The Beer Kill flows through a steep, wooded gorge in the Southern Catskills. It is predominantly Class IV/IV+ ledge drop boating interspersed with some easier boogie water between the larger drops. Most people will want to portage three times. The portages, coupled with the depth and apparent remoteness of the gorge, create a wilderness feel that is unique to the region and seem to make the portages more tolerable, if not enjoyable.
The beginning of the run is slow-going with a likely portage of the second rapid, immediately below the put-in bridge. This one is a narrow toaster slot that has wood stuffed in an undercut on the right side. After a couple of notable drops, the most significant of which is a 5 foot boof onto a slide, you'll need to be heads up for a horizon line which indicates Hanging Rock Falls. Pull out on the left. Rumor has it that the first 20 footer has been run, but shortly below are two even bigger drops, of which the final one drops at least 30 feet onto rock. Walk on the left and take time to admire the spectacular three- tiered falls. The Beer Kill has a very intimate feel and Hanging Rock Falls, at a total height of close to 100 feet, adds significantly to the character of the river, despite being a rather cumbersome carry. To re-enter the river, it might be necessary to lower boats down because of the steepness of the gorge; the loose dirt and rock make finding sturdy footing somewhat difficult. But your efforts will be rewarded with a mile of excellent paddling. The drops are comfortably spaced, but there are a few places where you can feel a bit of tilt to the riverbed. Scout the horizon lines and be prepared for the very real possibility of a strainer in an inopportune place. Be VERY heads up on this run for wood. A final portage will probably be required towards the end of the gorge. This 20 footer has been run, but the landing is shallow and should be scouted carefully. The portage is on the left and is reasonably strenuous, but still seems to be the preferable mode of transportation. One other rapid deserves mention on this run. Shortly after the portage around Hanging Rock Falls is a rapid marked by a boulder in the center. The left side of this rapid has a dangerous sieve and the right side has an undercut. The rapid is not particularly difficult but warrants caution.Shuttle Directions:
The Beer Kill can be found by heading west from the town of Ellenville on Rte. 52. Follow the river upstream and make a right onto County Road 53 and park in a small turn-out a few hundred feet downstream of the confluence with the West Branch of the Beer Kill (a short, roadside Class 4/5 section). From the take-out, follow 53 upstream along the West Branch until it rejoins Rte. 52. You will stay on 52 for a very short time before making a right back onto 53. Follow 53 uphill for a couple of miles and then make a right onto Marcus Road, which at the time of this writing is not denoted by a road sign, but will be the only right hand turn fitting the description. Go with your instincts and you will soon find yourself crossing a bridge over the Beer Kill which is the put- in.
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
Downstate New York Area Reaches
Beer Kill Beer Kill, W. Branch
Callicoon Creek, E. Branch Callicoon Creek, N. Branch
Coxing Kill Croton
Delaware (1.) Delaware (2. Mongaup Wave)
Delaware (3.) Fishkill Creek
Mombaccus Creek Mongaup
Moodna Creek Neversink (1.)
Neversink (2.) Neversink, E. Branch
Peters Kill Pocantico
Popolopen Brook Ramapo
Rochester Creek Rondout Creek (1.)
Rondout Creek (2.) Rondout Creek (3.)
Sandburg Creek Stony Brook (1.)
Stony Brook (2.) Wallkill
Google Map of New York Whitewater
New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group
Marcus Rd has a sign but it's bent. If you go slow and look for it, you'll see it. It's a small Rd with a house on the corner on the far side of the road. I made a right turn after the bridge which will take you back to 209 hoping to do some scouting but you cant see anything from the Rd and the climb down would have been very difficult at best.
Here is the full list of drop names, and some notes on their current condition as of 10/30/06
1. Toaster - Has been run.. slot has a rock in the landing ( according to Paul Einfeldt ). Also has the potential of catching wood.
2. Assmaster - Note: River wide strainer immediately after this rapid.
3. Hanging Rock Falls
4. Tree Drop / Sieve Rapid - Used to be a tree across the entire rapid, which forced one to run hard right, far away from the sieve.
Note: There is currently wood in the right side so run left.. closer to the sieve.
4. Double Drop - Double boof drop.
5. Fifty-Fifty - First Big Drop after Carry
6. Mushroom - Similar to fifty fify, a steep funnel with a large boil / boof in the top and a flushy hole at the bottom.
7. Ignorance is Bliss
8. Coffin - Named after large slab of rock that sticks up on the right side of the final boof.
Also, those who run the Beer Kill may now enjoy some new scenery.. a two person paddle boat seems to have attempted the run.
This stays up longer than other Catskill creeks,
because of the lake above it. The Rondout will need to
be 11 feet, but look for it to peak over 12.5 ft before
coming down if there hasnÂt been any recent
precipitation or the lake may not fill before spilling
over.If this is high (>16 ft.), head
somewhere else, because of the possibility of flushing
into a new strainer or one of the normally portaged
rapids. I usually like to hit the Beer Kill a couple of
days after a rain when everything else has dropped
too low in the area.
Permits are not required for this reach.
The Beer Kill can be found by heading west from the town of Ellenville on Rte. 52. Follow the river upstream and make a right onto County Road 53 and park in a small turn-out a few hundred feet downstream of the confluence with the West Branch of the Beer Kill (a short, roadside Class III-IV section). From the take-out, follow 53 upstream along the West Branch until it rejoins Rte. 52. You will stay on 52 for a very short time before making a right back onto 53. Follow 53 uphill for a couple of miles and then make a right onto Marcus Road, which at the time of this writing is not denoted by a road sign, but will be the only right hand turn fitting the description. Go with your instincts and you will soon find yourself crossing a bridge over the Beer Kill, which is the put-in.
Ted on the Beer Kill
Ted on the Beer Kill Slide
Josh in the Slot Boof
Hanging Rock Falls Final Drop
Hanging Rock Falls First Drop
Adam on the Beer Kill slide
Above the Sieve Rapid
20 Footer aka Ignorance is Bliss
Jeff on the Beerkill
Matt Walker boofin on the Beerkill
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