


A. Good for beginners and families
B. Must negotiate some easy river turns
C. A few portages
D. Continual paddling for several hours
E. Must negotiate many quick river turns
F. Must paddle in open water & be able to handle wind, waves, tide
G. Prior wet exit with a skirt required
H. Must handle easy whitewater rapids and negotiate rocks
I. Danger – cold water! Please bring a full change of clothes in a waterproof bag.
J. Half day or less trip – please bring snack, drink, towel and full change of clothes
    (including underwear, socks, shoes)
K. Full day trip – please bring lunch, snacks, drink, towel and full change of clothes
    (including underwear, socks, shoes)
L. Will stop for ice cream on our return to the EEC
M. Prior participation in at least two, 4-miles or less river trips

Passaic Paddle
3 miles Rating: A, B, C, J
The Passaic River winds through the Great Swamp basin, flowing through floodplain forest, and many unique wetland habitats. We will paddle this gentle river, home to turtles, herons, frogs, and fish.

$30 per person
Course Code: 50756

Canyak-14 Thursday, September 12

Delaware & Raritan Canal Paddle
4 miles Rating: A, D, J, L
Quiet, peaceful, and still, the D & R Canal is an ideal place for a relaxing paddle. Cruising along, we will enjoy the sights and sounds the waterway has to offer.

$60 per person
Course Code: 50757

Canyak-82 Sunday, September 8

A Paddling Afternoon
4 miles Rating: A, B, D, F, J
Join us on some of the best local backwaters of New Jersey for a relaxing afternoon paddle. Our destination depends on water level but may include Cranberry Lake, Black River, Rockaway River, Swartswood Lake or somewhere else! Bring money (cash) for dinner.

$60 per person
Course Code: 50761

Canyak-83 Sunday, September 22

All Day on the Water - New
4-10 miles Rating: B, C, D, E, K, L, M
Join us for a great day of paddling on a reservoir or lake. Pack up your stuff and get ready for an adventurous day on the water!
$75 per person
Course Code: 50775

Canyak-01 Wednesday, August 28 Blue Marsh Lake

Pine Barrens Paddle
4-10 miles Rating: B, C, D, E, K, L, M
Pine Barrens streams offer some of the best paddling in the state! Enjoy pristine, tea-colored streams through old cranberry bogs, rich wetland meadows, and pitch pine forest. The river destination will be determined by water level.
$75 per person
Course Code: 50765

Canyak-A3 Sunday, September 1

Pine Barrens Escape - New
4-10 miles Rating: B, C, D, E, K, L, M
(Adult, 15 years and older with parent)
Rivers in the NJ Pinelands offer some of the best paddling in the state! Join us for a weekend of cabin camping at Atsion Lake and enjoy kayaking pristine, tea-colored streams while also exploring all things Pine Barrens from the culture, to the habitats, to the flora and fauna. We will also enjoy kayaking on Atsion Lake, hiking, birding, campfires, and some good old fashioned rest & relaxation. Overnight accommodations are single beds and you must be willing to share a room with other participants. Plan to bring your own bedding and toiletries. Trip includes meals (2 breakfasts, 1 dinner), lodging, entrance fees, transportation, interpretation, and all kayaking equipment.
$575 per person
$150 per person non-refundable deposit required at time of registration
Remaining non-refundable balance due September 5, 2019
Course Code: 50767
Kayak Only-7

  Depart Thursday, September 26, 9:00am
  Return Sunday, September 29, 7:00pm

Registration begins for the programs below on September 11

Full Moon Paddle
2 miles Rating: A, F, J
Enjoy the EEC and Branta Pond after dark as we paddle our
canoes or kayaks by the light of the full moon! Find out what the Great Swamp sounds and feels like once the sun has set. Perhaps we will hear owls or see bats? Bring a flashlight or headlight if you have one.
$20 per person
Course Code: 50407

Canyak-11 Sunday, October 13

A Paddling Afternoon
4 miles Rating: A, B, D, F, J
Join us on some of the best local backwaters of New Jersey for a relaxing afternoon paddle. Our destination depends on water level but may include Cranberry Lake, Black River, Rockaway River, Swartswood Lake or somewhere else! Bring money (cash) for dinner.
$60 per person
Course Code: 50761

Canyak-84 Wednesday, October 2

Abbott Marshlands Meander *(formerly known as Trenton Marsh Meander)*
5 miles Rating: A, B, D, F, K, M
Barely one mile away from our state capital's golden dome sits a beaver lodge in the quiet wetlands of the Abbott Marshlands. This large expanse of woodlands, tidal marsh, and streams has a rich history of human habitation. We will paddle into the marsh with the incoming tide, take a walk at Roebling Park and catch the outgoing tide back to Bordentown Beach.
$75 per person
Course Code: 50769

Canyak-23 Tuesday, October 8

Haunted Paddle in the Pines
4-10 miles Rating: B, C, D, E, I, K, L, M
Join us for a Halloween paddle filled with phantasmal foray into the Pine Barrens. The Jersey Devil may even make an appearance – it may be a chilling experience! Bring some Halloween treats and dress up if you dare! The river destination will be determined by water level.
$75 per person
Course Code: 50751

Canyak-16 Thursday, October 31
Public Programs
    • January Programs
    • February Programs
    • March Programs
    • April Programs
    • May Programs
    • June Programs
    • July Programs
    • August Programs
    • September Programs
    • October Programs
    • November Programs
    • December Programs
Specialty Programs
    • Birding
    • Birthday Parties
    • Canoe & Kayak
    • Cross Country Skiing
    • Family Program Series
    • Forest Fitness
    • Garden Discovery
    • Libraries, Senior Centers &
      Other Groups
    • Maple Sugaring
    • Other Day Trips & Overnight Trips
    • Scouts
    • Summer "Camps"
    • Workshops

School Programs
    • Field Trips
    • In School Programs
    • Biomimicry Programs
    • School Program Guide
Trips & Outings
    • Birding
    • Canoe & Kayak
    • Garden Discovery
    • Other Day Trips & Overnight Trips
    • 1770s Festival
    • By the Light of the Moon
    • Live Animal Show
    • County Caper
    • Events
    • Family Program Series
    • Festival of Trees
    • Swamp Search
    • Temporary Exhibits
Program Calendars
Trails & Facilities
    • Room Rentals 
    • Auditorium
    • Biomimicry STEM Lab
    • Discovery Room
    • Pond View Room
    • The Tree House
    • EEC Brochure
    • Gift Shop/Library
    • The Great Swamp Experience
    • Temporary Exhibits
    • Trail Map

  Volunteers are needed and appreciated throughout the year. Please contact
Gretchen Rotondo at 908 722-1200 ext.5323 or email your completed application and waiver to

Volunteer Application for Adult
Volunteer Application for Minor
   Volunteer Waiver for Adults
   Volunteer Waiver for Minors/Dependents

Corporate Volunteer Groups please contact Daniel Ross at 908 722-1200 ext.5336 or


Hours & Directions
The building is open 9am-5pm daily.
Exhibits are open 9am-4:30pm daily.
Registration is accepted 9am-4:30pm daily.
The building is closed on Holidays.
Trails are open dawn to dusk daily but closed on Deer Management days as scheduled.

 Click here for Directions
Donations & Sponsorship

Donations are gladly accepted.
Please make checks payable to:
The Somerset County Park Commission
and mail to Carrie Springer,
190 Lord Stirling Road
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Support Packet

Ask A Naturalist


Have a question about a plant or animal species you saw in Lord Stirling Park or northern New Jersey?

One of our naturalists can help you! Complete the form and an EEC staff member will do their best to solve your nature mysteries!

On-line Registration