Canoeing the Bronx River is a unique and interesting way to explore the only freshwater river in New York City. Because of the historic features and urban influences, we have put together a few notes to enlighten paddlers before they embark on one of our excursions.
For all Bronx River trips (Border to Mouth, Upper & Lower River Runs and Tidal Paddles) you should bring snacks and bottled water, as there are no stores on the banks of the river. We advise that you bring sunscreen and insect repellent to ensure your comfort. As New Yorkers know, it is important to dress appropriately for occasions, and our trips are no different. Wear sport sandals or old sneakers to protect your feet and offer you sure footing during portages. Wear light, quick drying clothes in case you get wet. Take note of the weather forecast and dress appropriately for the temperature and weather. Ziploc bags protect water sensitive belongings like cameras, cell phones, and wallets. While 95% of paddlers keep their boats upright, there is always a chance for even the most experienced paddlers to tip over. When weather events bring heavy rainfall, the river swells and trips may be cancelled if it is deemed dangerous to paddle. Filling out and bringing a waiver with you will save time as we prepare to get in the water.
Upper River Paddles
and Full River Trips
trips involve at least 1-3 portages around the waterfalls in the New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx Zoo, and/or the 180th Fish Passage. The first portage is about a 10 minute walk and we use carts to carry the boats. The second portage is very short but occasionally challenging to paddlers who are less than sure-footed.The final portage is also short but involves carrying your canoe down a sloped gate placed over the fish passage.
run in the estuary section of the river, which is affected by the tide. This means that twice a day the level of the river rises and falls approximately eight feet. At low tide, the bottom of the river is exposed, just as the beach “grows” when the tide is out. The exposed areas are muddy and occasionally have a strong smell. This is a very interesting part of the trip as it exposes crabs and other organisms.
When the tide is on its way in, the current runs upstream. When the tide is on its way out, the current runs downstream. The current is never exceptionally strong, however when traveling against the current, consistent paddling is necessary to gain distance.
Most importantly it is important to bring a smile. Our trips are as much for public education as they are pure recreation and enjoying this hidden gem of the city. But don't take it from us! Read testimonials from Meet Up New York
and Jonathan Barkey
For more information
about our public events or about organizing a chartered canoe trip for your organization or class, contact email@example.com
Coming for a trip?
Be sure to bring a waiver to get on water faster!
Adult Waiver Minor Waiver Spanish
For more information on paddling access, please go to our on-line group trip information packet.