Rondout Creek - High Falls Dam to Rosendale

Rondout Creek, New York, US


High Falls Dam to Rosendale

Usual Difficulty III-V(V+) (for normal flows)
Length 2 Miles
Avg. Gradient 20 fpm

Little Falls

Little Falls
Photo of Ed by Steve McLuckie taken 03/07/09 @ low

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01367500 9.60 - 21.00 ft III-V(V+) 02h09m 9.75 ft (running)

River Description

Levels and Description provided by John Ditmars

Rondout Creek, High Falls to Rosendale
This is a pretty fun class 2-4 (5) river run that is accessible to both beginners and experts. The 
level coincides with difficulty, like most rivers, but all of the rapids have a nice recovery zone 
which makes it a great learning river. There are also numerous play spots on the river that 
come in at various levels. Intermediates and experts would probably prefer play boats on this 
run to ride the holes and waves the Rondout has to offer.
There are two put ins. Paddlers may choose to run Little Falls, which is a roughly 12 foot falls 
that can have a beefy kickback. It’s been run as low as 10 feet and as high as 13 feet, as far as 
the locals know. The best line is along the left side, just be sure to not pencil in because there is 
a rock shelf at the bottom, instead, boof right off the peak. That shelf is along the whole drop, 
more or less. Word on the street is there’s a fun play hole above Little Falls called Johnny-On-
The-Spot that comes in at certain levels. The other option is to put in below Little Falls.
The first rapid below Little Falls is called Spin Cycle. Spin Cycle itself is actually the very strong 
eddy line with ripping whirlpools at the bottom. What makes running this rapid difficult for 
beginners is the fact that if you swim, you’re gonna get banged up a bit, and will end up at the 
bottom in the boil and whirlies. It’s not a particularly hard rapid, a class 3 really...but you want 
to be on top of your line.
The second rapid has no name but there’s a fun blasting hole called Blast Hole on the river right 
side. Above 12 feet it can be a bit sticky.
Next thing that comes up is a little low head dam. Some locals call the rapid Outta Nowhere 
(class 2+/3). It can be surfed on river left at moderate to flows, and at high flows the entire can 
form a nice surf wave. After that is a another wave just above the island called 007, and next to 
it on river right is a blasting hole called The Slab. Run the right side of the island for more fun.
You’ll come across some class 2, a couple of fun splat walls, and a few eddy lines for the next 
while before you come to the rapid of the day, called the Eye Ripper, class 3+4 (5). Maybe 
scout this rapid before you run it. The Eye Ripper is actually the name of the burly surf hole 
(you can’t miss it) in the middle of the drop. This is a fun rapid to play, skills depending. After 
the Eye Ripper’s washout, you’ll enjoy heading left around the island (avoid the hole on your far 
left) much more than you will going right (you’ll see why).
Next rapid is The Ruins (class 3), which has some fun surfing at certain levels.
Right after that are two surf holes called Tripple Hole and it’s buddy right behind it. Look out for 
Cruise down to the take out.
Put in is in High Falls, just below the big dam. Take out is in Rosendale, at the bridge 
abutments where James Street crosses over the river. Walk up the hill on either side to where 
you’ve parked, which probably will be in the parking lot across the street from the church on 
river right.

It should be noted that there is great food and drinks near both ends of the run. There are also several excellent creeks within a few miles of the Rondout Creek. For some details see "New York Exposed: The Whitewater State Volume II," by Dennis Squires. A great book, and a must for all Eastern NY Paddlers.



Catskills Area Reaches

Basic Creek                               Batavia Kill                                    Bear Kill 

Beaver Kill (Delaware Trib)       Beaver Kill (Hudson Trib)              Beer Kill 

Beer Kill, W. Branch                  Bowery Creek                                Bush Kill 

Callicoon Creek, E. Branch       Callicoon Creek, N. Branch           Catskill Creek (1.) 

Catskill Creek (2.)                     Catskill Creek (4.)                          Claverack Creek 

Coxing Kill                                 Delaware                                       Delaware, E. Branch 

Delaware, W. Branch                Little Delaware                               Dry Brook 

East Kill                                     Esopus Creek (1)                           Esopus Creek (2) 

Esopus Creek (3)                      Esopus Creek (4)                           Esopus Creek (5) 

Hannacrois Creek                     Kaaterskill Creek (1.)                     Kaaterskill Creek (2.) 

Kinderhook Creek  (3.)              Kiskatom Creek                             Mombaccus Creek 

Mill Brook                                   Neversink (1.)                               Neversink, E. Branch 

Neversink, W. Branch                 Peters Kill                                     Platte Kill 

Plattekill Creek                            Potic Creek                                  Roeliff Jansen Kill (1) 

Roeliff Jansen Kill (2)                  Rochester Creek                          Rondout Creek (1) 

Rondout Creek (2)                     Rondout Creek (3)                        Sandburg Creek 

Saw Kill (1)                                 Saw Kill (2)                                    Saw Kill (3) 

Schoharie Creek (1.)                  Schoharie Creek (2.)                    Shingle Kill Creek 

Squirmer Creek                          Stony Clove Creek                        Ten Mile Creek 

Thorp Creek                               Tremper Kill                                   Wallkill 

West Kill                                      Woodland Creek                            Vly Creek 



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


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New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2016-04-26 13:28:18


Rapid Descriptions

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