Terry Anderson’s KLOG
Aug 5, 2007, 2:00 PM-4:00 PM
Round Valley Reservoir, near Lebanon, NJ
Launched from the fisherman access boat ramp
I launched from the fisherman’s access/boat ramp. Note that this is not the main park entrance, but further north and is operated by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife and requires either a current fishing license or boat ramp permit (only enforced on busy days during the summer). On a hot summer Sunday, the park was signed as “full” but the fisherman’s access was available. Parking had a few spaces and I launched from beside the main boat ramp. Most canoes and kayaks launch from a beach at the NE end of the parking area. The water was higher than during my previous visits, so that there was no beach beside the ramp, but I launched from rocks in 6” water.
I paddled the circumference of the reservoir in the counter-clockwise direction staying near shore, paddling into the lagoon in front of the main park entrance. A sail boat was trying to tack out of the lagoon and I was paddling three to four times as fast has he was able to go.
Around the south shore the wind picked up and the chop was about 12” (peak to trough) but my 14’ kayak smoothed them out nicely. The wind dropped and was calm most of the way picking up a little on along the north shore.
As usual the water in the reservoir was crystal clear. Along the shore the water was only a few feet deep but even when venturing further from shore the bottom was clearly visible many feet down. On other trips to the reservoir, I had encountered interesting patches of water reeds 20 or 30 feet from shore along the SE and E shores but this year the water is so high that there was only one patch. Even through the parking lot and public park had been crowded the number of boats on the water was modest. I had little trouble with fishing boat wakes and only saw a half dozen other paddlecraft other than in the lagoon right off shore of the ramp.
Unlike my other paddling locations in NJ, one sees little or no wildlife at Round Valley (unless one counts beer-drinking fisherman as “wild life”). A few high soaring birds and a couple of jumping fish was all I saw. But Round Valley is a nice location for skill building – dealing with modest waves, chop, wakes and wind. It offers a good place to push for speed and get a good workout. There are also places that would be good for kayak rolling practice, although since swimming is restricted to the one marked beach, official might object to being in the water near the west end where you can be observed.
Total paddling distance was 7.4 mi (6.4 kmi) at an average paddling speed of 3.7 mph or 3.2 knots.
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