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From the put in on Bestpitch Road turning to the right you come to “the canal” in approximately 1/4 mile. By using the canal you can make a loop on the Transquaking of approximately 6 miles. On this day, using two Tarpon 160i SOT’s, we chose to turn right into the canal and in about 1/2 mile where it connected to the Transquaking again, to turn left and begin the loop in that direction.
The Transquaking is a shallow tidal river which runs through marsh grasses which in places appear to stretch to the horizon. In mid May there was very little wildlife and the river was often shallow. At low tide be careful of the mud flats.
After approximately 3 miles through the marsh there will be several islands on the right with hardwood forests. Reference books indicate these are still part of tribal lands and one should be respectful of any items found. We chose to take a brief stop on one of the islands to stretch our legs. The bugs, which had not been an issue on the river, found us immediately. Taking a break on these islands is not practical once the weather turns warm.
Continuing to paddle along the edge of the islands, we suddenly spotted a pair of bald eagles, one in the distance and its mate sitting in a tree directly above where we were now floating. They obviously had a nest in one of the trees and watching them soar was the highlight of this trip. At certain times of the year this area is probably full of wildlife, but by mid-May most had left the area.
An alternate trip is to use the canal to head downriver on the Transquaking to Fishing Bay proper which is approximately 5 miles. On a weekday in May we saw no boats or people paddling through this area.
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles