Moodna Creek - Woodbury Creek to Old Forge Hill Road

Moodna Creek, New York, US


Woodbury Creek to Old Forge Hill Road

Usual Difficulty II-IV (for normal flows)
Length 6 Miles
Avg. Gradient 50 fpm
Max Gradient 90 fpm

Moodna With Water

Moodna With Water
Photo by Stephen Strange

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Ramapo River near Mahwah NJ
usgs-01387500 280 - 5000 cfs II-IV 00h44m 284 cfs (running)
The upper limit is a rough guess, based on historical data for this gauge. If you have better beta, please add a comment. This is a gauge on a different, nearby stream. Use with caution.
usgs-01367500 10.00 - 11.50 ft II-IV 00h44m 10.24 ft (running)

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. It has a hole that can get pretty nasty at higher flows. 


There are two dams during the run. The first  at the Rt 32 bridge you can generally slide over without any problems, but the second is portaged.


There is a hazard of 26 I-beams in the moodna just below the Jaws rapid and under the Old Forge Hill bridge. More details in the rapids description.


The Class 2 section above the Route 32 Bridge is a beautiful stretch of river and where you will see some wildlife.


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Downstate New York Area Reaches

Beer Kill                                          Beer Kill, W. Branch   

Callicoon Creek, E. Branch            Callicoon Creek, N. Branch 

Coxing Kill                                      Croton 

Delaware (1.)                                 Delaware (2. Mongaup Wave)

Delaware (3.)                                 Fishkill Creek 

Mombaccus Creek                         Mongaup 

Moodna Creek                               Neversink (1.) 

Neversink (2.)                                Neversink, E. Branch  

Peters Kill                                       Pocantico 

Popolopen Brook                           Ramapo 

Rochester Creek                            Rondout Creek (1.) 

Rondout Creek (2.)                        Rondout Creek (3.) 

Sandburg Creek                             Stony Brook (1.) 

Stony Brook (2.)                             Wallkill 

Wappinger Creek


Google Map of New York Whitewater

New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group






StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2016-04-26 13:12:56


Stream team editor

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0PutinPutin Photo
0.0Beautiful Calm SectionsPhoto
0.01st Dam @ Rt 32 BridgePutin Hazard
0.0Approaching Hells TeethPhoto
0.0Hell's TeethIVHazard Photo
0.12nd DamPortage Hazard Photo
0.1Jaws and I-Beam HazardIIIHazard Photo
0.1Jaws (under the bridge)Hazard Photo

Rapid Descriptions


Moodna Upper Putin

Moodna Upper Putin
Photo of Dave B. and Bill C. by Wayne Gman taken 02/23/08 @ Lowish

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

Beautiful Calm Sections

Moodna Quiet Water

Moodna Quiet Water
Photo of Between whitewater sections by Wayne Gman taken 02/23/08 @ Lowish

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

1st Dam @ Rt 32 Bridge

This is the first Dam on the Moodna right where it all starts to get interesting at the Rt 32 bridge. You can scout this during the shuttle on the way to the class 2 putin.


This Dam has some history. Back before 2000 high water pushed the riverbed rubble into a wall and created a pool for some serious low head dam captive hydraulic holes. Steve Strange was in it and my guess it was a bigger water day. Over the last 10 years this rubble wall has slowly been blown out greatly reducing this low head dam effect. Its hard to believe these conditions could exist looking at the way the river bed is  today. 


Currently this dam can be run at many levels and in many locations but the history here requires respect.


Expect the creek to crank up a full notch into class 3 as it passes under the Rt 32 bridge and breaks to the left.


This is also the Putin for the lower harder section but I like to start it out with the class 2 section above.


Approaching Hells Teeth

Hell's Teeth

Hell's Teeth
Photo of Bridge Abutments River Left by Wayne Gman taken 02/23/08 @ Lowish

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

Hell's Teeth (Class IV, Mile 0.0)

The Fang

The Fang
Photo of The Fang, bridge abutment by Wayne Gman taken 02/23/08 @ Lowish

This is the signature rapid on the run. Hell's Teeth refer to a set of old Train Piers that cross the river. Only one of the teeth "The Fang" stands typically in the middle of the flow.


The rapid has a long entry with a Left turn just as the flow crashes into the Fang pier.  At high flows the lines on the river right side of Fang can lead into stout ledge holes. There are holes on the river left side as well, but regardless of flow, river Left lines are most common.


Depending on the flow you can expect the rapid to be class 3 with screw up rocks pushing you off your strong ferry move to the Left in front of Fang. At higher flows Hells Teeth can easily get kicked up to the class 4 range and at huge flows some seem to think it gets nasty enough to possibly push beyond class 4+.


Don't under estimate the holes to the left and right of Fang.

At moderate flows several river right eddies can be caught before Fang breaking this rapid up. 

2nd Dam

Moodna 2nd Dam

Moodna 2nd Dam
Photo of Bill Canfield by Wayne Gman taken 02/23/08 @ Lowish

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. As of 3/2008 there is a strainer at the portage putin. Take care.


The character of this low head dam is strange. This dam has a downstream sliding board with a kick up lip at the very bottom.

It has been run at the lowest flows. There are not many boaters around to say they wish they walked a lowhead dam. 

Jaws and I-Beam Hazard (Class III, Mile 0.1)

Jaws Bridge Hazard

Jaws Bridge Hazard
Photo of Bill Canfield by Wayne Gman taken 02/23/08 @ Lowish

This rapid is just upstream of the "Old Forge Road Bridge"  and is visible from the bridge. I suggest you look at the rapid before you run. You will come upon this rapid quickly. What is most important is the hazard is only visible at low water and directly under the bridge in the main flow exiting the Jaws rapid. Decide if you want a more shallow river Right line taking the Jaw's Steel out of play.


The Steel is a very significant hazard. 13 pairs of steel I-beams, 26 in all, twisted rusty beams which are jaggedly cut off at different heights. The most upstream beams are deeper underwater and hide better. These pairs of beams can perfectly end to end pin a boat or center pin a boat. A swim could mean swimming through all the beams and any wood trapped within the I-beams. At medium to high water a roll setup at the bottom of Jaws could take the steel to your head or body. If you strike one you will likely get more than just that one in the bargain.



Jaws (under the bridge)

Jaws Hazard

Jaws Hazard
Photo of 26-ish Steel I-Beams by Wayne Gman taken 02/23/08 @ Lowish

Wide shot under the old forge bridge clearly showing the placement of the I-beams.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
April 10 2017 (652 days ago)
tom HartDetails
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. The one class 4 rapids,
Hell's Teeth, is easily recognizable by the teeth (huge bridge pillars) and is only a short walk
from the 20/32 intersection if you want to scout. Hell's Teeth is not a good portage (over old
concrete bridge parts) but not long. Hell's Teeth (and the whole river) can catch wood..of course I
shouldn't have to tell anyone running a river like this to be cautious about wood. The 2nd dam has
a much nicer portage on the left at low water and has been run at low water. (Take out just above
the abutment and seal launch just below it. ) but at high water you'll probably want to take the
long portage (100 yards) on right. Irene dealt with the Jaws (26 I-beams under the Old Forge Hill
bridge) by moving the whole river to the 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.
April 29 2014 (1728 days ago)
cfujimori (156446)
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.
June 8 2013 (2054 days 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...
November 20 2009 (3349 days ago)
James DoughertyDetails
Ran the Moodna at a high level sometime in March, 2010. It appears most or all the wood is gone or
at least under water. There was a fair sized wave in front of the pylon on the right (the one that
that you pass on the right, to run the right slot without the hole). I'm not sure if this wave is
created by wood or the pylon but unless you intend to hit the pylon, it's not really in play. There
was a lot of wood, more than usual, in general though. Also, for those that usually portage the
second dam on the left, due to new wood and high water, it would have been difficult to portage on
the left, so I portaged on the right. There is a hole in the fence to get off the river and a few
feet past the dam, another to get back on. Although I run this dam, it didn't look safe at higher
water levels.
October 31 2009 (3370 days ago)
x (1)
Ran the Moodna at a "medium" flow earlier this week. Their are many new strainers crossing
different sections. All are avoidable, but many span at least 2/3rds of the river. All the new
stuff definitely kept it interesting.
May 13 2008 (3906 days ago)
James DoughertyDetails
Under Old Forge Road (rte 74), the bridge near the historical marker located at the dirt pull-over,
there are metal I-beams under the bridge center-right. There are three rows of 9(?) metal beams
equalling 27(?) beams. It creates a serious pinning hazard. They are located directly under the
bridge, right of center, and exent several feet past the bridge. I didn't see them until last
minute since they were slightly under water but high enough to catch my boat. It was very difficult
to push off. Avoid them by getting river left (best) or way river right. If are not able to get
left or way right, keep your boat straight and you should be fine, but better to stay clear of them
all together. Definetly do not be sideways. The gage was between 5.67 around 1pm and 5.33 at 9pm
but keep in mind, I ran this river another day when the gage said less but the river had more
water. The gage is a indicator of level, it's not exact. At higher water these beams may be well
under water, at lower more visable and at worst, when I was there you will not see them until your
stuck on them. Also, take note, recently (Nov 2007), while taking out at said bridge the Police
stopped us and told us that we were on posted property and can not park at said historical marker.
He was polite about it but firm. Further down the river, on river left just before paddling under
the 9W bridge, there's a kayak ramp and parking. To drive there, make a left over the 9W bridge
crossing the creek, make another left into the driveway for a building near the creek, drive pass
the building (there will be a Kia dealership on the same side of 9W) and you will see a sign for
kayak ramp along side the river, behind the building next to the car/auto store.
January 17 2008 (4023 days ago)
Matt MuirDetails
Dan Spencer posted a photo of the metal pinning hazard under the bridge at .
April 21 2007 (4294 days ago)
James DoughertyDetails
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.