Croton, New York, US
|Usual Difficulty||II (for normal flows)|
|CROTON R AT NEW CROTON DAM NR CROTON-ON-HUDSON NY|
|usgs-01375000||2.50 - 7.00 ft||II||01h23m||3.18 ft (running)|
Posted in a comment:
Take Note: A pair of approx 1/4" steel cables are strung across the width of the river only a few hundred yards down from the put in. At lower levels you can duck underneath them (at approx 3.5 ft. they were well above my head and I didn't need to duck) however they become a serious hazard at higher levels (today in the 5.5+ range) they were boat level and hard to see, they caught me and flipped me and sprung into my friend's face. Not sure what their purpose is but they are visible from the road by the guard house for the park suggested to portage or paddle around if possible.
The following is thanks to Buck Webb:
Access: Croton Dam Park is owned by Westchester County; they have not been a problem, although you may have to pay on nice weekends before about 4 PM. The area to Silver- Lake is owned by Croton and the Croton water department and they are not friendly. Do not park in the Croton park at Quaker Bridge for the surfwave--they will ticket nonresidents. You can park at a pull-off another 100 feet from the bridge. I have not had trouble taking out at Silver Lake where there are lifeguards. The takeout below Island Rapid is not Croton and thus OK. Right at the top of the path is legal parking. At the RR station, pay for parking or get a ticket.
River sequence Croton Dam to Hudson River:
Put on below Croton dam. Nice wave under bridge at higher levels.
Gauge is at bottom edge of the dam park on river left.
Class II+ section, trees and blow-downs in the river are only hazards. Can go either side of various islands. Nice eddy shear lines just above dam.
First dam 2 feet. Debris collects below dam. Route and flow bypasses dam on river right. Nice elevator move eddy at top.
Class I section:
Quaker Bridge Dam: class IV, 8 feet high 30 ft long: Run the rock slide at river left, start at middle of left half of river, get shot left, stay 4 ft from bank. Not much maneuvering here, somewhat a crapshoot whether you bump anything. If you flip, you will get scraped up. Do not run next to the sluice as there is rebar. Below 3 feet it's too shallow. Below 2.8 ft, you can take out on top of the dam near river right and carry right; at higher water, take out 100 feet before the dam on right and take the path.
Jets and big-waterish swirlies below dam.
Class II-III boulder garden.
Surf wave below Quaker Bridge. Nice eddy. Gentle hole below 3 ft, wave like above. Can be very nice. I disagree with KCCNY on the surfing wave. It pulses around 4.5 ft-4.6 ft but is surfable with good eddies to >7 ft.
Class I section, some nice eddy lines.
Silver Lake swimming area above dam. First takeout is on the right at the beach.
Silver Lake dam: Run hard right. There is a strong hole below the rest of the dam but it is quite shallow. At high water it's more wave-like; it may be a surf spot but I don't know its safety.
Boulder garden: II-III+ depending on level. Can take out at the very bottom of Silver Lake Park on the right before the island.
Island Rapid: II-IV, depending on level. Two routes:
Left of island: narrow chute. Scouting on river left recommended for blow-downs. At 2-3 feet bumpy and technical (II to III+ with level). At higher water pretty fast and technical (IV) 100yds. Above 4 ft you probably won't be able to eddy out.
Right of Island: too shallow below 3.5 feet. Easier route than left at high water. Can have too many overhanging branches to run. Scout from island or river right hiking down from the dam. Again, watch for blow-downs.
Class one section gorge.
Second takeout: On right, just before the river splits again with most of it going left. Can park legally on road at top of path.
Rest of river Class I. to Hudson, Can take out at the RR station.
Because of the dams, the difficulty of the sections of the Croton above Silver Lake doesn't change that much with flow, even to 7 ft.
The Croton has several flat sections but does have some nice features.
The Croton is a short (perhaps two miles), wide, mostly class 2 moving water river, sprinkled with class 2+ and 3 features. Rapids are shallow and bumpy.
2.5 - 2.9 feet: Low level run with little play. Rock slide is not runnable. Play wave under the metal bridge is shallow, but will hold surfer. Island rapid is weak, shallow, and very bumpy.
3.0 - 3.5 feet: Optimal level for play. Lots of squirt lines, rock slide is runnable over 3.0, and river-wide play wave under the metal bridge is great for surfing and enders. The last rapid ("Island Rapid") becomes runnable at 3.0
3.6 - 5.4 feet: The surf wave and most of the playful eddy lines are washed out.
This river has construction material and pinning rocks. It is highly recommended that it be run with someone who knows it well for your first run.
Downstate New York Area Reaches