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
Google Map of New York Whitewater
New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group
Slip in at the put in for a slow class 2+ start.
Wonderful quiet section to boat and see wildlife on the banks.
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.
As you come up to Hell's Teeth you will see these 10-15 foot tall piers on River Left. Scout on river Left.
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.
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.
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.
Wide shot under the old forge bridge clearly showing the placement of the I-beams.
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.
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...
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.
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.
9 years ago
by James Dougherty
10 years ago
11 years ago
by Matt Muir
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.
Permits are not required for this reach.
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.
Class 2 Putin:
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.
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.
Jeff at Hells teeth
Hell's Teeth Video
Entrance to "Jaws"
Second Dam with more water
Moodna Upper Putin
Moodna Quiet Water
Jaws Bridge Hazard
Moodna 2nd Dam
Chilly Run on Hell's Teeth
Metal pinning hazard under Iron Forge Bridge
Hazard ounder Old Forge Rd (74) bridge
Moodna With Water
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