Crabs, ospreys, salt marshes
Tides might be a factor, although they weren't for us.
Cape Island Creek Paddle – Cape May Lower Township, Cape May County, NJ
Distance – 3 3/4 miles total
Time – Took us 2 hours total
Type – Out-and-back paddle
Difficulty: 3 of 10 – low bridges. Potential for tide issues.
Total score: 6 of 10
Website – None
Open – Sunrise to Sunset.
Terrain – Tidal marshes
Put ins (these are less than a tenth of a mile apart):
Spicer’s Creek Boat Ramp – 38 57.046 ` 74 54.593
Miss Chris Marina (if renting from them, which we did) – 38°57’0.56″N, 74°54’38.30″W
Spicer’s Creek Boat Ramp – 4th Ave and Wissahickon Ave, Cape May, NJ 08204
Miss Chris Marina (where we rented our kayaks) – 1212 Wilson Dr, Cape May, NJ 08204
Parking – Parking at the boat launch or the marina, depending if you are renting or not
Rental – Miss Chris Marina
For our June camping trip, the Scouts decided that they wanted to go kayaking down the shore. So we found ourselves in Cape May, where we rented kayaks got into the water, and were on our way.
Once the whole group was on the water, we headed south. When the first set of docks came in, we went right around them, entering Cape Island Creek. Once around the little point of land there, we made a sharp right to go past the last of the docks and around a small island (from Google, it looks like this might only be able to be gone around when the tide is in).
Once we passed the last of the docks, it was just our group all alone on the water the rest of the way, which was great. We stuck to the main channel, but you have the option of exploring side channels along the way, all of which seem to dead end.
Along the way, we would occasionally pull over to the muddy banks, where 10,000 tiny crabs would scurry back into their holes.
Once past the last ferry, it’s just under a mile until the next real landmark, passing under the old Cape May Seashore Line bridge.
After another 0.2 of a mile, we passed under Elmira Street. This was a tight squeeze with not a lot a head room.
However, the squeeze was worth it, because there were ospreys on the other side. Yay ospreys!
Here, most of the crew turned around, but my friend Brian and I decided to make sprint the last 1/4 mile to see how the creek ended (don’t worry, that left plenty of adults with the Scouts).
So we did. The answer? Mini-golf.
Now it was time to turn around and sprint back to catch up with the group. We made quick work of it, slowed down only by going under that road bridge again.
From there, it was a nice mile or so back to the dock. The sun had come out pretty good, and of course I forgot my sunscreen. But sunburn on my legs was a price worth paying for this paddle.
The kayaks back, we headed down to sunset beach for a bit, then it was back to our campground at Belleplain to go swimming. Good day!
Nearby: Cape May Point State Park is close by, which includes the lighthouse, the World War II bunker, some great hiking, and is close to Sunset Beach and the concrete ship.