This photo needs editing.
Difficulty II-III
Length 5.4 Miles
Flow Range 5.00 - 8.00 FT
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 4.32 [FT]
Reach Info Last Updated 06/01/2020 5:09 pm

River Description

The Allaben portal  is where water from the Schoharie Reservoir is piped into the Esopus for transport to the Ashokan Reservoir. There is almost always a minimum flow of perhaps 100CFS from the portal, and augmented flows to facilitate paddling are possible a few times a year. The usual dates are the first full weekend of June, the second weekend of July, Labor Day weekend, and the first weekend of October. Those augmented flows are dependent on approval by the NYC water supply department, and do not always happen.  Confirmation of the releases will usually be posted on the website of KCCNY.

The banks of the Esopus are very prone to erosion, and there have been several deaths as a result of entrapment in strainers between the portal and Boiceville. Paddlers and tubers should expect to find strainers every time they run the Esopus. While strainers most likely on the outside of bends where the current undercuts the banks, narrower sections or channels occasionally have river-wide strainers.

About 1/2 mile down from this put-in is a left-hand turn with a very large and seemingly permanent strainer that 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. As a result of this strainer and the deaths the tubing companies and most paddlers put in at the fishing access next to the cemetery about 3/4 of a mile downstream of the portal. This access is labeled on Google Maps.

From the cemetery access you get right into the first playspot called "Cartwheel Hole" which is a double squirt line 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. This is also a great place to practice ferries, peel outs and eddy turns to get warmed up before continuing.

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.
Immediately upstream of the creek at Woodland Valley is the class III "Tenderizer" hole (rarely playable but fun to try), the railroad wave (class II surf), and then Railroad Rapid (still listed as an AW benchmark class III, but now only class II at typical flows) which is the site of long-standing slalom races. Many boaters get out here, about 3 miles down from the portal. The next significant rapids occur as you enter Phoenicia.

After the Phoenicia bridge, the third bridge from the put-in, is Elmer's Bend, a class III rapid with many different characteristics depending in the level. The most common route starts by going right of the prominent boulder in the center, and then left to right thru the rock garden, while continuing straight thru river right and over a little drop is another option, especially at higher levels. Elmer's also offers plenty of eddy hopping for those wanting some practice. There's also a challenging surf at the very bottom.

There are several take-out options below Elmer's.  The most common is a fishing access about 1 mile downstream on river left. It's also possible to continue another mile to the river right access at the parking area on Route 28 or to continue another 5 miles to the river left take out behind the Boiceville IGA. See the AW description for that section for more information.




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

Rapid Descriptions

No Name

Class - Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
In the fall on 2003 the dep did extensive work at the confluence with woodland valley, redirectin the river away from an eroding bank with a perpetual strainer. As a result, storms which shortly followed removed the popular bridge wave.

Cemetery Put-In

Class - N/A Mile - 1
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

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. 

River Left Strainer

Class - N/A Mile - 1
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Dangerous pile of logs forms a large strainer on river left after the cemetery put-in. The fastest current sweeps under it. 

Elmer's Bend

Class - III+ Mile - 4.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Anglers' Parking Takeout

Class - N/A Mile - 5.4
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

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.


Gage Descriptions

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.

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

Date Flow Result Factor  
2015-09-05 Medium Fatality Inexperience Read More
1992-06-06 High Fatality High Water Read More
1992-06-06 High Fatality Other Read More



article main photo

Moose River Video

Mark Singleton

2010 marked the 25th anniversary of protecting the Black and Moose rivers!  View an online video documentary on the Moose River and the early role that American Whitewater played in protecting this amazing river.


Skip Morris


Steve McLuckie


Sam Southgate


Alex Barham


peter nightingale


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1197663 05/16/10 Skip Morris
1197664 05/16/10 Skip Morris
1197665 05/16/10 Skip Morris
1215122 06/01/20 Steve McLuckie updated description
1215125 06/01/20 Steve McLuckie updated description
1205259 09/06/15 Sam Southgate
1197669 05/16/10 Skip Morris
1205260 09/06/15 Sam Southgate
1206325 04/21/16 Alex Barham Added local info
1193637 01/09/05 peter nightingale n/a