Out On The Trails
Meadowlands - Out on the Water

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Tidal Current Ratings

Tidal Current ratings have been included for sites that have access to water. These ratings pertain only to currents under perfect weather conditions. It is not uncommon at many of these sites to encounter high winds, which can adversely affect conditions and your ability to paddle. Please take into consideration all conditions before venturing out onto the water.

Non-tidal/Easy — the water is not affected by the tide and all paddler experience levels are acceptable.

Tidal/Moderate — the water is affected by the tide and paddling experience is required.

Tidal/Difficult — the water is affected by the tide, is potentially dangerous and requires extensive paddling experience.

Guided Tours and Rentals

NJMC Canoe Tours
Canoe tours of the Saw Mill Creek Canoe Trail, which leave from Laurel Hill County Park, and Mill Creek Canoe Trail, which leave from Mill Creek Point Park, are available through the NJMC. Canoes, paddles and life vests are supplied at a cost of $15 per person. Contact the Richard W. DeKorte Park Environment Center for maps, registration and information, 201-460-1700 or 201-460-4640, also access http://www.njmeadowlands.gov/environment/tours.html

New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) Guided Pontoon Boat Tours
Tours are scheduled May through September. The boats leave from River Barge Park and Marina, Carlstadt, New Jersey. Pre-registration is required and a $15 donation is suggested. Call 201-460-1700 or 201-460-4640 to register and obtain more information. For directions to the Park and Marina, visit http://www.njmeadowlands.gov/environment/tours.html

Hackensack Riverkeeper (HRI) Eco-Cruise Program
Most of HRI’s trips originate from Laurel Hill County Park and last approximately 2.5 hours. Eco-Cruises are fully narrated by a US Coast Guard-licensed Captain. Birds, wildlife and the region’s history are just some of the topics covered. Approximately 35 open boat trips are scheduled each year. Suggested donations for open boat trips are: $20 per adult / $10 per child (under 13). Reservations are required. Group charters are also available and can be conducted anytime between May and October. Suggested charter donations are: $275 per boat (adults) and $200 per boat (students). Call 201-968-0808 for more information or visit: www.hackensackriverkeeper.org/ecocruise.html

Hackensack Riverkeeper’s Paddling Center at Laurel Hill County Park
First opened in 1999, the Paddling Center remains the only small boat livery service available anywhere on the Hackensack River. Canoe and kayak rentals are available weekends from April through October (weekdays by appointment). Costs: $20 per paddler / $10 per canoe passenger. All equipment is provided, no experience necessary and some restrictions apply. In addition to rentals, some 20 guided paddling trips are offered each season with most exploring the Saw Mill Creek Wildlife Management Area. Special birding, off-site and long-distance paddles are also offered annually. Costs: $25 per paddler / $15 per canoe passenger.  For more information visit their website: www.hackensackriverkeeper.org/canoeproject.html

Liberty State Park Water Taxi
If you wish to access Liberty State Park from New York City, or wish to visit the city from Liberty State Park, the Liberty State Park Water Taxi runs between Liberty State Park and North Cove Marina, NYC. The water taxi can be reached by entering the parking lot by the Liberty House Restaurant. Be aware there is a charge for parking. For more information visit their website: www.sailthehudson.com/directions.htm

Liberty State Park Ferry Service and Harbor Cruises
A ferry service runs from Liberty State Park to Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty. The service runs from 8:30am to 4:30pm every day except Christmas Day. There is a $5 parking fee at Liberty State Park. Harbor Cruises are available through Circle Line. For boat schedules, rate information and other information regarding both services please call (877) 523- or (212) 269-5755 or visit

Fishing Tips and Guidelines

Fishing is a popular activity throughout the Hackensack River watershed and this guide includes a wealth of fishing access information. Please consult the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection website for seasons, size and creel limits and for details on obtaining a fishing license at www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/fishneed.htm.

It was once feared that pollution would extirpate all but the heartiest fish species within the Meadowlands, and for many years anglers pursued the sport elsewhere. However, conservation efforts with a focus on cleaner water resources have resulted in a marked decrease in water-borne contaminants, and an increase in fish species. More than 60 species of fish have been identified within the Meadowlands District.

Levels of PCBs, dioxin and mercury in fish are human health concerns in nearly all New Jersey waterways, and the Hackensack River watershed is no exception. Because of state Fish Advisories, fishing is best enjoyed on a “catch-and-release” basis south of the Oradell Dam and blue crab is entirely off limits. Enjoy eating fish caught north of the dam and from the reservoirs but always be sure to follow the consumption guidelines provided by the NJDEP’s Division of Science, Research and Technologies and available online at www.nj.gov/dep/dsr/njmainfish.htm.

Click here for more information about "catch and release" fishing.