My favorite place to go kayaking in the Meadowlands is an out-of-the-way place called the Kearny Marsh, tucked away between Schuyler Avenue, the Belleville Pike and Bergen Avenue.
The 310-acre fresh-water marsh, which includes plenty of open water and splendid views of Manhattan, is also a world apart.
Kearny resident Ron Shields explores the marsh often in his 11-foot-long ocean kayak, documenting his finds with a Canon 50D digital camera, and he knows these wetlands about as well as the resident Great Egrets do.
Ron, the longtime principal of Harrison High School, says: “This is my third year kayaking the Kearny Marsh and it's still as exciting as ever. The main reason I kayak here is the sense of discovery one experiences. Most of the time, you're there alone. and the sense of isolation one encounters (especially given the skylines Newark and New York City) is amazing.”
One of the main attractions, according to Ron, is finding the beauty in things that most people overlook. “Whether it's photographing a bald eagle within the site of the turnpike, watching a peregrine falcon strafe a flock of shorebirds or encountering a belligerent common moorhen protecting her young, the wonders of the Kearny Marsh still give me reason to pause,” says Ron.