One of the steeper runs in NJ, Clove Br. is a tributary of Papakating Cr. It drops around 240' in about 1.5 miles, with 60' of it occurring right after the creek goes under Rt. 23 for the first time.
As far as I know, the first descents were by Adam Hubbard in the late 80's or early 90's and I seem to remember him telling me that he did it in a 15' Grumman canoe. I would rate it a IV+ to V depending on water level.
This run is nearly all ledges, ranging from a few inches up to about 20'. Many of these create some very symmetrical river-wide holes at certain levels. The highlight of the run is the big slide (about 20') into a giant punchbowl, followed by a 6-8' drop (just downstream of Rt. 23). With extra water, it has very few eddies in some sections, it's very fast with lots of ledges and it tends to pick up wood. A few years ago (1998) it was clear because some local boaters worked hard to keep it that way during the summer. I haven't been back there since 2000, so stay alert.
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No more wood in upper section there is however, a tree about 5 ft off the water surface that you can get under. Then just downstream of that there is another tree blocking the whole river, sits about 5 inches above the river surface at 6in below the footing water level. There is also one more just before the last big drop right after the Rt. 23 bridge; can be avoided if you run river center then cut over to river right to complete the drop. I plan on getting up there in the spring to cut it all out. Even with this wood the river can still be run with little to no problems.
This video of me on 12/28/11 Shows all Major drops; Water level 6 inches below footing on first bridge http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9cjRCUTL2U
Clove Brook is a trib of Papakating Creek. Despite the fact that I always think of the duck pond in front of the High Point State Park Ranger Station as its source, Clove Brook gathers most of its water from a swampy area on the Kittatinny ridge just south of the NY border. Because of this it actually runs more than you would think, sometimes staying up for a week after a good rain in the early spring.
I haven't found a reliable online gauge for this run. To check onsite whether there is enough water, check the upstream, river-right, bridge pier on the bridge next to Dewitt Rd (see map below). If the water is within 3" of the top of the concrete footing of the bridge pier then it's runnable. To determine whether it's worth driving up to check it, check for excess water in the surrounding drainages (which have online gauges). Some of these include the Flatbrook at Flatbrookville, Papakating at Pelletown,Neversink at Bridgeville, and Bushkill at Shoemakers.
Permits are not required for this reach.
There are two put-in options. You can put in in Colesville: The creek goes under a side road off of Rt. 23 and there is a spot you can put-in on river left just downsteam of the bridge. The other put-in is river-right, just upstream of the Rt. 23 bridge where the creek crosses under for the first time (next to Dewitt Rd.) (There is a gravel pull-off on Rt. 23 on the upstream, river-right side of the creek).
It's not a long run, but it's fun and shuttle is quick and easy.
When you park at the midpoint of the run be careful of traffic going up and down Rt. 23.
clove brook boof, behind the old resturant
rapid directily above gauge
lead in rapid to the big slide
above the big slide
view from top of big slide
view of the big slide from scouting trail
Clove Brook Slide
Clove Br Ledges
Clove Br. Bridge gauge
Clove Brook Guide Map
Dropping out of the bowl
Level was a little over the footing
Steep Creekin' in NJ
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