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Lake Surprise - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Day Trip Report
Trip Dates: June 28, 2006
Nearest City: Union, NJ
Difficulty: Easy
Submitted by: Jim Johnson


Lake Surprise is in the Watchung Reservation

My wife and I learned of this lake from this website despite living many years only ten miles away. On our first visit (6/22/06)it seemed choked with weeds but a pleasant walk along it showed nice, open spots.

Our second visit four days later had us about to unload our canoe and a county police officer pulled up and informed us we needed a boat permit. We made the ten mile trip to the town of Elizabeth, Union County Administration building, paid the one time fee ($10 in county resident; $20 out of county) and returned to the lake.

The north end of the lake is weed choked and looks unpassable; the south end, about 3/4 of a mile long is a very pleasant launch and canoe paddle. It is a lovely wooded setting and seems promising for anyone wishing to fish. Several persons were fishing from shore.

The lake is posted as being 17 acres, a mile long, and average depth 3.7 feet, maximum depth 8 feet.


Yes, see above.


Exit 45 on I-78 east is a half mile north of the lake entrance. Exit 43 west is 2 miles west of the lake. Main local road is Glenside Avenue.

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