Wanaque , New Jersey, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-IV (for normal flows)|
|Wanaque River at Awosting NJ|
|usgs-01383500||110 - 1500 cfs||III-IV||00h47m||146 cfs (running)|
|Upper limit for best boatability uncertain. Please help your fellow boaters with a comment or report.|
This is definetly a 'wam-bam-thank-you-mam' kind of run and you get a lot of bang for your buck. By name it's the Wanaque River but in reality it's a creek/brook run. early May 09, we ran it at a low level, about 110cfs or 2.70ft. I would say at such a low level it was basically a CL3-3+ run with the drops being CL4. At such low level, a person O.K. on CL3 wanting to do CL4 should be fine since it's not too pushy and making the small micro eddies should not be too much of a problem as well as if one gets caught in a strainer, he or she should be able to get out and help from others a bit easier. At more acceptable levels I would just say CL4. At such levels, catching micro eddies will be real important and nessacesary. There's a fair amount of wood.
We started at the hikers' bridge across the road from the dirt turn-out on East Shore Road. Some of us started just downstream of the bridge (too low to paddle under), and some of us walked a couple of yards to avoid the first drop http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpabXT-fQF0 Said drop is scoutable from the road before you unload your boats. The first drop is I guess 5 ft. There's a rooster tail that will A) pin you B) you'll boof over but I doubt) or C) if you hit, but not dead-on, you'll flip. Let us know what happens to you if you hit, we wanna know without the possible consequences. We ran it just left of the rooster, no problems. After the drop, a small rapid then a short pool. From this pool, if I remember correct, from where I was, creek-left, I only saw one way, through vines and rock bouncing, messy. I think someone else took a clean line on the right that I didn't see being too lazy to ferry over. After a few drops and whitewater you get to a drop worth mentioning, perhaps we'll call it 'kiss rock'. At the days low water level, there is only enough water for one route. All the water goes down this drop, I guess about 5 to 6 ft and slams into a boulder about the size of a half minivan. You WILL hit this rock. My buddy ran it, the rest of us walked it. He angled his kayak pointing about 4-5 O'clock going left to right, hit the rock semi-sideways and got pushed off right of the rock. At higher water I'm quite sure a clean left line will open. As it was, the water formed a 'ramp' half way up the rock and wonder if it can be boofed at higher water. Let us know if you do this.
After some more rapids, I cant remember if there was another drop or two, but you soon come to the 'big-one'. You get on a CL3+ rapid, followed by a slide that I guess is about 10ft long, 6ft down that has a small hole at the end, into a ledge of swirly water with a water seam, then goes over a 10ft(?) waterfall into a big deep pool. The waterfall isnt the hard part, getting to it might prove tricky. As small as the hole is, a buddy told me he got stuck in it for a bit. I was also told that one day someone got flipped in the swirly and ran the fall upsidedown and backwards, but was OK. When I did this drop, I bypassed the edge of the hole but then got pushed toward the wall, a swirly eddie. I managed to eddie out and run the fall sweet but wasn't sure it was gonna workout real good. This is a fun and awsome drop/falls. There's a picture on google earth of the falls taken from downstream. After the big pool I guess you got about a 1/4 mile to the reservoir. It is legal to paddle here and flat water paddlers paddle there.