Columbia Lake

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Columbia Lake Photo Gallery


Columbia Lake is long, narrow and pretty shallow. The boat launch at the southern end of the lake is flat making it easy to enter the water with your kayak. The lake follows along Interstate 80 and can be very noisy from the highway traffic. It eventually flows into the Delaware River. Paddling along the lake there are many downed trees and logs that litter the bottom reaching upward breaking the surface of the calm water. The marsh island in the center of the lake is a haven for various birds. I have seen some big fish-mostly carp through the clear waters of the lake. The north section of the lake is where the Paulin’s Kill River flows into the lake. Once you enter the river the highway noise disappears and you soon enter the silence of the river. The Paulins Kill river has a strong current and can be a work out paddling up stream. There is an abundance of wild life along the river. There is even a huge beaver that I have encountered on several trips along with various birds and turtles. Kayaking Columbia Lake and the Paulinskill River are great places to spend the day exploring in Northwestern NJ.


I paddled this body of water a few months ago and flipped my boat for an early spring swim. This trip the river was very low. In several spots I had to get out of my boat and drag it up stream to deeper waters. Saw about a half dozen Green Herons on the islands of Columbia Lake. I ventured up stream on the Paulinskill as far as I ever have so far. I came upon a HUGE train trestle which was something to see on the river.


Cool April day out for a paddle on Columbia Lake and the Paulinskill River. Came upon an immature Bald Eagle that was on the shore eating something. As I paddled past it took flight and circled me landing in a tree on the same bank. Very COOL! Entering the Paulinskill river a huge beaver did a belly flop off the steep bank into the river with quite the splash. Unfortunately the only thing I captured from the event was the edge of its splash and smack of its tail as it hit the water. The end of the trip ended with me taking an early spring swim witch was quite refreshing! Watch my video which captures the whole thing. I collected quite a bit of trash on this trip as well. When I flipped my boat it all went down stream. I was able to catch up with it and grab it all back up. Lost my favorite orange hat to the river and broke my sunglasses as well. My garbage grabber and Panasonic camera found there way to the bottom of the river fortunately I was able to retrieve them. Lesson learned…make sure your gear is secured to you or the boat so you don’t loose anything.


Set out on a nice early spring paddle on the Columbia lake and Paulinskill River. The river was moving swifter than it usually does due to high rains. This is the record of that swiftness!


Fantastic day of paddling on Lake Hopatcong. Bertrand Island to Liffey Island…what an adventure! In less than 10 minutes out I saw an eagle fly overhead. Conditions were perfect-blue skies,calm waters, and 85+ degrees made for a great day on the water.


Early spring paddle. The river was flowing pretty good on this trip. While paddling on the Paulin’s Kill River the spring peepers were going crazy and I saw many birds along the banks of the creek. A hawk soared above me and appeared to be checking me out. I saw a resting Turkey Vulture perched on a log on the bank of the river. Turtles were even venturing out of the depths to soak up the spring sun. The highlight for me was spotting not once but twice a Pileated Woodpecker. I actually caught it on video flying into a tree on the river bank. It appears shortly after the second bridge that I go under. See if you can spot it. I stayed around in that spot to see if I could get a picture of it but to no avail I did not capture it’s image. I had finally had enough of paddling up-stream against the strong currant and let it take me back down stream. In the summer the river gets very shallow in spots. It was a great day on the water. Warm temps and abundant wildlife let me know that spring is well on it’s way here in Northwestern New Jersey.