Musconetcong River

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Musconetcong River Photo Gallery

The Musconetcong River is 45 miles long. Its headwaters start at Lake Hopatcong and reaches the Delaware River. The Morris Canal followed the river many many years ago. Traces of it can still be seen along the river. Parts of the river were designated as a National and Scenic River. I tend to paddle the upper section of the “Musky” quite often as I only live a few miles from what is called Saxon Lake section of the river. There is a boat launch that makes accessing the river with your kayak very easy and is another great trip for the beginner kayaker. Every time I paddle the Musky I have a different experience. It is a fantastic slow moving river that has mutch to offer. It is an easy river to paddle up stream. I have seen all sorts of wildlife on my kayaking trips. I have had encounters with bear, river otters, beaver, osprey, eagles, deer, hawk, various water fowl, snakes, mink, opossum, snapping turtles, as well as seeing plenty of fish. The Musky is known for its fishing and hunting. There is also great hiking along the river as this section of the river falls within the Allamuchy Mountain State Park. Spring and fall are spectacular times on the river. During the summer months the river can be choked with aquatic plants and it tends to run low as well. Just below Waterloo Village on the upper section of the river lies Tilcon Lake which can be accessed from the Musky by a short portage. The lake has been stocked with land locked Salmon and is part of Stevens State Park and is a great kayak trip in itself. There is also a branch off the river that a good friend of mine who has been hunting and fishing the Musky for many years calls “Schitz Creek”. There is a narrow stretch of the river that slips back and opens to a series of ponds connected by narrow canals. There are many old duck blinds that line the edges of the water some of which are still used During duck hunting season in the fall. I strongly suggest wearing some blaze orange when paddling during hunting season. The Musconetcong River is a fantastic place for the paddler, hunter, fisherman, and hiker.

Late winter paddle on the Musky. The temps were in the upper 20’s with a wicked wind. Had a few days previous of 40 degree temps which melted much of the snow and ice which left the river swollen and swift. With the warm up also comes a lot of garbage that has been on the banks of the river and is now swept down stream. This means lots of opportunity to PICK IT UP AND PACK IT OUT! Also came upon many large flocks of ducks and geese as they migrate north. Saw at least three eagles as well which is always a thrill as well as several Herons. Was a brisk but rewarding day on a swollen Musconetcong River.

Headed out for a post Christmas paddle on the Musky.
It was a beautiful warm and sunny 50 degree December day. Calm waters with just a breeze-great paddling conditions. Large beaver dove into the water from the river bank and swam away as I passed. Pulled a bit of trash along the way. River has been high which results in more trash flowing from up stream-I have found. Heading back to to boat launch past Schitz Creek to the sound of duck hunters calls echoing against the mountain-you can hear them at minutes 5:09 and 5:27 in the video. Great early winter paddle on the Musky!

Kayak New Jersey Musconetcong River Bushwhacking
The river was running high due to the rain and snow we recently received. The high waters flood the river banks creating new waterways along the river. This makes for a nice diversion after paddling the same routes. Had to do some bushwhacking to get through though…some spots the water was only a few inches deep. Fun late fall paddle on the Musky!

Kayak New Jersey Thanksgiving Day Paddle on the Musky
Headed out for a morning paddle after receiving several inches of snow the night before. When I headed out it was still snowing. Always great paddling in falling snow! So peaceful on the water. While on the river I heard a crash from behind me. I turned just in time to see a branch falling from a tree on the river bank from the weight of the heavy snow. A little further up stream I was adjusting my camera when I heard the yelps of hunters in the woods…I decided it would be wise to turn back and head for the truck..didn’t want to catch a stray shot…even in my orange hat I don’t trust that I will be seen on the water. Didn’t see any ducks or birds at all on the river…must have been hunkered down for the storm.
Fantastic morning on the snowy Musky. Happy Thanksgiving!

Kayaking New jersey Musconetcong River Paddle
Afternoon Fall paddle on the Musky. Beauty of a day. One of the last warm ones I think before the POLAR VORTEX takes hold!!! Flock of Canada Geese were across from the put in. Came upon some turtles sunning themselves as well-grabbing some of the last warm rays. Great time on the mighty Musky!

Kayak NJ
Beautiful late October paddle on the Musconetcong River. Leaves have started to fall due to the heavy winds and rain we have experienced over the month. Bit of color on the trees. Water is clear and cool as the chilly nights have begun. Not too mutch in the way of wild life just some turtles sunning them selves in the afternoon sun. A great day on the water.

Kayaking NJ’s Musconetcong River for an afternoon paddle under gray skies
Ventured out with the PCB (Personal Camera Buddy). I used my Kodak PlaySport with my Ram Mounts to attach the camera to the PCB which worked great. I thought the set up might be a little heavy for the PCB but it was fine. I even got some underwater footage using the PCB by lowering the arm into the water. I’ve been very pleased with my Kodak Playsport. It takes really good video although the footage can get dark in contrasting light some times. Came upon a Great Blue Heron and there was a Osprey flying over head along the river as well. All and all a nice afternoon on the mighty Musky!

Kayaking NJ Musconetcong River on a nice afternoon
Came across a big black bear crossing the river right in front of me. It swam to an island in the middle of the river crossed it, swam across the river on the other side and off into the woods. Was quite a thrill-always gets your heart pumping. Up stream a ways I came across a second bear. Unfortunately I did not get any clear footage but if you look closely you can see the black mass through the bushes just above the water. I was so taken aback by the second bear that I knocked my camera off my PCB and it fell into the water…what a spazz I am. Thrilling trip to come across 2 bears. Its been 2 years since I saw my last bear on the Musky.

Beautiful sunny day on the swollen Musconetcong River
Paddled through Saxon lake to the main part of the River. Spooked a Great Blue Heron. Ventured up past the second put in that I used all winter. Was amazed to see that where there is usually a sand bar in the middle of the river now was swallowed by the deeper river. Great day on the river! To new beginnings!

Late afternoon paddle on the Musconetcong River
Had some heavy rain last week leaving the Musky quite swollen. Saxon Lake is now connected to the river. Other times of the year it is separated by quite a bit of marshy land. The river itself is now quite wide in places and is running deep. Can definitely feel the current as you paddle up stream. Checked out the section on the river a friend and his hunting buddy’s affectionately call Shit’s Creek. A few weeks ago when I explored this I was getting snagged on all kinds of under brush and the water was only a few inches deep. After the rain we had this section was filled up nicely and navigating was mutch easier. Was able to paddle all the way to the end of the line. Plenty of ducks, heron, and Canada Geese abound. Was another great adventure on the Musconetcong River.

Felt more like an ice breaker in the Arctic than a kayaking paddle trip
It was in the upper teens to low 20’s. The section that I put in at was free flowing liquid. Once I passed under the bridge (see my other trips) the water began to freeze. Approaching this section the ice undulated and broke up as my boat passed. Was quite the work out and made for an adventurous paddle.

The sun was out and the temps were brutal
Maybe 20 degrees but I headed out on to the Musky anyway. The lower section of the river was completely frozen over. The upper section was free of ice for about a quarter mile. Had to trudge through the snow to get to the water. Well worth it to get out on the water. Gotta’ beat the cabin fever some how!

Got out of work early for New Years Eve paddle
Heading out on the Musky for the last paddle of 2013. Was quite cold and windy on the water. Paddling at sunset was a different experience on the river. The setting sun danced on the water and reflected bright gold against the bare trees on the shore line. Came upon a canoe of hunters and decided to turn back as I did not want to disrupt there hunt. All and all a fantastic way to end a great year of paddling. Happy New Year!

Headed out for a paddle on the Musky
The temp jumped to almost 70 degrees witch melted the snow and ice from the 6 inches of snow we received the week before. The resulting snow melt was an eerie fog that hung just above the water. I also experienced warm pockets of air as well as cold pockets as I made my way along the river. Spotted an eagle in a tree. Also had several king fishers escorting me on my paddle trip as well. The lower half of the Musky that I paddle was frozen limiting my trip by ending it just above the boat ramp on the Saxon Falls section. Also picked up some trash along the way as well. Remember pack it in pack out! It was a very enjoyable mid December paddle on the Musconetcong river.

I finally ventured on the upper section of the Musconetcong River
This section is above Waterloo Village in Sussex County NJ. I put in across from the Sussex Branch Rail Trail at the old stone bridge trestle and paddle up stream. The Musky flows a bit faster in this section as it is mutch narrower through the upstream section. I had to get out and drag my boat up stream in several sections. At one point I tried getting back in my kayak and stepped in the wrong spot and fell in…I did not capture this epic spill on video unfortunately. I made it up to Continental Dr and did not have the energy to go any further so that was where my trip started. Very cool paddling around Waterloo Village and Waterloo lake. Saw a huge snapping turtle in the shallows by the abandoned house. It was as big as a VW Beetle tire. It was a great day exploring a new section of the river I paddle all the time.