Boating in New York City (NYC): Everything You Need to Know
People love the Big Apple for its skyscrapers, gigantic hotdogs — and its water! Ready to know what the water in New York City and Upstate New York has to offer? We’ve gathered locations in the city and upstate for your next boating adventure!
Four Best Places to Boat Around NYC
- World’s Fair Marina, Flushing Bay, Queens
- Bayside Marina, Little Neck Bay, Queens
- Lemon Creek, Prince’s Bay, Staten Island
- Dyckman Marina Ramp, Manhattan
World’s Fair Marina in Flushing Bay, Queens
Originally built for the World’s Fair, this building holds a boat launch and an event hall to host the World’s Fair and more. Several seabirds frequent the area, and many people choose to fish the ramps. Parking is free, and the views are good. You can immediately see into Flushing Bay, and it’s a quick trip north to see Rikers Island, East River, Little Neck Bay, and Execution Rocks Lighthouse.
Since this is a conveniently central location, it’s easy to travel west to Upper and Lower Bays between NYC and Jersey City or venture northeast to see the northern side of Long Island or the southern borders of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.
Here’s the address: 1 Marina Rd, Queens, NY 11368
Bayside Marina in Little Neck Bay, Queens
The Bayside Marina hangs out west of Little Neck Bay. It offers good access to City Island, Execution Rocks Lighthouse, Rikers Island, Little Bay, with views of Throgs Neck Bridge and Whitestone Bridge.
Here’s the address: 28-05 Cross Island Pkwy, Queens, NY 11360
Lemon Creek in Prince’s Bay, Staten Island
This boat launch is on the southeast end of Staten Island. It is part of Prince’s Bay but provides close and easy access to Raritan Bay, Sandy Hook Bay, Gravesend Bay, Lower Bay, Jamaica Bay, Redbank Beach, and the New York/New Jersey Blight. It also connects to the Atlantic Ocean.
Here’s the address: 275-205 Bayview Ave, Staten Island, NY 10309
Dyckman Marina Ramp in Manhattan
Dyckman Marina Ramp sits between Inwood Hill Park and Fort Tryon Park in Manhattan, close to the Henry Hudson Bridge and the Spuyten Duyvil Creek. You can launch into the Hudson River, directly across from Hudson Park in New Jersey.
You will find excellent views of the George Washington Bridge and the Palisades. A small beach area is adjacent to the ramps for sunbathing, wading, or swimming. Some people visit this area to enjoy the views. During the summer, it is common for street vendors to serve the area near the marina.
Here’s the address: 348 Dyckman St, New York, NY 10034.
Boating Next to the City (New Jersey)
Liberty State Park Boat Launch in Jersey City, New Jersey
Exciting! While this ramp is technically in (Upper Bay) New Jersey, it is mere feet away from New York City. What else is unique about this launch is its proximity to the Statue of Liberty; it is about a third of a mile away.
After launching from this ramp, you can easily see the Statue of Liberty, the Upper Bay, Jersey City, the Manhattan Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, Governors Island, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, the Hudson River, East River, and other noteworthy sites.
Here’s the address: 275 Morris Pesin Dr, Jersey City, NJ 07305
Five Best Lakes to Boat in Upstate New York
- Lake Ontario
- Oneida Lake
- Skaneateles Lake
- Saranac Lake
- Otsego Lake
New York shares Lake Ontario, one of the five Great Lakes, with Canada’s Ontario. It is 4.6 million acres and offers 712 miles of shoreline.
Be sure to check out Wolfe Island and the Thousand Islands at the mouth of St. Lawrence River on the lake’s northeast end.
The Niagara River flows from Lake Ontario into Lake Erie in the southwest region.
If you’re looking for a large, boat-friendly city, head to Toronto! Many restaurants, shops, parks, and more are accessible by boat or dockside and provide seemingly endless exploration and entertainment opportunities.
Put in at Hidden Harbour Campground and Marina. You’ll be able to explore the eastern side of the lake from here easily.
You can find it at 4813 Hidden Harbor Rd, Three Mile Bay, NY 13693.
Oneida is just eighteen miles northeast of Syracuse, NY, and forty-three miles southeast of Oswego (right next to Lake Ontario). It is famous for boat anglers but a tough lake to navigate because it is so shallow and hazardous. The average depth is 22 feet, and the deepest point is 55 feet. It encompasses over fifty thousand acres and offers over 77 miles of shoreline for boat enthusiasts and water lovers alike. This lake also gets a lot of wind, making the water white, choppy, and full of waves.
During the summer, people fish from boats, and during the winter, it is a popular spot for ice fishing. Walleye, yellow perch, blackmouth bass, and largemouth bass are the most popular species in the lake.
You can find Oneida Lake South Shore Fishing Access and Boat Ramp at the end of Bush Road, right off Highway 31 in Madison County, New York.
This lake sits near the Finger Lakes and is a popular hotspot for sailboats due to the frequent winds and open water. In addition to sailboats, you’ll likely find yachts, cruisers, speedboats, pontoons, and fishing boats here. Many people use the water as unfiltered drinking water.
The town of Skaneateles sits on the far northern end of the lake, right on HWY 20. This town is very boat-accessible and boat friendly with a large pier, waterside parks, restaurants, and hotels by the water. You will also find several country clubs on the north side of the lake. One of the best launches for this area is DEC Boat Launch at Nys Boat Launch Fire Ln 15, Skaneateles, NY 13152.
The south end is heavily wooded and much more quiet and serene. For this end of the lake, use Scott Boat Launch at 7343 Fair Haven Rd, Homer, NY 13077.
You can find the 2014-acre Saranac Lake in the beautiful Adirondacks. This lake has many little islands, sandy beaches, 360-degree panoramic views, and quaint Victorian-style cottages.
About 150 years ago, this lake, and the front porches of those adorable houses, were used to attempt to treat tuberculosis. Fresh, clean air was supposed to cure TB. This is also where Adirondack chairs were created and became popular. These chairs were designed to “open” the chest so breathing would be easier for TB sufferers.
Thanks to a launch right in the middle of town and dozens of parks and downside docks, you can walk off Main Street and onto your boat. You can also access the town’s farmer’s market by boat!
You can find the Lake Flower Boat Launch in the middle of the town of Saranac Lake at 106-112 River St, Saranac Lake, NY 12983.
Otsego Lake, or Glimmerglass Lake, is surrounded by rolling foothills of the Catskill Mountains and the quiet town of Cooperstown. This area is wonderful during the fall when the trees change color, allowing the lake to reflect these deep, vibrant hues of autumn colors.
This 4,046-acre lake with a maximum depth of 167 feet (and an average depth of 82 feet) was created by glaciers approximately 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. It is used for clean drinking water, boating, recreation, and fishing.
One of the best access points is Lake Front Park, at the south point of the lake.
You can find it at 24 Lake St, Cooperstown, NY 13326.