The portal in Allaben is where water from the Schoharie Reservoir is piped into the Esopus to transport to the Ashokan Reservoir. About 1/2 mile down from this put-in is a left-hand turn with many trees along the right bank. These trees claimed the life of a private tuber and a kayaker in the summer of 2002. They are easily avoidable but one must be aware of this danger.
The tubing companies and most locals put in at the fishing access next to the cemetary that one passes on the way to the portal. Immediately downstream of the cemetery put-in there is a large strainer on river left and, as of September 2015, the river right channel is blocked by two fallen trees. A 14-year-old tuber died after becoming trapped under a strainer here over labor day weekend 2015. The strainers can be avoided via a small boatable channel by the island river center.
From the cemetary access you get right into the first playspot called "Cartwheel Hole" which is a double squirtline separated by a large boulder in the center of the river. Mystery moves have been gotten here by squirt boaters between 5.5 and 6 ft.
From here it's more of a technical class II+ with some surf-on-the-fly waves and squirt-lines always different depending on levels.
At the junction of the woodland valley stream is the class III "Tenderizer" hole (rarely playable but fun to try), the railroad wave (class II surf), and then Railroad Rapid (III) which is the site of the slalom races held here. Many boaters get out here, about 3 miles down from the portal. The next significant rapids occur as you enter Phoenecia.
After the Phoenecia bridge, the third bridge from the put-in, is Elmer's Bend, a class III+ rapid with many different characteristics depending in the level. If you scout on the fly I recommend going right of the predominant boulder in the center, and then either left to right thru the rock garden or straight thru river right and over a little drop. This drop-route is better at higher levels. There is a take-out a little ways below Elmer's, or continue on to the parking area on Rte. 28 near the Catskill Corners Kaleidoscope. Some boaters, especially canoists, may opt to continue another 5 miles to Boiceville although there are considerably more flat sections.
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
Google Map of New York Whitewater
New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group
This is an alternative put-in 1mile downstream of the portal with good parking and river access. It avoids some of the dangerous strainers on the early section.
Dangerous pile of logs forms a large strainer on river left after the cemetery put-in. The fastest current sweeps under it.
Alternative takeout on Route 40 (Mt-Tremper-Phoenicia Rd) that adds 1mile to the run. There is space for four or five vehicles in the anglers' parking here.
5/8/06: Local boaters reported a riverwide strainer near the putin:
"Approximately 1/2 mile downstream from the Portal is large log (strainer) blocking the entire creek. Two of my friends failed to eddy out above it and flipped. They were washed through but this is a serious safety hazard for anyone that puts in at the Portal."
Anyone having more info, please add a comment here.
May 25, 2018: Please make a note of the current wood in the Esopus Creek at the Woodland Valley Bridge and avoid it. Information can be found on this web page for this location and others: http://www.670.marchollander.com/2018-wood-in-stream/
Spread the word and share.
Esopus Creek - New England Slalom Series/Recreational Release -10/7-8/2017 Approved
The recreational whitewater release on The Esopus Creek for New England Slalom Series/Recreational Release -10/7-8/2017 has been approved.
Please note that there are downed trees blocking the part of channel below Phoenicia that should be avoidable by anyone with reasonable skills; reports from prior trips confirm this. I've posted details here: http://670.marchollander.com/esopus-creek-tree-down/ Excercise judgement to ensure you paddle within your own limits. (Take note of the NY Constitutional Convention Page while you visit this site too.)
My working group has agreed on a protocol for managing wood in streams that yeilds a determination to 1) remove wood that's a threat to safety and ifrastructure and 2) maintain wood that's good for the eco system. The trees referenced above are deemed a safety hazard that have no beneft to the habitat. Over the next few months we hope to identify how to complete the protocol; act on removing the wood deemed a safety hazard and hopefully identify a source of funding and group willing to remove the trees with those funds. Stay tuned for updates as I have them,
Enjoy the creek for me as I continue to focus on improving my back and hip health.
Esopus Creek - Labor Day Weekend / Shandaken Whitewater Weekend -9/2-4/2017 - Update
Here's a nice update from Brenan that should provide prime conditions on the creek:
"I’m requesting a maximum flow through the Shandaken Portal. At the current baseflows and reservoir storage level, that should result in a Coldbrook flow just around 900 cfs, maybe a little less (~885 cfs)."
Have a great time and let me know how your trips were.
The recreational whitewater release on The Esopus Creek for Labor Day Weekend / Shandaken Whitewater Weekend 9/2-4/2017 has been approved.
Please note that there are downed trees blocking the part of channel below Phoenicia that should be avoidable by anyone with reasonable skills. I've posted details here: http://670.marchollander.com/esopus-creek-tree-down/ Exercise judgement to ensure you paddle within your own limits. (Take note of the NY Constitutional Convention Page while you visit this site too.)
My working group has agreed on a protocol for managing wood in streams that yields a determination to 1) remove wood that's a threat to safety and infrastructure and 2) maintain wood that's good for the ecosystem. The trees referenced above are deemed a safety hazard that have no benefit to the habitat. Over the next few months we hope to identify how to complete the protocol; act on removing the wood deemed a safety hazard. Stay tuned for updates as I have them,
Tree Down River Left - Below Phoenicia about 1,000 feet downstream of The Phoenicia Diner
Esopus Creek Tree Down info, including pictures, can be found here: http://670.marchollander.com/esopus-creek-tree-down/
Please be aware that there's a tree down on river left about 1,000 feet downstream of The Phoenicia Diner. At release levels, it "should" be passable on river right (based on my judgement from the railroad tracks, there appears to be a flat section of bank on river right by the tree that's not obstructed). Please proceed with care.
There will be a recreational whitewater release this Saturday, July 15th, on the Esopus Creek; there will not be any recreational release levels on Sunday.
This is in the spirit of this year's release request stating:
Additionally, we'd gladly welcome any discussions to ensure a good balance between all the needs your balancing ; we would appreciate a call if there are any challenges we might partner to address that might lead to a positive disposition for a modified recreational release.
This was motivated by uncertainty in the cold water model caused by accumulated sediment in Schoharie Reservoir.
It's rare to get a release approved in July, and a single day's release is a good outcome for recreational access for whitewater use and in consideration of the environment's dependency on the cold water reserves.
While it would be ideal to have received approval earlier to facilitate planning and ensure a robust turnout, we'll work towards getting disposition two weeks prior to the requested dates as per a conversation I had with Brenan consistent with the spirit of this excerpt from the release request:
We look forward to receiving a confirmation of these dates as soon as you’re able to provide them; plans and financial commitments are dependent on the NYS DEC’s timely disposition on these requests.
This disposition is reflected on:
The NYS DEC Page here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/80682.html
The Town Tinker Website here: http://www.towntinker.com/whitewater-release-dates/
Will be reflected on the Facebook pages of AMC and KCCNY
Will be added to American Whitewater's Esopus Creek page specific to the section of the river below the portal
Enjoy the creek.
DEC ALERTS TUBERS, KAYAKERS AND ANGLERS TO HIGH FLOWS IN THE ESOPUS CREEK
Higher Flows Will Facilitate Better Recreational Opportunities on the Creek
DEC Urges Users to Exercise Caution and Care While Enjoying the Creek
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) will be conducting a DEC approved recreational release for the lower Esopus Creek this weekend to provide additional flows for recreational activities on the creek, including tubing and kayaking.
The additional flow will start at 6:00 p.m. on Friday (6/3) and will continue through Sunday (6/5) afternoon.
DEC reminds everyone to have fun and enjoy the creek but as always be careful, wear your personal floatation devices (PFDs) and take advantage of the numerous private guides and vendors that offer recreational boating and tubing services on the Esopus Creek.
DEC’s Allaben fishing access site will be open for fishing but be advised that this is not a suitable location for launching tubes or kayaks and boaters should find an appropriate location downstream to launch. Anglers and other creek users should be cautious due to the high flows, and obey all appropriate signs and restrictions.
Connect with DEC on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
Regional Citizen Participation Specialist, Office of Communication Services
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
21 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, NY 12561
P: 845-256-3018 | F: 518-255-3042 | firstname.lastname@example.org
www.dec.ny.gov | cid:image002.gif@01D01928.215FD820 | cid:image001.gif@01D01927.D33C0790
2015 Release Dates Requested from the NYS DEC as follows:
June 6-7, 2015 - Done/Well attended
July 18-19, 2015
Sept. 5- 7, 2015
Oct. 3-4, 2015
Please note that the all releases are typically approved with the possible exception of the July release (dependent on cold water reserves).
Requests and approval status may be viewed here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/80682.html
(Note: the strainer described in this comment has apparently been removed, per a later comment.)
In addition to the strainer by the railroad rapids(left channel under the bridge), I spotted a second one during our 4/28/2009 run at 1160cfs. That one is in the middle channel under the bridge right after Elmer's. It is a dark metal bridge as much as I remember. It looked like a 3 -4 feet long wave/hole combo and I thought I found a gem to play a bit more but the more I approached I realized that it was a tree burried under water. I was able to go over it but at lower levels it could be a hazard. I did not have a chance to go back and scout it in detail. My friends used the river left channel and had no issues.
Esopus Creek Recreational Whitewater Release for September 3rd Through 5th 2016 declined:
Unfortunately, the Department cannot support your request for an enhanced water release on Labor Day Weekend (September 3rd-5th, 2016).
The cold water volume in Schoharie Reservoir was depleted in early August and the water temperatures in the Esopus Creek have been elevated all month long. The attached graph shows that the minimum temperature at the Coldbrook gage has frequently been above 70F during August creating a stressful environment for trout and other aquatic life.
Graph of DAILY Temperature, water, degrees Celsius
An increased diversion of warm water from the Shandaken Portal at this time would reduce the cooling effect of low nighttime air temperatures which will hopefully provide needed relief to fish.
Please let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to corresponding with you regarding the requested October event.
Learn more about reservoir releases in New York State: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/36358.html
Environmental Engineer I, Division of Water
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway – 4th Floor, Albany, NY 12233
As of late 2007 there are a few river-wide logs between the portal and the cemetery access. We've been able to paddle over them with no difficulty, but the farther upstream you are the more attention you should devote to logs and strainers. I'd also suggest that a maximum level of 8 feet on the Cold Brook guage is a bit conservative. Last October we made a high water run and the guage was at 9.6' (about 6000 cfs) when we passed it. Things were fast and pushy, with lots of very big waves, but not much more difficult than at more typical levels. Official flood stage is at 11', but at any high level you should be extra vigilant for new strainers as well as moving logs and strainers.
The strainer that Jon is talking about is just ABOVE Railroad Rapids, right below the downstream side of the Woodlawn Valley Bridge. It takes up the whole left side to the center column of the bridge.
2 years ago
by Marc Hollander
3 years ago
6 years ago
by angela baldo
by brett gehrke
8 years ago
by ADK Schenectady
9 years ago
by ed cleveland
by Jon Ollendorf
This gauge is several miles downstream of the take-out. It should not be considered accurate for anything upstream of the portal or downstream of the Ashokan Reservoir.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Running Railroad in OC1
strainer 2nd pic
strainer on Esopus Creek
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