Forked River (at Lakeside Drive East)
Paddlers Report Sep 2009:
A fine site (but no facilities) on the south shore of the north branch of the Forked River that I'd heard about before, but had never tried. There's a little garbage strewn about here and there, but it otherwise looks safe for parking. I explored all 3 branches of the Forked River, then paddled on the Bay almost to Cedar Creek and back. Great weather. There is a high proportion of sailboats, much to my satisfaction. You can only pass a small way west of Rt 9, due to obstructions (sunken branches, logs). I know nothing of the various lakes that continue west (couldn't reach them). The middle branch is almost solid houses. After you pass under the Rt 9 bridge, the way is blocked by a crude rock dam that holds back a pond. The south branch is mostly houses, but a long stretch west of a bridge that spans the south branch about halfway along its length is natural. The current flowing inexorably toward the Oyster Creek [nuclear reactor] is pretty strong under that bridge, and so I didn't continue much beyond the bridge. It took a burst of effort to stem that current, coming back. After the 3 branches join toward the east as they approach the Bay, the northern shoreline is natural (county and Forsythe Refuge). I'd recommend the Forked River as a fine paddle on maybe a sunny, windy winter day, when one seeks to paddle quietly out of the wind (like Beaverdam Creek).
- Garden State Parkway South to exit 78 (Forked River / Manchester / Lacey Road).
- RIGHT on Lacey Road for 2.5 miles to US-9 South.
- RIGHT on US-9 South and proceed 1/2 mile to Lakeside Drive East on Left.
- LEFT on Lakeside Drive East for 0.4 mile and watch for dirt road entrance on Left with two "Dead End" signs marking entrance.
- From South
- Garden State Parkway North to exit 69 (Waretown / CR-532).
- RIGHT on CR-532 East 2 miles to US-9 North.
- LEFT on US-9 North and proceed 3.1 miles to Lakeside Drive East on Right.
- RIGHT on Lakeside Drive East for 0.4 mile and watch for dirt road entrance on Left with two "Dead End" signs marking entrance.