Lake Hopatcong

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I grew up on Lake Hopatcong exploring the coves and islands of the largest lake in New Jersey. I still paddle there as often as I can launching from my childhood home on the north shore of Bertrand Island. The lake is 2685 acres and is 7 miles long with 27 miles of shore line and is the headwaters for the Musconetcong River-another favorite spot of mine to paddle. There is a car top boat launch to the lake at Lee’s County Park Marina. There is a fee to launch. Weekends on the lake during the summer months can be down right dangerous for kayakers with the high boat traffic. Lake conditions can change quickly as well with winds whipping up the water creating 2-3 foot waves to contend with. For the adventure kayaker paddling during these conditions can be exhilarating. I highly recommend during the summer months kayaking in the early morning and or planning for evening paddle trips. Spring and fall are spectacular times to paddle Lake Hopatcong. Liffy Island is a highlight worth checking out as it is one of the last undeveloped areas of the lake. There is plenty to explore on Lake Hopatcong in your kayak whether it be the historic homes along the shores or paddling the canals of the old Venice section of the lake or the fantastic fishing opportunities the lake provides. Lake Hopatcong is certainly a kayak destination worth making.


Launched from Bertrand Island and headed north planning to check out Liffy Island. Along the way passed the Miss. Lotta in dry dock. Guess the season of dinning on the lake is done! Passed flock of Swans. Couldn’t get to Brady’s Bridge due to a layer of ice on the water…to thick and crusty to navigate safely through so I turned back and paddled past the Main Lake Market and around Halsey Island and then headed back to Bertrand Island. Beauty of a day on Lake Hopatcong!


Kayak NJ Lake Hopatcong Bertrand Island to Liffy Island. Perfect paddling conditions on the lake. Love to paddle to Liffy Island as its one of the only places on the lake that has been untouched by development. The island was home to a boy scout camp which operated until the 70’s but has been allowed to go back to its natural state. Visiting the island gives the “explorer” a glimpse as to what the lake might have been like many years ago before the lake was built up.
Upon my approach to the island a pair of Osprey’s flew above. Saw my first mink up close – was even able to capture that encounter on video-very exciting. Great day on the lake.


Kayaking NJ’s Lake Hopatcong Bertrand Island to Halsey Island to Liffy Island. Very hot and humid day on the lake. Beautiful conditions great day to be on the water until I got to Liffy Island in Jefferson Twp. The sky filled with dark thunder heads and the wind picked up. Cut my trip short and paddled like the dickens to beat the pending storm. Had some cool highlights-took a swim at Halsey Island sand bar. Came upon the Lake Hopatcong Commission’s quarantined area for the invasive Water chestnut. Saw the Lake Hopatcong Dinner Cruise boat- very cool. Passed a barge on the lake floating a back hoe to a job sight…never saw that on the lake. Paddled past the Lake Hopatcong crew team out practicing as well also very cool. Luckily made it back to Bertrand Island in time to avoid any storm. Great day on Lake Hopatcong.


Kayaking NJ Lake Hopatcong’s Bertrand Island to Raccoon Island on a sunny warm but windy day.


First trip on Lake Hopatcong. Ice just went out on the lake last week. Beautiful spring day with temps in the Mid 70’s. Lake was calm-not mutch of a breeze. Nothing but fishing boats on the water. Nice time on the lake. Headed out from Bertrand Island and paddled to Halsey Island. Circumnavigated the island. The north side is where there is a sand bar. During the summer months it is VERY crowded with anchored boats. Saw a pair of Loons as I passed one of the many coves on the way to Halsey Island. Great trip. Great time to be on the lake!


I have spent the last 42 years enjoying Lake Hopatcong and all it has to explore and enjoy. I found the contrast between the lake at full water capacity and during the 5 year draw down to be quite the stark contrast which can clearly be seen on Bed Bug Island on the western shore of Bertrand island.


Great day paddling from Bertrand Island to the Lake Hopatcong State Park. The 5 year draw down of the lake is well under way. The draw down makes for a great time to explore the lake by kayak. There are no big boats on the water. I only saw a few fishermen in rowboats. The draw down exposes more of the shore line changing the landscape giving the paddler a different experience. Being fall the foliage adds to the experience as well. Fall is a great time to explore Lake Hopatcong. Paddling past Bed Bug Island was something to see. When the water level is normal the island over time has been reduced to a small pile of rocks sticking out of the water. During the draw down it now looks like part of Bertrand Island. Same can be said for the sand bar along the eastern shore by the state park. Both spots are great places to explore.


This is my trip circumnavigating – or as mutch as I could as the back portion of the island is over grown and not navigable- Liffy Island on Lake Hopatcong. It is a great spot on the lake to explore and get a feel for what the lake might possibly have been like 100 years ago. There is plenty of wildlife to enjoy. Lots of turtles and frogs can be seen in the shallow edges of the island. On this trip I encountered several Blue Herons. An Osprey even hovered over to check me out. Mallard ducks were also plentiful taking refuge from the busy boat traffic on the lake. There are also plenty of trails that cross the island to explore as well. Liffy Island is one of the gems of Lake Hopatcong. I also managed to pick a lot of garbage on the shores of the island. Just a reminder to all those enjoying the island and lake to please remove your trash and don’t toss it in the water.


Paddled from Bertrand Island to explore the Canal section of Lake Hopatcong in Jefferson Twp. This section of the lake has an incoming stream from Lake Shawnee and is the start of headwaters for the Musconetcong River. Paddled to Brady’s Bridge and hung the first right paddling past what used to be Florain Beach and marina-home to the former Viking Swim team until the late 80’s. Very quiet and many islands to explore. The canals loop around and reconnect- its a maze of water. Plenty of ducks around and signs of beaver or otters abound. Great spot on Lake Hopatcong to paddle.


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.


Lake Hopatcong paddle trip from Knolls Beach to Halsey Island 62313. I grew up on Lake Hopatcong so I know how crazy the lake can get especially on weekends. I put this together to show just how crazy it can get and as a warning to new paddlers to stay clear of the lake during peak boating times which tend to be weekends and even late afternoon during the week.
Don’t get me wrong it truly is a great lake to paddle. There are fantastic historical buildings dotted around its shores. There are even some spots that have been left untouched like Liffy Island.


Lake Hopatcong paddle from Bertrand Island to River Styx. Great day on the water. Due to high water levels a no wake restriction was placed on the lake which made for fantastic paddling conditions. Would be great if they could have a no wake restriction at certain times on the lake.


Evening paddle covering the Southern end of Lake Hopatcong from Bertrand Island to Landing.


Tried to get my mother to go out for a nice mothers day paddle in my tandem kayak but she would not have any of it. Mothers always know! What an adventure on the lake. The winds kicked up to a bout 20 mph and there were almost 3 ft waves. The air temp was warm and surprisingly the water temp was not bad too. Great day on Lake Hopatcong.


Headed out on Lake Hopatcong from Bertrand Island for an Easter paddle before the big Easter meal. Was quite breezy and overcast but still a great paddle.