Hudson - 1. Indian River to North River

Hudson, New York, US


1. Indian River to North River (Hudson Gorge)

Usual Difficulty III-IV (for normal flows)
Length 14 Miles

Otter slide on Indian Creek

Otter slide on Indian Creek
Photo of Simon Wiles by Cheryl Robinson

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01315500 2.80 - 8.50 ft III-IV 01h45m 4.72 ft (running)

River Description

This section of the Hudson river runs through the remote Hudson River Gorge. If you are not sure you can handle Class-IV water you should not even begin this trip, as a hike out is at least 3 miles up and out of the Gorge. With that being said, the trip actually starts out on the Indian River by way of a dam release which usually only runs from 10:00 AM until 11:30. As of spring 2013 the releases happen only on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.  As a result of recent acquisitions of property NY State now owns the former Gooley Club lands, and it will soon be possible to drive down Chain Lakes Road to the confluence, making it possible to put in directly on the Hudson when there is no release on the Indian.

There is a great Class-IV to IV+ warmup on the Indian if you start below the dam, which is higher than the raft putin. The Indian is an interesting and challenging river because of its continuous nature. For all intents and purposes, the river is continuous Class III+ with one break in the middle for 3 straight miles. Usually the correct path is somewhat in the center. However, there are several holes which are in the center, which force the paddler to the left or right.

Once on the Hudson, you will have several Class-III rapids to paddle. However, once you notice the tall cliffs on river right be prepared for harder rapids. For the next four miles the river will try to teach you a lesson in paddling (or a rolling clinic if you have the wrong line). There are a number of pourovers as well as holes and waves. Once you see the railroad bridge you have made it through the hardest part. About the only thing left is a ledge called Greyhound Bus Stop, which is a river-wide ledge with a sneak route on extreme river left. There is a small chute somewhere around river center. Be careful, however, because the wrong route will result in a quick lesson in side-surfing (or windowshading as the case may be). After this ledge you face a 3-mile flatwater paddle to the takeout.



Eastern Adirondacks Reaches

Ausable, E. Branch                             Ausable, W. Branch (1.)                  Ausable, W. Branch (2.)                     Balm of Gilead Brook 

Boquet (2.)                                         Boquet (3.)                                        Boquet, N. Branch                           Boquet, S. Branch   

Boreas (1.)                                         Branch, The (Boquet trib.)                 Branch, The (Schroon trib.)               Cedar (1.) 

Cedar (2.)                                          Cold                                                   Deer Creek (Hudson Trib.)                Glen Creek

Hague Brook                                     Hudson (0.)                                         Hudson (1. Indian River to North River)             Hudson (2. North River to Riparius)

Hudson (3. Riparius to the Glen)         Indian (Hudson trib.)                         John's Brook                                     La Chute 

Mettawee                                          Mill Creek (Essex County)                    Mill Creek (Hudson trib.)                   North Creek 

Pike Brook                                         Poultney                                            Putnam Creek                                   Raquette (1.) 

Rock River                                         Schroon (North Hudson to Schroon Falls)            Schroon (Starbuckville to Riverbank)     Schroon (Warrensburg to Thurman Station)

Squaw Brook                                      Styles Brook                                     Thirteenth Brook                                Trout brook (Schroon trib)                    

West Mill Brook

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StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2016-04-08 17:37:12


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
6.0The NarrowsIV

Rapid Descriptions

The Narrows (Class IV, Mile 6.0)
Once you pass Blue Ledges you will pass a wave train on the right (excellent place to surf) then the river will narrow significantly and turn right. The paddle route is center with a sneak route to the right. A nasty hole is on river left that you would do well to avoid.

Givneys (Class IV, Mile 9.0)
The river makes a sharp right turn as it drops into Givneys rapids. Be very careful of the swirling currents at the top of the river. Begin the rapids in river center but immediately proceed to the left to avoid "soup strainer" which is a huge hole/pourover that extends out to river center. Immediately after you pass soup strainer quickly move back to center as there is another serious hole just below and on the left that extends out to the center of the river. If you are adventurous you may want to use the eddy on river left to examine soup strainer but make sure you have the ability to ferry back to river center. In high water this is very difficult. I have been told that there is a sneak route down river right that weaves back and forth but can not confirm. Again, if you decide to use the sneak route make sure to avoid soup strainer.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
October 12 2012 (1924 days ago)
Jmerk23 (154905)
Ran this at 4.5 ish feet recently. If your like us and going read and run for ur first run watch
out for widowmaker a nasty keeper hole in the center left of the river at the top of the narrows.
It has a really strong strong re circulation with almost no foam. There is a huge pillow in front
of it it's easy to see just don't mistake it for a good boof like we did. I managed to get out but
it was extremely difficult.
May 15 2012 (2073 days ago)
david meyerDetails
We went to run this on Monday, 05/14/2012, all the info we could find including the sign at the dam
indicated that the Indian River would be releasing from 10 to 11:30 - there was a truck at the dam
but we got no release, we had to bump down the Indian, a real bummer. Looks to me like they are
only releasing on days when the rafting companies have trips scheduled.
December 10 2009 (2961 days ago)
Alex BarhamDetails
I have run this river many many times with levels from bone dry to 9ft on the gauge, and find this
to be completely hyped up. In reality with the exception of Soup Strainer and Otter-Slide there is
little above a III on this river. Most of this run is read and run relatively easy moves. The left
side "sneak" line on Grey Hound is huge, and the one on the right is easy if you eddy hop down or
hug the shore. In many cases there are pools below the larger drops to collect swimers, but there
are rapids that would be a bit more of a challenge especially as you are getting worn out towards
the end of the day. If you don't know where to go follow the rafts, otherwise enjoy a NY classic
read and run III/IV with characteristic long flatwater stretches.
August 27 2007 (3796 days ago)
Mark ZakDetails
Is anyone interested in the upper Indian downstream of the dam and abover the Otter Slide. Last
time I was on the reach I remember some big surfing waves above the otter slide. Does anyone have
some beta on these waves and is anything eddy accessible?
April 20 2005 (4655 days ago)
Norm StauntonDetails
I can confirm the river-right "sneak" in Giveny's below 5 feet. The line hugs the right
shore, way right of Soup Strainer. There are a few nice hits which are easily avoided or run, your
choice. This line is definately easier than the center-left-center line and is probably advisable
for newer paddlers. Above 5 feet the line is still there, but the hits become much bigger. Your
choice where to go.

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