Photo Credit Lyrinda Snyderman
The captivating photos and photos were photographed by Lyrinda Snyderman. (Photo of Lyrindia photographed by Bill Brackin.)
Lyrinda Snyderman began kayaking in 1954 when her uncle sat her in his FolBot on Squibnocket Pond in Chilmark, Massachusetts. In 1971, she bought her first kayak, a two-seater folding Klepper Aerius. Since then Lyrinda has paddled rivers, lakes and ponds, bays and seacoasts, primarily in New England and California. Read full bio View Lyrinda's entire photo journal: Lyrinda Snyderman Bio
Napa River Canoe, Kayak, SUP & Kayak Fishing Information
Are you looking for an unforgettable paddling adventure? Look no further. The lower seventeen miles of the Napa River, from Trancas Street in Napa to Vallejo, including about six miles inside the city limits of Napa, are part of the most significant estuary system on the west coast. The Napa River is one of the largest Central Coast Range Rivers draining 426 sq. miles on its 50 mile journey from Mt. St. Helena to the San Pablo Bay.
At one time, a dense canopy of riparian habitat dominated by cottonwoods and willows lined the river's upper reaches. For the most part, the forest bordering the riparian zone is gone and the remaining vegetation dotting the landscape exists only in the channel.
The Napa River provides a peaceful, picturesque setting, for a pleasant paddle with warmer weather than you'll find anywhere else on the water this close to San Francisco. Napa River’s waterways provide a scenic setting for exploration. In addition to beautiful views, kayakers can paddle almost any time of year. Finding a kayak destination with the right weather conditions always makes the paddling outing more enjoyable. Spring and early summer wildflower displays bring even more color to the landscape. Both birds and wildflowers are abundant, with spring blooms providing splotches of brilliant color in the clearings.
The put-in at J.R. Kennedy Park runs along the Napa River. The 350 acre park includes picnic areas, a public boat launch, and restroom facilities. Parking is free. In addition to flat water kayaking, the JR Kennedy Park offers a variety of other outdoor experiences including walking and bicycling trails, and picnicking, but there aren’t any camping facilities. The nearest camping facility is located at Pleasure Cove Marina Steele Canyon Campground at 1605 Steele Canyon Rd, Napa, CA 94558 Ph: 707 966-9192
Whitewater kayaking and rafting can also be enjoyed on the upper section of river from St. Helena to Napa in the summer months. The lower section of the Napa River from Napa to San Pablo Bay has excellent flatwater opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, and motor boating.
Once you launch from JR Kennedy Park, in a few strokes, you will leave all your troubles behind. As you paddle upriver, there's a plethora of shorebirds and waterfowl flying by in the distance. Wildlife lovers have a special treat awaiting them. A variety of wildlife also makes its home in the area, including muskrats, raccoons, deer, gray fox and bobcats.
After about an hour you will pass by the Imola Avenue Bridge where you may catch a glimpse of swallows fortifying their mud nests from river bank clay. After a little over an hour, you’ll pass by Third Street Bridge which demarks the beginning to downtown Napa where a beach is formed on the north side of the bend.
The paddle upriver from JR Kennedy Park winds through tidal marshland, to Oxbow Preserve, a nature preserve in the city of Napa. Oxbow Preserve gives kayakers rare access to river habitat. The park is a very popular fishing spot. Striped bass fishing are hitting the best with white swimbaits or anchovies from August through October. It is about a 3 mile paddle one-way from J.R. Kennedy to Oxbow Preserve.