The best way to explore the western bays of the south shore is by kayak, canoe or stand up paddleboard. With an understanding of your skills, and an eye to the tides and weather conditions, even beginners and families can experience the beautiful scenery and wildlife of the South Shore Blueway. For advanced or expert kayakers, there are plenty of challenging full day adventures, multi-bay routes across inlets and ocean kayak surfing. From health benefits to stress relief and more, paddling is an activity with endless benefits for people of all ages and abilities.
Long before Europeans arrived on Long Island, Native Americans navigated its waters fishing and travelling by kayak and canoe for thousands of years. Today, visitors can explore East, Middle and West Hempstead Bays and South Oyster Bay, each has its own unique characteristics and habitat. There is abundant wildlife—blue herons, snowy egrets and nesting osprey. Sweep through salt marsh islands on quiet creeks and channels where migrating birds nest, harbor seals haul out and the tiny Bayhouses of shellfishers stand on stilts above the wetlands. Land on a secluded beach or combine your paddle with hiking a nature trail or biking the Jones Beach Greenway. Paddle and dine on locally caught steamers at a waterside seafood shack or catch your own kayak fishing for over 49 species.