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Parking was no problem but we did had to carry the kayak thru the park to the water down a deep embankment. The worst part is the mess in the grass from the geese. Probably it would have been better to park on the south side of the park closest to the bridge on Corlies Ave as the ground was flatter there and easier to put in although there were cut off tree branches or roots barely under water there.
We had put in at the steeper northern side of the park but returned just under the bridge. The day was great but you need to check out Yahoo maps before you start or you won't know all the branches of the lake and where to find them.
If you head north from the put in, the water turns to the left and ends in very shallow water with Deal Golf Course on the right. Turning around and traveling under the bridge, there is a tributary to the right that dead ends, but the one straight ahead that eventually looks like a dead end goes under a railroad trestle to the left then past a water fountain in the lake and a restaurant on the left, under a bridge then into the main part of Deal Lake which is quite wide. Paddling east you go under another bridge and end with I believe Loch Arbor on your left, the tall buildings of Asbury Park on your right, and a low wall and road separating you from the beach and ocean in front of you heading east. There is a spillway to the left out into the ocean but there is a fence over it to keep you out. There are low spots along the wall where you could get out and stretch your legs if you want to.
Turning around and heading west, this time we stayed to the left (south) side of the lake passing back under the two bridges, and again when it looked like a dead end, there was another narrow railroad trestle on the extreme south end of the lake straight ahead and this is where the boat ramp is and on the other side of the trestle the water widens with beautiful homes along both sides. Ahead there are two branches to the lake. The one to the left is longer but they are both very scenic but they dead end and you have to turn around and paddle back to go under the trestle, turn left, and go back past the fountain and under the other trestle to find your way back to the start.
It is a nice day of paddling, but check out the map of the lake before you start or make a copy and bring it with you if you can keep it dry. Enjoy the trip and have fun.
YakCatcher Rod Holder