Long Island offers prime kayaking (think Sag Harbor and Oyster Bay), but if you’re looking to venture off the Island this summer, here are other stellar kayaking spots just a few hours away.
1. ISLAND BEACH STATE PARK, SEASIDE PARK, NEW JERSEY
The park is one of the few undeveloped barrier-island beaches on the Atlantic, with 10 miles of coastal dunes between the ocean and Barnegat Bay. Sandy beaches, tidal marsh, freshwater wetlands and a maritime forest provide habitats for a diversity of wildlife. There are several launches off Shore Road, and a $20 fee keeps the crowds down.
INFO 732-793-0506, islandbeachnj.org
2. ASSAWOMAN CANAL, HOLTS LANDING STATE PARK, MILLVILLE, DELAWARE
This charming, serene waterway was originally dug by hand in the 1890s as part of the Intracoastal Waterway. It was dredged in the 1950s but fell into disrepair before being revitalized and reopened to boats in 2010. Many sections have a lovely tree canopy that makes a green arch over the canal. It feels remote, offers shade and shelters paddlers from strong wind. There’s a primitive, free launch site by the Jefferson Bridge off Kent Avenue on Guy Street, an unmarked dirt road.
3. TRUXTUN PARK, ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND
This picture-perfect seaport is known for sailing, blue crabs and the U.S. Naval Academy. Launch at Truxtun Park and paddle into Spa Creek past the famed “Ego Alley,” where a continual line of boats parades by the waterfront. Continue through Annapolis Harbor and past the Naval Academy. Watch for boat traffic, waves rolling off the sea wall and “pirate” ships carrying zealous kids with water cannons.
INFO 410-263-7958, annapolis.gov
4. CHINCOTEAGUE ISLAND, VIRGINIA
The Virginia Seaside Water Trail includes 37 day-trip routes, including magnificent Chincoteague Island. You’ll need to purchase a $5 decal from the town office on the island to access the water trail from the floating dock at the landing off East Side Road. The biggest attractions are the wild ponies that have lived in the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge for more than 400 years.
INFO 757-336-6519, chincoteague.com