Great Egg Harbor River Paddle – Penny Pot to Lake Lenape, Mays Landing

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Great Egg Harbor River Paddle – Penny Pot in Hammonton to Lake Lenape, Mays Landing, NJ
Distance: 16.9 miles total (we did 2.7 miles)
Type: One way
Difficulty: 6 of 10 – I’m sure much lower when flow is normal
Total score: 7 of 10.

Breakdown (according to the Atlantic County Park System):
Penny Pot to Weymouth – 9.9 miles (4 – 6 hours)
Weymouth to Camp Acagisca – 2.7 miles (2 – 3 hours)
Camp Acagisca to Lake Lenape – 4.3 miles (3 – 4 hours)

Terrain – Forest and swamp

Map –
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Put ins –
Penny Pot – 39°34’31.64″N, 74°49’20.54″W (8th Street, just off Rt 73 – Hammonton, NJ)
Weymouth Furnace – 39°31’4.22″N, 74°46’44.69″W – Weymouth Road, just off Rt 322 – Hamilton Twp, NJ)
Camp Acagisca – 39°29’36.36″N, 74°45’59.39″W (Weymouth Road, Mays Landing, NJ)

Take outs –
Weymouth Furnace – 39°31’4.22″N, 74°46’44.69″W – Weymouth Road, just off Rt 322 – Hamilton Twp, NJ)
Camp Acagisca – 39°29’36.36″N, 74°45’59.39″W (Weymouth Road, Mays Landing, NJ)

Parking Area - Acagisa

Parking Area – Acagisa

Lake Lenape – 39°27’23.95″N, 74°44’20.70″W (6303 Old Harding Hwy, Mays Landing, NJ)

Standouts – Peaceful river into a beautiful lake.

Description – The Great Egg Harbor River is one of the longest in South Jersey, stretching from Winslow to the bay that shares its name.

The Scouts and I set out to canoe 7 of its 17 miles last Saturday.  We stayed overnight at Camp Acagisca (overnight camping for youth groups), then made the quick four minute drive to drop the canoes and Scouts off at Weymouth Furnace.  While the Scouts reviewed safety procedures, the adults shuttled the cars to the end of the line – Lake Lenape.

Weymouth Furnace Park.

Weymouth Furnace Park.

Extra canoer.

Extra canoer.

Off the rack.

Off the rack.

When we went to put in, we noticed the river was a little high.

Okay, a lot high.  That sign generally isn't half an inch from the water.

Okay, a lot high. That sign generally isn’t half an inch from the water.

Because of the flooding, a great many trees and bushes, rather than being on the banks of the river, were in the river.  It turned it into a crazy obstacle course.  Throw in a faster moving body of water, there wasn’t much time to react to obstacles.  As would be expected, the Scouts spent more of the day in the river than on it.  To be fair, this isn’t unusual for a July canoe trip, but canoes going over not on purpose is unusual.

Even the put in was moving pretty good.

Even the put in was moving pretty good.

We moved pretty fast when moving, but spent a lot of time righting canoes.  The Scouts kept a good attitude about this, and with properly secured life jackets and hot July temperatures, it was just an exercise in patience.  When we had time to notice, the river really was beautiful.  There are houses along the way (rather like Rancocas Creek), but that just gives you people to wave to.

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Best pullover we found for a while.  The little beaches were all under water.

Best pullover we found for a while. The little beaches were all under water.

That building is definitely not supposed to be in the river.

That building is definitely not supposed to be in the river.

Almost there.

Almost there.

Around the last bend (view from Acagisa parking area)

Around the last bend (view from Acagisa parking area)

The end result?  Three miles in three hours, pulling into Camp Acagisca for a late lunch.  The older Scouts put their heads together and decided to call it a day.  We had extra adults, so two of them (I wasn’t one) finished the second half of the trip (4.3 miles to Lake Lenape) in a little more than two hours.  As Murphy’s Law would dictate, they said within five minutes of leaving the lunch spot, the river widened out and the obstacles disappeared, leaving a peaceful paddle the rest of the way down to the pullout at the end of Lake Lenape.  Oh well, we’ll know for next time!

Overall recommendation: Great river to canoe.  Just not when flooded out.

Rentals – Palace Outfitters in May’s Landing (just on the other side of Route 322 from Weymouth Furnace)
Winding River Campground – Canoe, Kayak, and Tube rentals – Mays Landing, NJ (next to Camp Acagisca County Park)

Camping options – Camp Acagisca (youth group camping only) or Lake Lenape (individual sites), both through the Atlantic County Park Office located at Lake Lenape.

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9 Comments

Filed under Canoeing, Fishing, Outdoors., pine barrens, South Jersey

9 responses to “Great Egg Harbor River Paddle – Penny Pot to Lake Lenape, Mays Landing

  1. Marybeth G.

    Great info, Mike! Thank you!

  2. Cleo

    Thanks for this info. We are going canoeing today and someone told my husband to put in at Penny Pot and leave other car at Lenape. You saved me from being stuck halfway down the river at dark. He had no idea it was that long.

  3. Shane

    Is there a drop off between Penny Pot and Weymouth to make the trip shorter?

  4. We used to go in at other places, one being Cherry Lane right after Gene’s Garden Center, and another one I can’t remember now. Might be able to see these on google earth. Cherry lane is a 2 hr trip if I remember correctly.

  5. We used to drop in on Cherry Lane, the little road right after Gene’s Garden Center, which is a 2 hr trip. We’ve also dropped in at Indian Branch Campsite which is a 4 hour trip.

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