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Difficulty IV-V(V+)
Length 3.5 Miles
Gauge RONDOUT CREEK AT ROSENDALE NY
Flow Range 11.00 - 16.00 FT
Flow Rate as of: 19 hours ago 8.89 [FT]
Reach Info Last Updated 04/26/2016 1:03 pm

River Description


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 

Wappinger Creek

 

Google Map of New York Whitewater

New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group

 

Rapid Descriptions

Class - IV Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Put In / Bridge Drop

Class - N/A Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
Put in just upstream of the Bridge on Marcus Rd.
Short class IV. Eddy out afterwards on river right.

Toaster Slot

Class - 5.3 Mile - 0.1
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
Get out on river right after running the rapid under the bridge to portage this nasty, undercut slot.
This drop has been run, but there is a large pointy rock in the middle of the slot that is not visible at most flows.
Seal launch back into the river just after the slot.

Assmaster

Class - IV Mile - 0.2

This is the aptly named Assmaster (south park reference). There is a fair amount of abuse on your backside, so I suppose it's a fitting name. You can hit the boof just about anywhere; the left is not as high, but go to far left and you'll be peeling yourself off the rocks along the bank. There are a couple other easy IV's after this before the mandatory portage (most use the left side) around Hanging Rock Falls.

Hanging Rock Falls (First Drop)

Class - 5.3 Mile - 0.4
The first drop might actually be runnable if your day job involves leaping tall buildings in a single bound. Ted left his cape at home on this day unfortunately.

Hanging Rock Falls (Final Drops)

Class - 5.3 Mile - 0.5
The last two land on rocks. Portage on the left. Lowering boats is strongly recommended to get back to river level.

Sieve Rapid

Class - IV Mile - 0.7
It's not really too visible in this shot, but the moss covered rock forms an ugly sieve. I've run the left to right move above the sieve, but the better line is right of the boulder in the center. It does get a little bony at lower flows though.

50 / 50

Class - IV+ Mile - 0.8

This is the first big rapid below the portage at Hanging Rock Falls. The key is to have a little right angle as you come off the vertical drop, because most of the flow wants to push you left into an undercut.

Lots of Great Boogie Water / Mushroom Drop

Class - IV+ Mile - 0.9
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

The next mile or so is all more or less boat scoutable, depending on your comfort level of doing so. You'll want to look at a couple of horizon lines unless you're with someone who knows the run, but otherwise everthing is good to go until you get to a funnelled, sliding drop with a boof in the center (Mushroom). Call this one a class IV+. It comes about 3/4 of a mile into the gorge.

Ignorance is Bliss

Class - V Mile - 2

This is big waterfall with a tough approach. The drop lands on a shelf and has a small sweet spot. It has been run, but is more often portaged on the left.

Tombstone

Class - IV+ Mile - 2.2

This is the last drop on the run. It's a pretty straightforward boof, but the cave on the right and the wood on the left make it interesting.

Take out

Class - Mile - 2.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
After a nice stretch of Class 3 boogie, the West Branch of the Beerkill will come in on the right. Take out shortly thereafter on the right alongside County Road 53. A longer run can be had by running down to the ballfield in Ellenville if so desired. This will add a few interesting ledge drops to the day.

Comments

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James Dougherty
|
12 years ago

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.

Gage Descriptions

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 hasn’t 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

NA

Directions Description


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.

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Moose River Video

1/18/2011
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.

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Alex Barham

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Jeff Sharpe

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1206307 04/21/16 Alex Barham Added local info
1206376 04/26/16 Alex Barham Added local info
1190188 07/24/08 Jeff Sharpe n/a