Difficulty II-IV
Length 6 Miles
Gauge Ramapo River near Mahwah NJ
Flow Range 280 - 5000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 15 hours ago 71.4 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 06/12/2019 2:10 am

River Description

It's generally a Class 2-3 river at normal levels with the Class 2 warmup upstream of the Rt 32 bridge. At higher flows there may be rapids that are Class 4. 

The hardest  rapid is Hell's Teeth (aka Pillars). It has a hole that can get pretty nasty at higher flows. Hell's Teeth can be scouted during the shuttle if the trees aren't leafed out from 32 just north of 20 (Orr's Mill Road). The view from above gives you better look at possible wood in the main flows. 
There are two dams during the run. The first  at the Rt 32 bridge you can generally slide over without any problems except for boat abuse. 
The second is also runnable as it has a kick up at the bottom. At high levels you there's no eddy below it so you immediately drop down one of the hardest rapids...so best if everyone runs it together so at least you can help each other if needed. Of course conditions can (and will) change. The Moodna gorge cuts thru glacial till and changes after every flood. 
The  old hazard of I-beams below the Jaws rapid and under the Old Forge Hill bridge was eliminated thanks to Irene which moved the entire river to the right some 50 feet and the construction project that followed to replace the bridge.
The Class 2 section above the Route 32 Bridge is a beautiful stretch of river and where you will see some wildlife but not much fun at low water
No gauge but if the rapid under the 32 bridge looks good by your standards it's pretty typical of the scratchiness/size of the rest of the run. 
The river holds well and isn't miserable at low levels. 


Rapid Descriptions


Class - Mile - 0

Slip in at the put in for a slow class 2+ start.

Beautiful Calm Sections

Class - Mile - 0.01

Wonderful quiet section to boat and see wildlife on the banks.

Approaching Hells Teeth

Class - Mile - 0.03

As you come up to Hell's Teeth you will see these 10-15 foot tall piers on River Left. Scout on river Left.

2nd Dam

Class - N/A Mile - 0.05
This distinct horizon line is easy to see. At high flows be very careful not to get too close and risk getting pulled over the dam head. You will want to portage on river Left which requires a seal launch into a swirl that occasionally catches wood.  Take care. 
The character of this  dam is strange. This dam has a downstream sliding board with a kick up lip at the very bottom
It has been run at most flows. 
At high flows/wood in left putin you can portage at right and put in part way thru the next rapid. 

Former Jaws (under the bridge)

Class - N/A Mile - 0.07
Wide shot under the old forge bridge clearly showing the placement of the I-beams. Hurricane Irene moved the river a hundred feet or so to the right, destroying the bridge and burying this former hazard. 


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tom Hart
6 months ago

The view downstream from the route 32 bridge is a good gauge. If this is runnable (by your standards) then go for it. Moodna holds water for longer than the Ramapo. 1st dam at all but the highest levels is a boat abuser so if you like the bottom of your boat portage right. The class 2 upper section isn't much fun at low levels with lots of boulder dodging and no surfing but it is pretty.

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Caleb Fujimori
5 years ago

Ran 4/27/14 with Ramapo at 285 cfs and Rondout at 462 cfs. Good level, 1 or 2 spots where we were scraping bottom. Lots of wood. Didn't see the I-Beams.

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6 years ago

Ran the mighty moodna this afternoon - ramapo gage was roughly 1k. Fun level. Lots of wood on the lower section, esp downstream from the factory. Use caution and don't be afraid to scout...

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James Dougherty
12 years ago

Ran this on 4/21/07. When we ran it, the Ramapo at Mahwah (which is what you are viewing for a gauge on this site) was at 4.90 ft when we took out (a look at the graph shows it dropped mabe 0.5 from when we got on). The Rondout at Rosendale was at 10.94 ft (which also didnt change much) when we ran it. In otherwords, this river holds water very well and will have water in it when other things do not. In fact, it had not rained since that Monday, we ran it on a Saturday. At said level, instead of doing that ferry everyone talks about, we simply ran the meat of things above the abutments, going from center angled right. Just before passing the between the two abutments on the far right, reangled the our kayaks toward river left playing closer to the abutment on the left than the one all the way river right, boofing a log that was well under and easily going over rocks and whitewater. No hole on this side to worry about. I was worried of getting pushed to far right (toward the furthest right abutment), but this was not an issue for me. Although I can paddle CL4 rivers, I do not consider myself a CL4 paddler yet and on such rivers I'm pushing the envelope. However, I found this move easy and fun but wouldnt want blow this line or roll either. I also wonder what may be lurking underwater since I noticed a lot of made-made stuff near the riverbank (update: viewed this at below runable levels and there dose NOT appear to be any manmade metal junk in the river here. However, be heads up for wood. It's ofted wood gets caught up due to the pilons). Also unfortunitly, my friend said when he ran it the last time at a lower level, the above option we took was not doable that day due to a lack of water and had to do that ferry and cut near the dreaded hole. (I might have opted to portage had I been there that day). It looks to me this would be real serious at much higher water as well. This river is about 65 miles from The Triborough Bridge, NYC. You can take 87 north to exit 16 then take route 32 going north (I belileve it's a right turn, not sure). You will soon see the river on your right. See above for directions to take out. FYI it's about 11 miles from I-87 to 'five corners'. I found the CL2 section fun as well. I wouldn't put-in below it and miss out on it.

Gage Descriptions

There are no gages; it's a natural flow river.
The Ramapo at Mahwah NJ is a good virtual gauge for Moodna Cr. If the Ramapo is at 3.8' the Moodna is probably just barely running. If the Ramapo hits 4' the Moodna should be good to go. Basically, the two rivers drain either side of the same set of hills.


The USGS gauge: Rondout Creek at Rosendale, NY is a good virtual gauge as their headwaters drain the same mountain and are about 5-10 miles apart.
"I am told that good min/max levels are 10' and 11.5' respectively.

Directions Description

Locate the town of Vails Gate, NY  (AKA the intersection of Rt 32 and Rt 94)

Class 3(4) Putin:

From the intersection of Rt 32/Rt 94 travel south on Rt 32.

Putin about 2 miles south where the moodna crosses under the Rt 32 bridge. Park just south of bridge on west (Northbound) side. 
Best launch that doesn't involve walking thru provide property is from the southwest corner of the bridge down concrete drainage gully - lower boats on your rope and walk down carefully. 

Class 2 Putin:

From the intersection of Rt 32/Rt 94 travel south on Rt 32.

Travel South on Rt 32 about 4 miles and make a hard dog leg Right on Juenger Rd. Travel 200 hundred yards to Rt 79. Make a right and park near the bridge where the moodna passes under Rt 79.

Forge Hill Bridge Pullout (lower class 2 putin):
Dirt road just northwest of bridge. 
New Windsor Public Works Department  Take out: Take the first left after crossing the Moodna headed north on 9w. Park near the boat ramp. This used to be an official kayak launch, but the ramp got undercut and it's above the tideline at low tide and they put a better rec launch in at Plum Point.  

Bar Takeout:

Do not park at the historical marker site or risk a visit from the local police.

From the intersection of Rt 32/Rt 94 travel East on Rt 94. Make a Right on Old Forge Hill Rd/Rt 74. You will quickly pass over the Jaw's Rapid bridge (scout?). Continue to the traffic light and cross Rt 9w. Down the road a short distance there is a bar on your right with a large parking lot. We have taken out here. Ask permission to park 1st and park away from the bar, closer to the river. 

Make sure you stop in after paddling and tip heavy and thank them. If you don't have two cars you can call a cab at 845-561-8330. 


No Accident Reports




article main photo

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.


tom Hart


Stephen Strange


Alex Barham


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1211534 03/26/19 tom Hart updated description
1211536 03/26/19 tom Hart directions to the river
1211542 03/26/19 tom Hart updated description
1211539 03/26/19 tom Hart updated description
1211541 03/26/19 tom Hart updated description
1191144 03/26/08 Stephen Strange n/a
1206387 04/26/16 Alex Barham Added local info
1211535 03/26/19 tom Hart directions to the river
1211537 03/26/19 tom Hart directions to the river
1211538 03/26/19 tom Hart updated description
1212604 06/02/19 tom Hart updated image position
1212606 06/02/19 tom Hart updated description
1212882 06/12/19 tom Hart directions to the river
1212605 06/02/19 tom Hart updated description