Carnegie Lake Kayak

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Carnegie Lake

A long lake that runs along the Delaware & Raritan Canal in Princeton.

Paddle by islands, bridges, large houses and the Princeton rowing center.

The lake ends at the train bridge but the waterway narrows and continues as Stony Brook, until Turning Basin park.

Our two cents:

The dam at the north end of the lake has a steep drop off, heed the safety line boundary.

Near the launch area, at the Rt 27 Princeton-Kingston Rd. lot, are marked lanes for the Princeton University rowing team that should be avoided and you might want to check that a race or regatta is not going on.

One of the bridges than spans Carnegie Lake.

Large bridge over a lake in the distance
Carnegie Lake

A multi-use path crosses a bridge at the edge of Carnegie Lake. This is the D&R Canal towpath and is a fun bike ride or easy hike.

Nearing a bridge while in a kayak
Bridge near Carnegie Lake

There is a large island in the middle but we didn’t spot any landing areas.

Carnegie Lake

Eventually we found a small area to land on the left side to get out for a stretch (after the bridge).

Two kayaks at the edge of the lake

Wildlife: Herons, geese, turtles. 7/2020: Bald Eagle flew right over us. Cool. LARGE turtle breached the water, made a hissing sound, then stared at us.

Carnegie Lake



Up to about 7 – 8 miles roundtrip, going left from the launch to the dam, and then down to Turning Point basin.


N40.36684° W74.62572° [Rt 27 Princeton-Kingston Rd lot]
Large paved lot. Easy put in at water’s edge or use the floating dock.

There is another launch at the south end at Turning Basin which we have not tried.


237 acres.


None. Not much in the area. There was a portable toilet in the Rocky Top Dog Park on Rt 27 about 5 min away.

The lot for the D&R Canal at Kingston right around the corner on Rt 27 used to have a portable toilet but was not there 7/2020.


Quiet Water New Jersey (2010), Trip #24

Note: Quiet Water New Jersey is available as an online Kindle book but sadly the print version is no longer available – other than used copies that are generally going for absurd prices for some reason.

An option is “AMC’s Quiet Water Mid-Atlantic” from 2018 which contains 13 of the 52 ones in the New Jersey-only book.


D&R Canal Kayak – Blackwells Mills; Farrington Lake Kayak.

For general info, check out our Kayaking NJ page.

Kayaked 7/19/20 – 5.0 miles. w/ the new yaks.
Kayaked 8/16/15 – 4.5 miles.

Kayaked 8/31/14 – 7.3 miles.