A 14 day old warning about this river was added. Click on comments below to read it.

Lamington - Chester to Pottersville

Lamington, New Jersey, US


Chester to Pottersville (Black River)

Usual Difficulty III-IV (for normal flows)
Length 5.8 Miles
Avg. Gradient 71 fpm
Max Gradient 100 fpm

There are drops too

There are drops too
Photo of Brad Atkins by Stephen Strange taken May 96 @ 2.6'

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Lamington (Black) River near Pottersville NJ
usgs-01399500 160 - 500 cfs III-IV 00h23m 91 cfs (too low)

River Description

The Black River
 the Lamington from Chester to Pottersville

This section of the Lamington River is known as the Black River. I'm not just making this up, you will see the name used in businesses in the area and on signs in Hacklebarney St. Pk. It is a very pretty run. It is also very small and creeky and can be a long day if you do the whole thing from Coopers Mill to Pottersville.

Generally it's a III, but with a little bit of extra water some of the tighter drops could easily be called a solid IV. This creek also picks up a lot of wood at times which can add to the difficulty.

The run has two small gorges. The first is upstream of Hacklebarney, the second is just above Pottersville and is very narrow (it starts at a small summer home on river right). The second has only two rapids, but the first is quite tight and would be a solid IV with 3' on the gauge.

Middle Atlantic River Forcast Center's
 Quantitative Precipitation Forcast. (The next 24hrs)
Middle Atlantic River Forcast Center's
Quantitative Precipitation Forcast.(The following 24 hrs)
First Descent Alert!! As far as I know, Trout Brook and Rinehart Br. haven't been run!

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2010-04-22 01:09:04


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.36 foot fallsWaterfall Photo
0.5Kay FallsHazard Waterfall Photo
0.6Eddy HopPhoto
0.7Big Rock Photo
0.9Suck HoleHazard
1.3Picnic RapidIII+Photo
1.4Right SlotIVPhoto
1.4Left SlotIII+Photo

Rapid Descriptions



Photo of Prelude Rapid by Mark Zakutansky taken 04/17/07 @ 450 cfs

A 2 foot ledge which drops from river right to river left. It comes up a short distance below a hikers' foot bridge and signals the beginning of the whitewater.

6 foot falls

SmallFalls on the Lamington

SmallFalls on the Lamington
Photo of Stephen Strange by Brad Adkins taken 1996 @ 2.4?

Other than the dam (Kay Falls), this is the highest individual drop on the run. It's a straight forward slide/falls into a pool. The pool below is the beginning of the pond (from the Kay falls dam) and it collects wood at times. Scout.

Kay Falls

Kay Falls

Kay Falls
Photo of Kay Falls by Mark Zakutansky taken 04/17/07 @ 450 cfs

This is an old stone dam. At the right water level you can run it in the center. Scout on the left.

Eddy Hop

Headless Brad

Headless Brad
Photo of Brad Atkins by Stephen Strange taken May 96 @ 2.6'

Just after the ripples below Kay Falls Dam, you get to the top of Eddy Hop. Scouting may be a little easier on the left, but either is possible. Because the pond above catches much of the lumber, this usually isn't as strainer laden, but still, scout.

Big Rock

Another Rapid on the Black

Another Rapid on the Black
Photo of Brad Atkins by Stephen Strange taken May 96 @ 2.6'

After a messy little rock pile ledge, the creek goes around a large rock (10' high?). The creek goes left around the rock. The photo shows the smaller ledge which precedes Big Rock in the distance. The big rock is just left of the photo.


There used to be a dam below Big Rock and above the bridge. consequently, the banks are steep dirt (sediment), and there is a rocky rapid/riffle just upstream of the bridge. This is also a location which has picked up wood at times.

Suck Hole

Shortly after the bridge, the creek drops over a small (3') ledge into a pool. The ledge is at a constriction of the creek with a boulder on river right and the river bank on river left. The pool is man made ( it was originally for swimming) and has a short (3' ?) dam at the end of it. This is all well and good, except that there is a hole in the bottom of the dam. If it's clear (sometimes it's blocked) and water is draining through it, it's about the right size for the first half of a swimmer to go through and then get stuck. Try not to swim here.

Picnic Rapid (Class III+, Mile 1.3)

picnic rapid

picnic rapid
Photo taken 11/07/09

This rapid is named for the picnic table on river right. When the river disappears to the right behind a big rock, get out on the right to scout.

Right Slot (Class IV, Mile 1.4)

the slot (slot machine?)

the slot (slot machine?)
Photo taken 11/07/09

This side of the island is a little steeper because of wood forming a dam between the rocks. It's also a little tighter. Scout from the island or the top of the big rock (if you can safely get onto it).

Left Slot (Class III+, Mile 1.4)

the slot, left of island

the slot, left of island
Photo taken 11/07/09

This side isn't as tight or steep, but has been choked with wood at times in the past. Scout from the island.

Nasty (Class IV+, Mile 3.0)

the real nasty rapid, sorry

the real nasty rapid, sorry
Photo taken 11/07/09

You'll know when this is coming up as you'll see a small red house perched above the creek on river right. Take out on river left to scout. This Rapid is actually pretty cool, but there's a nasty looking rock on the left in the finish drop, hence the name. You won't see it very well unless the water is fairly low.

Finale (Class III+, Mile 3.1)

Finale Falls

Finale Falls
Photo taken 04/21/10

This is a nice finale to this pretty little run. After you run (or carry) Nasty, the river turns left away from the road, then right, then left again (parallel to the road). Get out on the left to scout. Finale is a simple drop, but the two rocks on either side would make the hole hard to get out of at certain levels.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
November 27 2018 (14 days ago)
Stephen StrangeDetails
Just ran this at 2.9' / 360cfs on 11/24/2018. Nearly every rapid went, but lots of wood everywhere.
Portaged over a dozen times around logs. Below the Hacklebarney Rd bridge, there is a small island.
The right side is blocked by a log with a spiderweb of black ropes attached to it. It looks like it
was a log bridge with rope "hand rails" that has fallen into the river. Until it gets cleared, GO
LEFT around the island, especially at high water.
February 2 2010 (3234 days ago)
Wayne GmanDetails
I ran this last week at 200 cfs or about 2.5 ft high on the fall and it seemed optimal for sneaking
under many logs as well as humping over others. All the drops were open except for the 1st big
drop. It was a hairy deal but I put in a complete run. Looking over the comments nobody has given
this run any tlc with a saw for some time.
April 29 2008 (3877 days ago)
Mark ZakDetails
I scouted Trout Brook and Reinhart Brook during the spring floods. They were both running when the
Black was at 1,750 cfs. Trout Brook is basically a death trap at that level, but Reinhart Brook was
a sweet class III-IV. Good luck catching these runs though. Black river road was flooded out and
impassable to give you an idea of the level.
April 18 2007 (4255 days ago)
Mark ZakDetails
Awesome reach. Thanks to Stephen Strange for posting the details. Nick P. Noah S. and Brian H and I
put in at the fishermans access just below the pond. The level was around 260 cfs and we were more
than pleased, maybe even a bit lower would have been nicer for our first time on the reach. The
small dam outlet to the pond looked sketchy, maybe some debris or metal so we skipped it and went
on. Every drop on the Black was run! Unfortunately the pool below six foot falls had two large
trees which made for awfully nasty swim when it was run by an unnamed member of our party who had
just gotten back from the Big Sandy. Please use extreme caution running six foot falls, if you swim
the hole will eject you into the trees leading to an underwater body pin forcing the swimmer to
climb his way to the surface through underwater branches (super ugly). The Kay falls were runnable
center left, nasty rapid was bad ass and finale falls was clean and sweet. Again, awesome reach and
as of 4/8/2007 everything was runnable except six foot falls, and of course there were around 10
portages in the boogie water because of strainers. One of the local landowners strung what appear
to be dear attractants across the river downstream of the State Park, I guess to prevent the deer
from destroying the spackel buckets its in. I don't know, but either way exercise caution in the
boogie water after the park.
November 28 2006 (4396 days ago)
Ken PackieDetails
I ran this with my Brother Thanksgiving morning. We grew up hiking in Hacklebarney so it was great
to paddle it. We put in at the fishermens pond and had 6-7 riverwide strainers before we got to the
Park. Both big drops at the top are unrunnable....which was disapointing. At least Nasty Rapid was
clear (except for wood on river left at the top...easily avoidable). This run needs some TLC. It
could be a blast at high water.
October 19 2006 (4436 days ago)
Jake GaechterDetails
No way i had no idea that this was a runable whitewater creek! i pass it every sunday on my way to
my lax games.
March 13 2006 (4656 days ago)
James DoughertyDetails
I scouted this creek yesterday and on the secound half, past Hacklebarney park, along side Black
River Road, just a few yards before the gauging station (which is on river right, a few feet from
black river road)there is a rope or wire going completly across the river with a NO TRESSPASSING
sign on it.Physically, even at high water, Idought it would be a problem but perhaps someone dosn't
think you belong there? Also anyone this river for the first time you would want to get out a
little after that gauging station once you see house on river right because there is a falls,make
sure you scout this. I got heart but I wouldn't do it, not yet that is.I would venture to say you
realy need to know what you are doing to make it down safly. I plan on taking out before the falls.
January 9 2006 (4718 days ago)
Stephen StrangeDetails
Unless it has been replaced in the last few months (I'll go check on it soon), the sign above the
gauging station is the same one which has been there for years. It's indicated on my guide map, but
isn't in-play and can be ducked under unless the water is extremely high. (If it was low enough to
decapitate people, it would have disappeared years ago, thanks to my hacksaw) As for the
"falls" after the house on river right, unless there's been some major geologic activity
that I'm unaware of, this rapid consists of a 2-3'ledge with a small eddy below it on the left,
followed by a 4'ledge, immediately followed by a slide to the left which drops about another 3-4',
which pools/pillows back to the right (now downstream) and drops another 3-4' feet or so. I refer
to this rapid as "Nasty Rapid" on my map because of the upleasant looking rock at the
finish in low water. It is best to scout it from river left. I have run every inch of this run a
number of times and though I wish there was a 20ft falls, I haven't found it yet.

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