Kayaking the Jamaica Bay Salt Marsh
This article is part of a 30-day series exploring adventurous living near Rockaway Beach, Queens.
4th Day in Rockaway: Kayaking the Salt Marsh
To celebrate the fourth of July, I decided to head to NYC's very own National Park (of sorts): Jamaica Bay. Instead of going to Jamaica Bay by train this time I went by kayak - heading to the Sebago Canoe Club which hosts open paddling sessions for $10 every Saturday and Wednesday.
We arrived at 9:15 to sign-in (they only take the first 20 people) and get outfitted with life vests, paddles and kayaks. Our group was a mix of total beginners and experienced paddlers from the club including 4 leaders who would make sure we were safe on the water for the day.
After everyone was set-up, the head of the trip, Cindy, showed us correct paddling stroke and went over commands and guidelines for the morning.
We then carried our boats down to the dock, hopped in and set out. After kayaking through the open (and windy) bay we arrived at the Salt Marsh which was peaceful and full of birds (including egrets and herons). We explored through the weeds and hung out there for a while before heading back to the boathouse.
After the paddle we helped clean the boats and learned more about the club. While the open paddle is perfect for beginners, more advanced paddlers should consider joining the club. For a few hundred dollars a year you get access to weekly member paddles, education, and the use of dozens of awesome kayaks. Plus, the members we met were all friendly and passionate New Yorkers committed to making the outdoors an integral part of their life.
Quick notes on Sebago Canoe Club :
- Located in the Paerdegat Basin in Brooklyn with access to Jamaica Bay
- Great Beginner Kayaking Guide here
- $10 Open Paddling Wednesday nights and Saturday morning
- Affordable membership for paddlers looking to use boats and join more frequent group paddles
By Sarah Knapp.