Liberty State Park is on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River right behind the Statue of Liberty. Paddle trips here have all the pleasure and the difficulty of travel in the waters around New York City. You should read the section on New York City Waters to get a better idea of what those are.
The Hudson here is near the sea. The area is also a wide section of New York harbor, so surf and wind are factors, as are the many commercial ships that work the area. Of particular concern here are the ferries that go to the Statue of Liberty and to Manhattan from the New Jersey side. Take care here.
IF YOU ARE NEW TO THE SPORT, stay in the protected area near the park itself. Then stay very near the shore.
Take exit 14B from the New Jersey Turnpike and go east on Morris Pesin Drive to the boat ramp. Parking in the lot is for cars with trailers only. Cars with boats on top must drop their boat off and park up in the next lot, then run back to the boat launch area. PERMITS MAY BE REQUIRED TO LAUNCH.
Click here for a map, and here to learn more about the park.
North takes you along the New Jersey section of the Hudson River towards the George Washington Bridge. There are a lot of interesting areas to explore just in the neighborhood.
South sends you into Upper New York Bay towards Staten Island.
East takes you (careful, it's restricted) towards the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and towards New York City.
Some kayakers have used Liberty State Park to circumnavigate the island of Manhattan. I don't recommend this unless you are with a group or a tour and have good equipment and lots of experience. The East River is one of two small inlets that allow the tide to flow into and out of Long Island Sound. The currents in Upper New York Bay, and in the area aptly named Hell's Gate can be ferocious.
Careful of wind, currents, surf and large boats in this area. Upper New York Bay is not a place to learn the sport or to kayak alone.
Use of the information in this guide is at your own risk. Please read our disclaimer.
Copyright 2005 - by Jacob Tanenbaum. All rights are reserved.