1: Esperance to Burtonville - 4.25 miles
The access point in Esperance is at the end of Steuben St. There is a small dirt pulloff with enough room for around 3 cars, and a gravel path that leads into the water. This section starts with a long section of flat water, but then enters a gorge where the water picks up considerably. It ends with the biggest drops near the Burtonville Bridge. There are 7 distinct river-wide ledge drops, and two solid playspots, including a park-and-play at Burtonville.
2: Burtonville to Mill Point - 8 miles
The access point at Burtonville is the fishing access next to the Burtonville Bridge. It is a medium sized parking area with room for several cars. From Burtonville to Mill Point there is a lot of class II and some class III (especially as water levels reach 3.0cfs on the Burtonville gage). This is an enjoyable section with beautiful scenery and several sections of rapids. There are the remains of a dam below Lost Valley that provides a wave to surf. Stay river right of the island and there are often waves in the narrow channel. A quarter mile farther, under the 300 foot cliffs there are three small ledges the river drops over. Don't miss noticing the falls coming off the cliff to your left.
3: Mill Point to Fort Hunter - 6.5 milesThe access point at Mill Point is underneath the bridge. There is a small gravel "road" leading underneath the bridge with enough room for 3 or 4 cars to park. There is a small pool to put-in or take-out. To join the main flow you'll need to paddle upstream a short way, then run the first rapids underneath the bridge.
This section is milder than the ones above, but still has some solid class II and one that approaches a class III. The first mile will have sets of class I-II, then you'll hit the narrows, a section that is class II+ even at low water levels. Watch out for holes on river left and center. There is a convenient pulloff on river-right that is a good place to scout the drop. Shortly after the narrows you'll come to a large set of powerlines that mark about 2 miles of class II rapids, one after the other. There are several "islands" along this section. In general, the bigger faster water goes left of the islands, and the shallower easier water is river-right. About 3 miles into the run you'll pass a farm on river-right that marks the end of the hardest rapids, and the start of a long section of class I and flat water to the Mohawk.
Take-out for this run is at Fort Hunter at the boat launch and park. It has a very large parking area with a playground, picnic tables, and grills.
CFS changes dramatically on the Schoharie Creek, at 2 feet the gage shows 1580 cfs, at three feet 4430, and at 8 feet 36,300. The Creek runs 40,000 cfs or over during Spring runoff or a rainy autumn week. Since the work has been taking place on the Schoharie Reservoir and the tube is sending water into the Esopus the Schoharie Creek is over 2 feet less often.
Mohawk Valley Area Reaches
Canajoharie Creek Caroga Creek Cincinnati Creek
East Canada Creek Fish Creek, E. Branch Ninemile Creek
North Chuctanunda Creek Nowadaga Creek Mohawk (1.)
Oriskany Creek (Clinton) Oriskany Creek (Oriskany Falls) Schoharie Creek
Sprite Creek (Upper) Sprite Creek (Lower) Spruce Creek
Timmerman Creek West Canada Creek
Capital Region Area Reaches
Basic Creek Batten Kill Claverack Creek
Cobleskill Creek Fox Creek Hannacrois Creek
Hoosic Hudson (Lock 2) Kinderhook Creek (1.)
Kinderhook Creek (2.) Kinderhook Creek (3.) Kline Kill
Normans Kill (1.) Normans Kill (2.) North Chuctanunda Creek
Mohawk (Upper Cohoes Wave) Mohawk (Cohoes Wave) Poesten Kill (0.)
Poesten Kill (1.) Poesten Kill (2.) Quacken Kill
Schoharie Creek Stony Kill Wyant's Kill
Google Map of New York Whitewater
New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group
Put-in is at the end of Steuben St. near Esperance, NY. There is a small dirt pull-off with room for about 3 cars. A gravel path leads into the water.
The first of 7 ledge drops on the upper section.
The 2nd of 7 ledge drops on the upper section. This one is a nice play spot at most levels, with huge eddies on river-right and river-left that let you access the wave-trains down the middle.
Around 3 miles in you'll enter the gorge, a long section of bigger waves and harder water. At low levels there is a mini-ledge before the real ledge #3, don't let it fool you. Beware, the rock walls on river left are undercut in several places.
The third of 7 ledge drops on this section. This one occurs in the gorge itself and has wavey water before and after.
Ledges 4, 5, 6, and 7 will hit in rapid succession as soon as the Burtonville Bridge comes into view. When possible, eddy out between drops to get a clear view of the next ledge. Holes can be grabby at some levels.
Ledge Lucky #7 is a park-and-play spot, with large eddies left and right of the main waves. Park at the Burtonville Bridge fishing access and paddle up. Deep water for safe rolls.
The take-out for the Esperance to Burtonville section, or the put-in for the Burtonville to Mill Point section. It is a fishing access parking lit with space for a few cars, right next to the Burtonville Bridge.
The remains of an old dam. It is reported that it might be a good play spot.
The Mill Point Access is take-out for the Burtonville to Mill Point section, and the put-in for the Mill Point to Fort Hunter section. A small gravel "road" leads underneath the Mill Point bridge. There is parking for about 4 cars. Put-in at the small pool on river right, paddle upstream to rejoin the main flow, and run the rapids underneath the bridge.
The creek narrows suddenly around a bend. The rapid is fairly straight-forward, but grabby holes can form on river left and center, so scouting from the convenient pull-off on river-right is a good idea.
The large powerlines overhead mark the start of a long section of class I-II rapids, one after the other. There are several rock "islands" in the middle of the creek here. In general, river-left will be the bigger waves and faster water, river-right will be shallower but milder.
This bridge marks the end of the run. The take-out is just around the corner.
The take-out is at the Fort Hunter boat launch and park. There is a large parking lot for many cars, a playground, picnic tables, and grills.
A lot has changed in this section after Hurricane Irene. I paddled Esperance to Burtonsville this week. The 3/4 of a mile above Burntonsville, in the "gorge", there are several changes in the rapids. Half the flow is restricted by a new "breakwater" at the entrance to the gorge. Large rocks have been piled up on the left side of the river; it looks like it could protect a harbor from ocean waves. The second ledge drop below is gone. It appears there is a new dam 100 yards below the two drops backing up water. The pool under the cliffs is much larger and the rapids just above the gauging station are much larger. Entering Burtonsville the river splits into three major channels. Previously the main flow was in the left 2, now the majoring of the water is headed to the right, eastern channel. We paddled at 2.7' on the gauge. On 10/30/11 I paddled the rest of the way to the Mohawk. Beautiful valley and river. Even though the river is flattening out there is still a couple solid class II rapids. Keep an eye open for the strainer on river left 1/2 mile below Mill point. It was a cold swim.
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Mile 18.75 - Fort Hunter Takeout
Mile 18.5 - The ruined bridge
Mile 14.3 - Powerline Rapids
Mile 13.25 - Schoharie Narrows
Mile 12.2 - Mill Point Rapid
Mile 12.2 - Mill Point Access
Mile 4 - Lucky #7
Mile 4 - Ledges 4, 5, 6, and 7
Mile 3.5 - Ledge 3
Mile 3 - The Gorge
Mile 2.8 - Ledge 2
Mile 1.5 - Ledge 1
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