Yes, you can paddle in the Delaware River and enjoy the scenic, pristine water all the way long. The Delaware River is one of the largest rivers located on the Atlantic coast of the USA. It drains an area coverage of 35,070 kilometers squared (13,539 square miles) across four states namely Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware.
At its youthful stage, the river rises in two branches in the state of New York Catskill Mountains and then flows for 674 kilometers into Delaware Bay. Its water then enters the Atlantic Ocean near Cape Henlopen in Delaware and Cape May in New Jersey.
Excluding the Delaware Bay, its total length including that of its two branches is about three hundred and eighty-eight miles.
What Are The Best Paddling Spots In Delaware River?
If you want easy, wide water that allows you to pedal along the Delaware river, you need to find the perfect spots for it. It will not be in the river’s upperparts.
One such part is the stretch that flows around Minisink Island. It is the largest in between Milford and Dingmans Ferry. At the southern tip, you can paddle up through the island and have a great time.
Another place ideal for paddling in the Delaware River is along Martins Creek. You can have a paddling trip where you pass Old Sow Island. The river is wide and less vigorous making it ideal for paddling.
What Are The Best Launch Points Of The Delaware River
The Delaware River has many kayak launch points. However, most of the land sitting along the river is private property. Here are some of them;
-Upper Black Eddy Access (Route 32, just below Milford bridge)
This launch point is located off Routte 32. It is right below the Milford Bridge. It is an ideal spot to launch your kayak. The good thing about it is that the ramps are made of concrete and that makes it easy to launch.
-D&R Canal State Park Lambertville
This is another ideal launch spot for your kayak.
Other kayak launch points include;
Caddo launch point
Barryville NY DEC
Depew launch point (NJ)
The Durham furnace canal
The Eshback Access
The Fairview DEP
The Frys Run County Park
The Stockton launch point
Wy-Hit-Tuck county park
Virginia forest recreational areas
Poxon island access point
These are just some of the most common kayak launch points along the Delaware River.
Do You Need Permit To paddle On The Delaware River?
What one needs to know is that Delaware identifies kayaks as manually propelled (non-motorized) vessels. In that case, any non-motorized vessels are exempted from all registrations requirements.
However, it is worth noting that anyone can kayak in Delaware without a boating license or even a safety certification. The only keen point to note is that children under the age of twelve must wear life jackets at all times.
For motorized kayaks, one must acquire a permit and registration from the state of Delaware.
Where Can You Swim On The Delaware River?
Swimming in this river is recommended to three specific beaches. There is Turtle beach on the New Jersey side, Smithfield Beach on the Pennsylvania side, and Milford Beach which is also on the side of Pennsylvania.
In addition to that, outside these areas, activities are allowed but not recommended. There are places where you will find sharp drop-offs, strong currents, and charging waters.
These kinds of conditions are not ideal for fishing. It is also advisable to wear a life jacket while swimming and one should avoid going to the river by themselves.
What Should You Bring On Your Paddling Trip?
It is a good idea to wear protective clothing when paddling in the Delaware River. This includes life jackets, helmets, and gloves. Make sure that you have plenty of sunscreens because there will be less shade along this waterway than other waterways around Philadelphia or New Jersey.
When planning for an excursion down this river, it is also advisable to carry extra food with you so that if problems arise during your trip–you are prepared! It may take several hours before help can reach someone who becomes stranded out on the water here without proper provisions.
Bring enough drinking water as well- about one gallon per person per day just in case something happens that causes delays in your return home for any
Are There Bull Sharks In The Delaware River?
It is very rare to find bull sharks along the Delaware River. They are more common south of Delaware. One should understand that the Bull shark prefers living in the shallow coastal waters that are less than a hundred feet deep. They can however swim up the river but will not go too far.
Do I Need Life Jackets In The Delaware River?
Something everyone needs to know is that wearing a life jacket while swimming, wading, fishing, or tubing is a smart decision. The NPS (National Park Service) highly recommends one always wear a life jacket when you are in or on the water. The law firmly states that all children under the age of twelve must wear a life jacket while on the river or any vessel or when even using an inner tube.
Everyone person using an inner tube or on a boat should have a life jacket that is within reach. The life jacket for each person should be of the right size and be in good condition.
On the upper side of the river, there is the constant occurrence of class I and II rapids. However, you should know that moving water can be a little deceptive and pose high risks to you while in the waters.
The majority of the drownings on the Delaware River have been related to swimming more than those of boating. In all those cases, it was evident that the victims were not wearing life jackets that were properly fitted.
River Swimming Safety Tips
-Wear your life jacket. Even when swimming, ensure that your life jacket is properly fitted.
-Know your limits and the dangers of the river. If you do not know how to swim, make sure that there is a spotter or a flotation device near you at all times during swimming. A quick way to get in trouble while swimming is to accidentally release yourself from the tether.
-Be aware of where you swim and what is around you rocks, rapids, eddies, etc. Also, be sure to stay away from weirs and dams; they can suck a swimmer towards them and hold their feet to the ground.
-Do not overestimate your swimming ability. Do not attempt to swim in extreme conditions. It is better to enjoy the sights of the river from the riverbank.
Can You Get DUI Paddling On the Delaware River?
The answer to this is yes. You need to know that BIU (Boating under influence) is prohibited and illegal in Delaware. You need to know that you are under the influence if you have over 0.08 percent alcohol content in your breath, urine, and blood. You need to be aware that Boating under Influence (BIU) is treated the same way as DIU and consequences with following accordingly.