New York and the surrounding areas provide outdoor enthusiasts with exciting opportunities to paddle in the natural world as well as around the magnificent landscape of New York City.
Within these two vastly different environments, the wild landscapes and everything that lives in it, creeps out of the unnatural to greet paddlers on Wildlife Tours throughout these busy east coast waterways.
Essentially, it is a chance to experience the best of both worlds. A clash of the big city life with the chance to wander into the woods outside of NYC and see the nature which thrives in the shadow of the bright lights and busy streets.
Because of these two clashing worlds, paddle boarding in these areas is wholly unique in the SUP arena. From the city, to the beaches, to the natural lakes and rivers, New York and the east coast offers ample opportunity for vacationers to paddle Wildlife Tours.
These shops and outfitters are what we at Perfect Paddles considers to be some of the best shops and outfitters offering wildlife tours in the greater New York area. We highly recommend checking them out if you are on your way to a wonderful vacation on the northeastern coast. Experience life in the city, then experience life in nature. And leave the coast with a satisfied feeling of not leaving anything behind.
Venture Out (Shelter Island, NY)
Gliding onto our list first is Venture Out in Shelter Island, New York.
This company makes it to our list of Top 10 Wildlife Tours due to its unique location on the east coast. Shelter Island is a town and island at the eastern end of Long Island in New York. Surrounded completely by water, the island only holds a population of around 2,400 people. To get to the island by car, travelers must take a ferry in order to reach its shores.
The inaccessibility of the island and small population make Venture Out’s tour one to be remembered! Beginner lessons are included if they are needed for any novice paddlers. But once the land lesson is taken care of, paddlers are ushered into the water where they will make their way around the island seeing the vast array of wildlife as well as receive a lesson on the history of the island.
In addition, participants will make their way along beautiful creeks close to the island where the tour guide will capture fun photos and videos of the group.
Perfect Paddles highly recommends this unique tour where paddlers will be able to see the wildlife native to the shores of Shelter Island as well as learn about a unique part of history most visitors have never heard of.
Moku Loa Paddle Tribe (Oakdale, NY)
Next on our list is the team at Moku Loa Paddle Tribe.
While they may not offer a traditional Wildlife Tour, they make up for it with their Wednesday night social paddles and tours around Connetquot River, where paddlers can meet up with fellow adventure seekers, improve their paddling skills and make new friends which may extend farther than even spending time on the water.
As a bonus, paddling around one of the longest rivers on Long Island, Connetquot River, participants can expect to see various bird species chirping in the trees, eagles, and plenty of trout splashing through the shallow waves.
Perfect Paddles suggests spending a Wednesday evening with Moku Loa to enhance your paddling skills, learn about the surrounding wildlife in the river, and meet new friends.
Flow Paddle (Red Bank, NJ)
Located on the Jersey Shore in Red Bank, Flow Paddle offers participants a chance to paddle with expert guides in either Wildlife Tours or a Sunset Tour.
Flow Paddle makes it onto our list due to the added benefit of offering vacationers a concierge service where they pick up participants at your hotel or Airbnb and bring you and your board directly to the river for your lesson and tour.
This experience is only sweetened by the fact that you will be led by highly trained SUP specialists who will get you comfortable on a board in no time. From there, the group will be pointed in the right direction while the guides give background information on all this Jersey Shore as well as the various plant, animal and additional wildlife native to its waters.
This may include various gull species, eagles, osprey, stingrays, harmless sand sharks, as well as trout and other fish species swimming through the waters.
Besides their wonderful tours, Flow Paddles pickup service is an experience not to be passed up as most companies do not offer such a deal. Perfect Paddles highly recommends spending an afternoon exploring the Jersey Shore with Flow Paddle!
The Kayak Foundation (Brooklyn, NY)
The Kayak Foundation comes up next on our list of places to experience a Wildlife Tour in the New York area.
Despite their name, this company also offers a full-service SUP Wildlife and City tour which every paddler should take advantage of.
With a home base in beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park, participants can see views of the city and its wildlife from a completely unique perspective. Shooting into New York Harbor, groups keep close to the shore to avoid boat traffic, while seeing the sights of the city.
If the abundant wildlife of various avian species or aquatic creatures are not visible, as part of their tour, groups are guided to the busy New York shore where they can take a break, grab food, and explore the city. See a different kind of wildlife by getting lost on the city streets!
From there, paddlers will make their way around various parts of Governor’s Island, seeing the unique architecture and then back to the safe shores of where the tour started.
The best word Perfect Paddles can use to describe this tour is- unique! See the wildlife and city streets in New York to create memories which may last a lifetime!
Paddle Diva (East Hampton, NY)
Gliding onto our list next is Paddle Diva in East Hampton, New York.
Offering SUP experiences on Long Island, Paddle Diva provides beginner lessons for the novice and refresher tips for the experienced paddler before making their way onto the exciting waters surrounding the city.
As a unique twist, most instructors are women, making it much easier and comfortable for young and older women alike to get on the water and feel welcome to do so.
Of course, Paddle Diva offers lessons, rentals, and tours for men and children too, and once the lessons are taken care of, the tour begins.
Labeled an Adventure Tour, these offerings start at 9:30 in the morning and last until around noon. Taking place in various locations these tours include a point-to-point Three Bay trip from Shagwong Marina in Three Mile Harbor to Accabonac Harbor by way of Gardiner’s Bay. This trip includes a loop around Wood Tick Island and past rocks which are often open to a variety of water birds.
Other tours include Noyak Bay Explorations, a fast down-wind run from Lazy Point to Montauk, a Gardiner’s Island Paddle which involves a short boat ride to explore the ruins of the old artillery forst along the wester-most edge of the island and a Shelter Island round trip similar to the one offered by Venture Out.
Due to the vast array of options, paddlers will be able to pick and choose what adventure they are seeking and see plenty of wildlife along the way. Perfect Paddles recommends Paddle Divas if you are looking for unique options to experience on a SUP with highly qualified instructors!
Manhattan Kayak + SUP (Manhattan, NY)
Making its way next onto our list is Manhattan Kayak and SUP!
Offering three different tours, participants will make their way onto the famous Hudson River in New York City where they can expect to see tremendous views and various forms of wildlife living alongside the tremendous population in the city.
All three trips are recommended solely for paddlers with some experience as the Hudson River can often be busy but also windy and changes with a sweeping tide.
If you meet the requirements, paddlers can choose from a Sinatra Beach tour where they can expect to see various bird species, crabs, oysters, as the group makes their way across the river and into Hoboken to see famous hangouts as well as the home of Frank Sinatra.
The next choice is a sushi trip where paddlers can expect to end up in one of the many famous sushi shops found in NY. And while this tour may be an interesting option, it does not meet our requirements for this Wildlife Tour list.
Which leads us to the third option- a Training and Wildlife Tour paddle. It is here where paddlers will be able to see the wildlife the city has to offer because groups are expected to follow each other under the open sky, allowing the tidal currents to take them wherever they may end.
Just be sure you are an experienced paddler before taking this option as fighting the tide and current on the way back can be difficult!
Due to their unique offerings and incredible location, Manhattan Kayak and SUP ends up as one of the top choices to experience a Wildlife Tour in New York and the surrounding areas!
Resilience Adventures (Hoboken, NJ)
Ok, so now we have made it to our last Wildlife Tour in the New York area, and it belongs to Resilience Adventures located in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Why do they make it onto our list you ask? Well, that’s simple- their options!
Offering paddlers a complete experience of the area, Resilience Adventures has tours which include a State of Liberty SUP tour, what they call a Frying Pan SUP tour, Intrepid Cross River SUP tour, Brooklyn Red Hook SUP Tour, Governor’s Island tour, and a Manhattan Moonrise SUP tour.
Due to their far-reaching options, Resilience Adventures provides vacationers with the most unique offerings to be had on a SUP.
Of course, if you are looking for a nature and Wildlife Tour, then the Governor’s Island Tour will quench the thirst of any nature junky as the small island houses beautiful trees, lush grasses, and plenty of opportunities to spot crabs, oysters, clams, and a variety of water-dwelling birds.
Outside of that tour though, to really get the feel for the city and all it has to offer, the other tours are more accessible to the city as well as the natural world surrounding it.
Perfect Paddles highly recommends Resilience Adventures for the action junky looking for plenty of options to experience wildlife, the city, and everything in between on a SUP!
Paddleworks (Manasquan, NJ)
The next shop on our list is Paddleworks located in Manasquan, NJ.
The Jersey Shore has become famous for its beautiful beaches, bustling nightlife, and generous food offerings. The simple coastline offers paddlers a calming backdrop to any SUP tour you may choose on your next vacation.
Paddleworks comes in at number ten due to its convenient location and its vast array of options regarding getting on a SUP.
While they offer basic beginner lessons and up to 4-hour rentals, they also take paddlers on guided tours through the abundant waterways found along the Jersey Shore.
It is on these guided tours where participants can expect to see various ocean-dwelling birds such as pelicans and gulls, but also the occasional sea ray or harmless sand shark, if they keep their eyes peeled and are lucky!
Paddleworks is operated by highly skilled instructors and guides, ensuring your trip to the Jersey Shore will be one to be remembered!
South-End Surf N’ Paddle (Beach Haven, NJ)
South-End Surf N’ Paddle is in Beach Haven, New Jersey where paddlers can experience a different are of the Jersey Shore while paddling through the vast marina, gazing at docked boats and the natural world around them.
Tour participants are guided around Mordecai Island where they will spend two hours seeing the sights and witnessing various forms of wildlife such as turtles popping their heads up as participants paddle by, stingrays swishing along underneath and birds nesting in the trees along the shore.
This relaxed tour around the island is perfect for beginners, experienced paddlers, and families to enjoy an outing together in the warm summer sun. South-End makes it onto our list for their accessibility for all skill levels and ages. Perfect Paddles recommends checking them out if you find yourself in the Beach Haven area!
Pocono Paddle Board and Fitness (Lake Harmony, PA)
Moving farther inland and away from the shore, next on our list is Pocono Paddle Board and Fitness.
The tours are held on the serene shores of Lake Harmony in Pennsylvania where paddlers will be led through a beginner lesson before heading onto the open waters of the lake.
Once they are comfortable on the boards, tour guide will lead them through a two and a half hour tour around the beautiful shores of Lake Harmony where they can expect to see Bald Eagles, various species of deer, and the occasional fresh water fish if they make their way to the shallow, clear parts of the lake.
In addition, tour guides will provide paddlers with historical facts of the lake while guiding them through the calm, relaxing waters under a hot sun.
Pocono Paddle Board and Fitness makes it to our top list due to its unique location, expert guides, and picturesque lake. This is a must have experience if you find yourself in the Pocono area.
New York is one of the most exceptional places on planet Earth. Due to its location and extensive city, visitors can experience both the noise and excitement of the bright lights as well as the natural world a few hours west from the shores of the Hudson River.
Take a trip down south and the famous Jersey Shore offers vacationers a chance to see beautiful beaches teeming with wildlife, excellent fishing, and plenty of chances to stand on a SUP and explore.
It is our hope at Perfect Paddles that we may guide you in the right direction for which activities you are searching for to experience on a SUP. New York and the surrounding areas are worth understanding and exploring and by standing on a SUP and partaking in a tour of both the wildlife and city, paddlers will be assured of experiencing all the area has to offer. But if you are still not sure what company or outfitter to contact, sign up for our membership, shoot us a message, and we will happily point you in the right direction- before and after you get on the water!