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Difficulty II+
Length 0 Miles
Flow Range 400 - 1200 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 99.3 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 07/03/2020 3:46 pm

River Description

This regional gem has regularly scheduled recreational releases, and frequent power releases from Rio Dam. For the release schedule, see Eagle Creek's Release Schedule.

Releases are 1 tube or barrel (about 500 cfs) and 2 tube (~1000 cfs).  1 tube requires more maneuvering but has less push making it easier for the less experienced. 2 covers a lot more of the rocks but gives holes and drops more power.  According to an Eagle Creek employee, standard 2 tube policy is to start 1 tube at 10 a.m. and leave 1 tube running till 4 p.m.
As you'd expect with paddlers, opinions vary as to which is best or even easiest. 

Unscheduled Releases

Power releases occur frequently on the Rio Reach.  
As of June 2020, Eagle creek has started posting the day ahead generation forecast at Rio on the Mongaup at As of July 2020 these have been completely accurate and are posted between mid-afternoon the day before and sometimes as late as the beginning of the working day the day of. 
Unfortunately for paddlers, power demands are lower on weekends so they seldom have weekend power releases.

The only guidebook description is in Dennis Squires' "New York Exposed: The Whitewater State, Volume 2,", which (on p 140) describes the rapids as "pretty continuous class II and easy class III all the way down to the Delaware."   In general terms, while the gradient is fairly consistent on this reach, the rapids on the second half of the reach (below the lunch spot) are more sustained than on the upper portion. Save some energy for the rapids under the Route 97 bridge, which may be the most difficult on the river, and for the wave train at the confluence with the Delaware. Especially if the Delaware is high boat recovery after the wave train is a pain so think twice before letting beginners run it.

If you still have energy, the Mongaup Wave is a short distance down the Delaware on river right though it ain't what it used to be when enterprising locals might have been modifying the river bed. 

There are several takeouts. The first one is on river right above the Route 97 Bridge, and avoids the Bridge Rapid and also avoids a significant carry as you can bring the car within 50 feet of the river. There is a good takeout along the Delaware above the confluence. To reach it, eddy out on the right at the confluence and head up the left (your right as you face upstream) bank of the Delaware. The takeout is a short distance up on your right. A path leads to the DEC Parking Lot. The takeout for the Mongaup Wave is a sandy beach on the left bank of the Delaware, visible from the wave.

This is not a beginner's run. First-time Mongaup paddlers would be well advised to hook up with friends who've done it before, or make contact with experienced local paddlers on the Lehigh Valley Canoe Club Forum or KCCNY both of which run trips for most releases.

Note that since 9/11, when the Homeland Security Threat Level is orange or red, the gate to the powerhouse/whitewater recreational facility will be locked. Boaters are permitted to carry down to the put-in, but at present there is no parking near the gate. According to Mirant, the previous licensee, "When the threat level is raised to 'Orange' or 'Red,' the gate will be closed to vehicular access although access via foot is permitted."    

The Neighbors

Paddlers should remember that the speed limit on the dirt access road to the put-in is 10 MPH! We urge everyone to obey that limit and to respect the neighbors. We are only there a couple of days a month but they live there. Please show them respect and encourage others to do the same.

Upper Section
Above the powerhouse is about a mile of free flowing river. As part of the relicensing of the Rio Dam on the Mongaup, Eagle Creek released an additional 125 cfs (in addition to the 100 cfs min flow) below the dam on October 27th.  The study was to  tell us whether the bypassed reach is boatable at 250 cfs (the amount they can release with existing equipment). And we determined that though runnable it was too low to be much fun. Significant wood, general class 2 gradient. If they ever get more water in this reach it would be nice if the Mongaup was a bit longer, but until then this stretch is only likely to run when the whole the east coast is flooding and you'll have little challenge then finding better rivers with less wood. 

The Eagles

In order to protect Bald Eagle nesting habitat, kayaking and other activities on the Mongaup are illegal during the winter season. New York State Law prohibits "entering onto the surface of the water or ice on the Mongaup River... or entering the upland surrounding those waters as designated by posted signs from December 1 through March 31". Violation carries a $5,000 fine, and will endanger all boating on the river.
Some phone numbers and web addresses:
Eagle Creek Renewable Energy
Eagle Creek Renewable Energy Phone: (855) 313-ECRE (call to check the status of releases, you may get an actual person).
Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC)1-609-883-9500.
Google Map of New York Whitewater
New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group

Rapid Descriptions

Upper section

Class - N/A Mile - 0
Runs only with quite a bit of rain. In October 2019 AW ran a test of releasing 250csf from the dam to see if that would fit into the re-licensing plan. Something like 30-40 paddlers showed up to participate and report back if that amount of water would be worth releasing.

Powerhouse wave

Class - II Mile - 0
Not a bad surfing wave at 2 barrels but pretty sticky and shallow at 1. Don't be embarrassed by the crowds...give it a try. 
Somewhat challenging to get in. Tons of room to roll up. 

First Drop

Class - N/A Mile - 0.1
Starting at the end of the pool below the powerhouse, a slight left turn which pushes most of the volume against low cliffs on river right. Easiest route is center to right into a huge eddy above the cliffs then right to left into an even huger eddy on left. Some prefer a left line but with that much water pushing against the cliffs....beginners should  stay off the cliffs. 

Canoe Lunch Spot

Class - I Mile - 1.3
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
On river left. Not sure why they stop here but they do.

Boof Rock Lunch Spot

Class - II+ Mile - 1.4
2nd significant drop. River goes left over some low ledges and then drops right and pushes against  low cliffs as it ends in a pool. At the right of the flow at is a protruding boof rock. With 2 barrels aim to hit straight on. Too far right lands you on rocks (at 1 barrel you scrape over).
Easiest line thru the rapids is just left of the boof rock (and right of the main flow) so you don't get pushed up against cliffs.
After the rapids great squirt lines off cliffs. Nice beach at right popular for a short break (and  squirting or attaining can entertain those who don't like to stop).

Island Rapid

Class - II+ Mile - 1.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
Below the pool is an island with most water going right. At 1 barrel you have no choice. At 2 you can go left for a sneak that is a lot like most of the Mongaup at 1 barrel. 
Far right side catches wood. 

Lower Rapid

Class - II+ Mile - 2.1
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
This is the meat of the Mongaup... a fairly continuous 3/4 mile with drops of up to several feet. Fun for experienced paddlers. Very few large eddies. As you'd expect inside of bend is usually a little easier but the entire rapid is gradual enough that an experienced paddler can read and run and choose the smoother lines. For the beginner though things happen pretty quickly and if your not looking very far ahead...

Makeout Takeout (Upper)

Class - N/A Mile - 2.9
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Actually a nice takeout on right above bridge. Sign has been edited. Carry up a steep bank and there's parking for half a dozen vehicles right there. 
Bridge waves rapid can be challenging for a beginner and if the Delaware is high boat and swimmer recovery is a pain as you can easily get carried well below any of the pullouts. 

Bridge Rapid

Class - II Mile - 3
Under the route 97 bridge and into the Delaware. Big waves. Some claim it's the hardest rapid, but it's really just big waves, though at lower levels (1 barrel) there's some rocks not far under the surface in the main flow. Big issue is that if the Delaware is flowing boat recovery is a real pain so....
There's a nice pull out on river right....up a steep embankment but then a much shorter carry. If the Delaware is really flowing this is a nice alternative period. 
Some play at 1 2 it's pretty much a flush. 
Exit river right and paddle up the Delaware to pull outs on river right. Repeat. 

Takeout on the Delaware (Upstream)

Class - N/A Mile - 3.1
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
The upstream takeout is at Zone 18 520250E 4585885N.  It has an NPS sign, and is designed for the convenience of the many rafters on the Upper Delaware.  It does, however, lead to the NYS DEC parking area, where most of us park.

Takeout on the Delaware (Downstream)

Class - Mile - 3.3
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

On the Delaware, the downstream take out is at the confluence on the east side, at about Zone 18 520493E 4586022N.

Beach Takeout

Class - Mile - 3.4
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

This is the same as the takeout for the Mongaup Wave on the Delaware.


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Sam Southgate
5 years ago

2015 release schedule is here:

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Joshua Poston
7 years ago

The under bridge construction at the Route 97 rapid appears to be completed.

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Joshua Poston
7 years ago

All of the websites and numbers have been updated. Safe Paddling Everyone.

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Lauren Cook
12 years ago

Releases will commence, for the first time in nearly 3 years, on April 19!

Gage Descriptions

There was formerly a USGS guage located at the put in.  It has been deactivated for some time, however due to the pending installation of another Turbine, FERC has indicated it would require the guage to be reactivated with internet access available for real time data.  

GAUGE UPDATE: A stick gauge was located in the river at the put in, with color coding. The orange bar is one turbine, the blue bar is two turbines. Flooding in 2004 washed away the stick gauge. You're on your own until it's replaced. Hint: Look at the power plant to see how many turbines are running, then look at the bypass reach, right of the power house outflow as you look upriver, to judge natural flow. To state the obvious, if it looks like one turbine is running, it's a one-turbine release. If two turbines are running, well, you know.

FLOW UPDATE:   Most releases are one turbine (435cfs), or Class II+, but FERC now requires that the schedule include some two-turbine releases (870cfs) or Class III-. Paddlers are encouraged to call Eagle Creek Renewable Energy (855-313-ECRE) after Wednesday on release week and again before leaving home on release day to verify release volume.

Of course, the river does release frequently during the week for power generation Release volumes for power releases are not specified or announced; During drought conditions, the Delaware River Basin Commission has the authority to suspend recreational releases, though unscheduled power releases still occur.

Directions Description

Preferred parking is either the DEC Parkling Lot, on the left after the river, or the old takeout lot, on the right a short distance up Upper Mongaup Road. The lot just before the river on the right is a good place to meet up with boaters, check out the Bridge Rapid, or rack your boat if you're coming from the wave, but please try not to park there. It is only designed for 10 cars, and is supposed to be for fishermen. Do not park along Route 97. Please be careful crossing Route 97, as traffic moves very fast in the area.


There are only about a dozen spaces at the put-in, so use your judgement.  The preferred option is to meet at the DEC Lot on Route 97, shuttle to the put-in, and then for the drivers there to arrange subsequent shuttles to reduce the number of vehicles in the put-in lot.  REMEMBER: If you leave your vehicle at the put-in, you'll only have to find a way back up to get it at the end of the run.


DIRECTIONS:  I'm still trying to master the mapping thing, but these narrative directions will get you to the put in.  The present map directions will not.


Starting at the intersection of Route 97 and Route 31, just west of where the river crosses Route 97, head north on Route 31, also known as Upper Mongaup Road. You'll be heading uphill for about 2 miles. 


Turn Right onto KNIGHT RD.  Go a little more than 0.2 miles, and take your first right onto RIO DAM RD. It will sneak up on you if you're not paying attention, and sometimes the street sign is missing.


On RIO DAM RD, go about 0.3 Miles. There will be an intersection right where the road begins to go up a hill.  There is a paved road to the right.  Slow down and bear slightly right onto a dirt road.  There will be a power company sign and a gate. 


The dirt road is known as POWERHOUSE RD.  The speed limit on this road is 10 MPH.  The road is very narrow and people live along it.  Local paddling groups have worked with the neighbors here on traffic issues and have arrived at an understanding.  DO NOT EXCEED 10 MPH ON POWERHOUSE ROAD! This applies before, during, and after releases. Doing so will endanger access.  Enough said.


POWERHOUSE RD. goes downhill and curves to the right.  After the second gate, keep to the right. The put in parking is past the powerhouse.



No Accident Reports




article main photo

AW, FERC Call for Mongaup (NY) Boating Study

Robert Nasdor

American Whitewater, along with Kayak and Canoe Club of New York and Appalachian Mountain Club, have joined with FERC in calling on Eagle Creek Renewable, owner and operator of three hydropower projects on the Mongaup River in New York, to conduct a whitewater boating study on section below the Rio Dam. The Mongaup is a scenic Class II/III river within easy reach of New York City and southern New England. Both whitewater groups and FERC are seeking to determine whether releasing flows into the natural river channel below the Rio Dam would provide new recreational boating opportunity at the Rio Project. The study will determine whether the whitewater boating run can be extended upstream to the Rio Dam. In addition, AW and its partners will be seeking additional whitewater boating release days through the relicensing process.

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AW Intervenes in Mongaup License Amendment Proceeding

Alan Panebaker


American Whitewater and the Kayak and Canoe Club of New York filed a motion to intervene in a proceeding with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on July 24 to protect our interests as a utility tries to increase its power output on a dam on the Mongaup River in New York.

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Moose River Video

Mark Singleton

2010 marked the 25th anniversary of protecting the Black and Moose rivers!  View an online video documentary on the Moose River and the early role that American Whitewater played in protecting this amazing river.

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Upper Delaware Council Seeks to Limit Mongaup Boating (NY)

Kevin Colburn

Earlier this month, the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) sent a letter asking the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to prohibit boating on the MongaupRiver, except on scheduled boating release days. It is extremely unlikely that the DEC would take such an action, but AW and KCCNY will be responding just in case. 

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Mongaup to Re-Open After Three-Year Closure (NY)

Kevin Colburn

Boaters in the northeast have good reason to be excited this month. The Rio Project on the Mongaup River (NY) will reopen this month after being closed to recreation for nearly three years.  Releases will begin this month!


tom Hart




Sam Southgate


Alex Barham


Ken Voytac


Joshua Poston


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1213852 11/03/19 tom Hart updated description
1213871 11/11/19 tom Hart updated name
1213872 11/11/19 tom Hart updated description
1191143 04/19/08 KCCNY n/a
1202365 07/29/15 Sam Southgate
1206386 04/26/16 Alex Barham Added local info
1195559 06/25/09 Ken Voytac
1195560 06/25/09 Ken Voytac
1202329 06/20/13 Joshua Poston
1215335 06/22/20 tom Hart updated description
1202330 06/20/13 Joshua Poston
1215380 07/01/20 tom Hart updated description
1215390 07/03/20 tom Hart updated description
1211568 03/31/19 tom Hart updated description