Luke Kornbluh contributes:
Ran this section on July 26, 2009 with the Bloomsbury gauge at 1.5 feet. The water was very low but we had some conflicting beta and decided to try it anyway. We scraped over a lot of stuff, but as some in our group were novices without full gear it made an appropriate destination. The mile or so following the second pair of railroad tunnels contains the most action. Experienced whitewater paddlers will be underwhelmed. Although the 200-yard rock garden at the heart of this section would be delightful at higher levels, it is all too short and doesn't justify the long flat sections before and after. It would probably be more accurate to say that this run is Class C to I with maybe two or three very short Class-II drops. This run appears to get none of the traffic of the popular flatwater rivers in the Pine Barrens.
Other Information Sources:
https://www.musconetcong.org/ Muscenotcong Watershed Association
There is so much more of the Musconetcong that is not described on the AW site. I ran the section between Route 31 (Hampton) and Bloomsbury today 7/25/20 and had hoped to contribute a separate description of that section to this site for the general good--but the process for doing that is so undecipherable that I am going to just append that info to this section description. Put-in was via a gravel parking space at the river end of Park Drive, just downstream of Route 31 in Hampton. Taking the Gertler guidebook minimum of 1.8 ft. gauge--we were taking a chance on this at 1.5 ft. gauge (about 110 CFS or less). And yet, we WERE able to run this for the most part at the given level, with virtually no wading. Per the Gertler guidebook, this run is about 8.5 miles long. We took 4 hours to run it at this low level. There are MANY stone fishing weirs along this stretch--and our boats took plenty of rock hits crossing them. The scenery is gorgeous and I just want to encourage people that it CAN be run under Gertler's gauge of 1.8--and it still has plenty of fun Class I riffles. Biggest hassle is the significant portage in Asbury. Take the muddy exit river-right, before the bridge and weir, go through the Muscontcong Watershed Association property, cross Main St. , go down Mill Ave. and take the trail back down to the river. Our group encountered no strainers that couldn't easily be run around. More water would have been good and would have made all those stone fish weirs go SO much easier.
Ran this section 7/14/20 on another cheap-boat-adventure. Gauge level was approx. 1.7 @ Limekiln Rd. (150 CFS) at the time, five days after 4 inches of rain fell in one day. Probably was just enough thin water going over Bloomsbury dam to run it, but wasn't sure my WMart kayak could take the "kicker" bottom and opted to launch just below old mill bldg. Second (25 ft.) dam in Musconetcong Gorge is unrunnable, still diverting some flow to canal on left. Take out near canal gate and carry dirt road 300 ft. to path on right, down to base of dam. From there, boulders and chutes follow--every bit of Class 2+ and strainers mixed in, but runnable. To update Gertler guidebook--the "eight-foot weir" (Hughesville Dam) in Warren Glen, just below Rt. 519 has been completely removed with stretch leading to it from the bridge restructured with two runnable boulder garden drops. (No water being diverted there for lower paper mill--which is now leveled.) Class 1+ riffles continue below Rt. 519; so do strainers/log jams. Gertler wrote of "dangerous weir" under Finesville bridge, but that has been removed (2011) and that rapid is now runnable. Below Finesville, river occasionally braids with some channels blocked by wood debris--stay sharp. In particular, there is one point where river widens to several channels--but all are blocked by strainer jams. Boats can be dragged over sandbar/island to re-enter deepest channel on river-right. Strainers demand attention throughout this run, but I never saw any of the "spikes" Gertler warned about in any of the weirs. Beautiful scenery, remote-feeling, bald eagle, osprey. Taken altogether, this is an adventure--come prepared.
Don't know why the site recommends the gauge at the outlet of Lake Hopatcong NJ. This gauge USGS 01457000 Musconetcong River near Bloomsbury NJ ... well it's in Bloomsbury and as close to the section this page is about. I ran this today. Discharge:180 cfs
Stage:1.79 ft. Would do again at this level. Scrapped a little. Ran both dams. the one in Bloomsbury and the one top of the gorge. Run the gorge dam a little right of center, for the smoother part. Its a 20' + slide with a kick at the end. The fun section is just to the end of the gorge so find a take out closer than the delaware.
Ran this section on July 26, 2009 with the Bloomsbury gauge at 1.5 feet. The water was very low but we had some conflicting beta and decided to try it anyway. We scraped over a lot of stuff, but as some in our group were novices without full gear it made an appropriate destination. The mile or so following the second pair of railroad tunnels contains the most action. Experienced whitewater paddlers will be underwhelmed. Although the 200 yard rock garden at the heart of this section would be delightful at higher levels it is all too short and doesn't justify the long flat sections before and after. It would probably be more accurate to say that this run is Class C to I with maybe two or three very short Class II drops.
As for this being a popular New Jersey run it appears to get none of the traffic of the popular flatwater rivers in the Pine Barrens.
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