While waterfront views are stunning from terra firma, those who canoe and kayak around Jamaica Bay know that the sights are even more beautiful out on the water. Whether you're a beginner looking to learn your way around the bay or an expert in search of a boating challenge, Jamaica Bay is full of places to paddle the day away. Marine Park surrounds Jamaica Bay's westernmost inlet and features the Salt Marsh Nature Center, a prime site for spotting water birds. Fresh Creek Nature Preserve's 42 acres of salt marsh offer a quiet spot to discover the plants, butterflies, birds and fish that call the area home. And Paerdegat Basin Parkprovides boaters with a channel that measures over a mile and leads into the Bergen Beach section of Jamaica Bay. Kayaks from Wheel Fun Rentals are available at Marine Park. For more information, visit nps.gov.
Looking for a little guidance on the water? Check out these summertime boating opportunities for even more things to do:
May 27–September 5 (Wednesdays and Saturdays)
Open Paddle Program at Sebago Canoe Club
5:30pm (Wed.), 9:30am (Sat.)
Venture out on a free trip around the bay. This summer's schedule also features guest lecturers who educate participants about environmental issues. For more information, visit sebagocanoeclub.org.
July 7–August 28 (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays)
Youth Group Sailing at Gateway Marina
Groups participating in this course will learn about sailing and the environment of Dead Horse Bay. Call 718-338-3799 for more information and to make a reservation, which is required.
Ongoing Programs at Multiple Locations:
Take advantage of complimentary canoeing throughout the Jamaica Bay area. All trips are led by an Urban Park Ranger and many offerings are first-come, first-served, though some require advanced registration. For more information and to sign up, call 718-421-2021 or visit nycgovparks.org.
Walk Up and Paddle
These expeditions at Canarsie Pier, Floyd Bennett Field and Riis Landing are for those who have never gone kayaking before. Happening on various dates throughout the summer, it is open to the public. Children ages 6 and up must be accompanied by an adult. No reservations are required. For more information, call 718-338-3799.