Paddle a crystal clear spring fed lake with a unique white bottom.
Spot lots of fish and turtles swimming through the clear water and look for herons along the shore.
Miles: 1.4. We did the entire perimeter. Lake Size: 69 acres.
- Park Info: White Lake Natural Resource Area.
- Also from this lot: White Lake hike.
- Nearby: Jenny Jump – Ghost Lake; Allamuchy Pond Trail; Kittatinny Valley.
Our two cents:
Easy and short paddle with lots to see. The clear water with a white streaked bottom feels almost tropical.
It’s lots of fun to watch fish dart in and out of vegetation and we spotted several very large snapping turtles. The only downside is that the lake is small as we could have happily floated around here for hours.
Bonus: Pair kayaking with an easy hike around White Lake.
Fun Fact: The name “White Lake” comes from the white chalky material that lines the bottom called “marl”. Marl is composed of freshwater shells and clay and was processed for use in fertilizer and cement.
Randomness: As we were leaving, a man was unloading his ducks to go for a swim. They had little harnesses and seemed to be having a jolly time splashing around the shore. Ah, Jersey… there’s always something interesting to see here.
Parking: N41.00207° W74.91660°
White Lake Parking Lot. 97 Stillwater Rd. Hardwick, NJ 07825. Continue down the driveway past the parking lot to drop your boat at the launch, and then park your vehicle back at the lot.
Portable toilet in the parking lot.
Limited number of kayaks available by reservation only (free). May 4th through September, Tuesdays from 4-7pm. Visit the park site to reserve and for current info.
Appears in Quiet Water New Jersey (2010).
Note: Our go-to kayaking book is Quiet Water New Jersey (2010), available as an e-book or a used printed book.
The newer version is “Quiet Water Mid-Atlantic (2018)”. This contains 13 of the 52 locations in the New Jersey-only book and is available both in printed and online formats.
Related: Kayaking NJ overview page.
Easy peasy. Large grassy area to stage the ‘yaks with a dirt launch right into the edge of the water.
Fog hung over the surface of the lake in the early morning.
From the launch we paddled to the right and hugged the perimeter all the way around.
The water is clear enough to see the vegetation and the bottom of the spring fed lake.
Sunlight streaming into the lake (and an underwater camera) highlights how clear the water can be. Be sure to watch the video on this page to get more of a peek.
In areas without vegetation the white bottom is clearly visible.
Pass posts from an old dock sticking up on one end of the lake. The edge of the lake is pretty shallow.
The fog continued as we made our way around the lake. We kept to the edge near the vegetation to look for wildlife.
Sometimes the tall reeds on the side would move, which meant turtles were there.
We spotted several very large snapping turtles swimming by and a few times they darted under the kayaks. Only got a photo of this little guy though:
There are remains of a larger dock on the other side of the lake.
A heron stalking for snacks along the reeds.
The shore of White Lake is mostly tree lined with just a few buildings visible.
Rounding around the lake and heading back towards the launch.