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.
Today the park ranger was camped out at the put in foot bridge telling everyone kayaking is prohibited. Some paddlers spoke to her at length and requested that she call her supervisor, but that didn't help. She said all access to the creek was across park lands and their park rules prohibited running the river in a boat. She claimed she would call the police if she saw anyone on the creek. Many people left after long drives without paddling, but some instead put in out of view of the ranger and had a good run.
As of today there was only one mandatory portage for an easily spotted log jam. The largest couple of drops were paddled safely, but are definitely worth scouting from shore.
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nj/nwis/uv/?site_no=01383500&agency_cd=USGS Minimum is about 110cfs or 2.70 ft. I've been told in the fall, Sept. I think, they release from Greenwood Lake for two weeks, everyday!
Permits are not required for this reach.
click here for map:
"http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Greenwood+Lake+Turnpike&daddr=Greenwood+Lake+Turnpike+to:41.163277,-74.31736&geocode=FTbDcwIdqCCS-w%3BFTTEcwIdggmS-w%3B&hl=en&mra=mi&mrcr=1&mrsp=2&sz=14&sll=41.153067,-74.314699&sspn=0.033606,0.090637&ie=UTF8&ll=41.153067,-74.314699&spn=0.033606,0.090637&output=embed"></iframe><br /><small><a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=embed&saddr=Greenwood+Lake+Turnpike&daddr=Greenwood+Lake+Turnpike+to:41.163277,-74.31736&geocode=FTbDcwIdqCCS-w%3BFTTEcwIdggmS-w%3B&hl=en&mra=mi&mrcr=1&mrsp=2&sz=14&sll=41.153067,-74.314699&sspn=0.033606,0.090637&ie=UTF8&ll=41.153067,-74.314699&spn=0.033606,0.090637" or go to google maps and type in 'Hewitt, N.J.' For the take out we parked at the historical iron houses, but keep in mind this area is for visitors of the historic house so be curteous, conserve parking space and conduct yourself in a way that reflects well on paddlers. They sometimes have tours here and spaces then are really needed. Please, do not change clothes here and do NOT don't park in the handicap parking. Give visitors to the house the better spots near the entrance. If this lot is full, drive about a 1/4 further down Greenwood Turnpike, there's a dirt lot on the left on Greenwood just where E. Shore road comences toward the put-in. Now head to the put-in, drive up E shore road and look for a turn-out on you left and a hikers bridge over the creek on your right. You can probably start as far up as the road will take you, all the way to Greenwood Lake 0.8 of a mile urther on E shore road.If you do this, leave a comment, let us know how that turned out.
mine hole falls
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