The Best Places to Kayak on the East End

Kayak the East End
Kayak the East End, Photo: zabelin/123RF

With unique wildlife and breathtaking beaches, the East End has more to offer prospective kayakers than just an abundance of waterways.

From Riverhead to Montauk, there are a variety of businesses run by experienced paddlers who connect kayakers with nature by spreading their knowledge of the sport and the area.

Jim Dreeben, owner of Peconic Paddler in Riverhead, sells and rents kayaks, as well as other paddleboats. He and his staff also provide lessons and tours.

Dreeban has traveled all over the western hemisphere to paddle, but he says the water on the East End is uniquely diverse and easy to access.

“It’s so accessible,” Dreeban says. “It’s easy, the beaches are beautiful, the wildlife is great. You have every condition you want here, you have choppy water if you want to go into the ocean, or you can cruise on the bay.”

Dreeban frequently takes groups all over the North Fork to kayak, including in the Peconic River located across the street from his shop. Besides taking experienced paddlers on exciting trips, he teaches school and camp groups basic paddling skills.

Dreeban says he has recently been trying to get more groups to do longer paddles. The longest trip he has organized to date was from Orient Point to Riverhead, which took over eight hours to complete.

Dreeban can name many spots he loves to take kayakers to, but there is one spot in particular that stands out. “The most perfect spot of all is Red Creek Pond in Hampton Bays. It has hardly any wind, it’s protected, it’s shallow. It’s where we do a lot of teaching,” he says.

There are many skilled paddlers willing to share their knowledge of the area and spread the sport they love. Fortunately, there are also countless destinations with amazing views for East End kayakers to explore. So get out there!

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