Nissequegue means in the local native language “clay banks” and for sure it deserves its name during low tide where the reed and the tree’s roots are way out of water and the entire banks of the river look very muddy. At this time trying to boat through the reeds is for sure a recipe of getting stuck.
And this is because Nissequegue is a tidal river. One of the longest in Long Island where you don’t even think that can exist rivers by themselves, Nissequegue is almost 9 miles long out of which about 5.5 miles are “boat-able”. The kayak or canoe trips are charming, the river being so diverse in aspect from the large estuary flowing into the Sound at “The Bluff” to the narrow meanders surrounded by reeds and full of egrets, cormorants and snapping turtles toward the spring.
There are several outfitters who offer kayak and canoe rentals independent trips, the better known being Nisequogue Kayak and Canoe Rentals, (www.canoerentals.com). The trip along the river takes about 1.5 – 2 hours for the 5.5 miles from the State Park to the “The Bull” in Smithtown and aligned with the tide for easy paddling.
However, twice a month, if you check the tidal schedule of the river or ask the office, you can fit a round trip within one day. The tide starts early in the morning and if you start around 9-10 AM you can catch a return riding the opposite tide at around 1-2 PM for a full charming day of kayaking on the river.