Catskill Paddling?

Mrs. Riverstrider and I have decided to spend some time in the Catskills of NY for the long weekend, but we’ve never been. Could anyone suggest a good paddling destination to check out, probably closer to the eastern side than the wetern?

I’m looking for easy-access flatwater, and short trips at that. Rivers are preferred, but lakes and ponds are OK too.



You’re in my territory.

– Last Updated: Oct-06-08 1:07 PM EST –

And although a card carrying member of
the CWO (Catskill Whitewater Outlaws),
My wife and I did a quiet paddle on the
Catskill Creek yesterday...Lakes and ponds
are mostly of the smaller variety. Most
creeks/small rivers, depend on where levels
are at. Although, the Esopus (near Phoenicia NY)
is always runable even at minimum, if you and your
Missus can hack the occasional Class II
rapid set/fairly shallow (scratchy) parts.
In fact, they just had a slalom event held there last Saturday.
Send me an email with what town you'll be staying near and I'll be glad to hip all the facts of what's nearby the particular part of the region you're visiting. Hell, I/We could even join ya for a daytrip.

I was just there
Mrs. Mint and I spent the other week at Mongaup Pond.

It was nice, although not great as a paddling destination. Very scenic, but small (even if it is the “largest body of water in the Catskills outside of the reservoirs”). There is reportedly a resident Bald Eagle, although we didn’t see it.

Using that as a base, you could easily get to the Upper Delaware. The Beaverkill is a possibility too - although it has been low.

Hey Mint, sorry I missed you there.

– Last Updated: Oct-06-08 1:45 PM EST –

(Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread.)

--And by the way, foliage will be peaking
already around many parts up here, this weekend.

If you’re near Mongaup
If you’ll be near Mongaup, I’d suggest the Rio Reservoir instead - it’s narrow and 3 or 4 miles long. Also Basher Kill is nearby - it’s a nice lake/river system, although it can have a lot of vegetation to wend your way through. Don’t have any ideas for the E. Catskills though.

Catskill creek in Village of Catskill
There is a very nice and convenient put-in across the street from the old school. From there you can paddle the Catskill Creek downstream to the mouth of the Hudson River and upstream a couple miles till you hit the first rapid. This is a very nice section of creek with great fishing, lots of Osprey and the occasional bald eagle. The Catskill creek is tidal here and you’ll want to hit it toward the high tide to get a good paddle bite everywhere and not have to get out.

Like I said, the fishing in this section is outstanding for bass. If you think you might paddle this flatwater section of the Catskill, let me know and I’ll locate the put in for you and post a link.

The rest of the Catskill Creek (upstream from the Village of Catskill) runs the gamot with class II, III and IV. Unless you want to do ww, you don’t want to paddle it.

Also, if you like Mexican food
… you’ll really want to eat at Pancho Villa’s up on the Mountan in Hunter (near the skiing). It is a family owned and operated place with the best darned salsa I’ve ever had.

Saugerties and Kingston

– Last Updated: Oct-06-08 8:40 PM EST –

You can also launch from Saugerties town beach, explore the wildlife preserve there and paddle upstream several miles on the Esopus. Or do a dock launch below the dam and head out to the Saugerties lighthouse and the Hudson.

Kingston: the Sleightsburg boat launch will let you paddle several miles up the Rondout, or out to the Kingston lighthouse and the Hudson.

Also, if you launch from near the school in Catskill, as the other poster mentioned above, you can paddle up Dubois Creek a ways into Ramshorn Marsh.

Te Bueno, Clarion! Try the Mole Polbano

– Last Updated: Oct-06-08 9:07 PM EST –

or the Carne Asada! Also, if you go just up the
road from Hunter about 8 miles, just outside the
town of Windham is CD Lane Park. Here, there is
a small manmade 7-acre lake that seldom has anyone
boating on it. (It's a well kept local secret, so keep
the place under your hat!...Ooops.) There's plenty of parking with a short walk into the water, sandy beach access. The water is clean, with lots of wildlife: bald eagles, herons, beavers and of course, Canada geese. Nice surrounding mountain views. If you hit it on a weekday, you'll probably have the place all to yourself. If on a weekend, there might be at or two other paddlers.

I “Second” the Upper Delaware NM

I’ve seen them stalk mice.

What’s the status of the dam work on the Rio? Last I heard the electric company wanted to sell their ownership of the dam and the town or something was trying to get them to fix the dam. The lake was lowered as such which obviously would affect paddlers…


I’ve heard the Basha Kill is a nice flatwater river paddle. Unfortunately, all the nice reservoirs are off-limits unless you have an aluminum kayak and docked there permanently. (and perhaps a fishing license). The hudson is always an option, you’ll get some really nice views of the Wall of Manitou from the hudson/Athens area.

Upper east branch of the delaware can be paddled around the Margaretville area, water level should be somewhat high though.


Wood fired pizza…
Brios in Phoenicia is always a cool spot…

Last Chance Cheese spot is a place to go whenever in the Tannersville area… Good selection of pricey beers.

There is a nice mexican place in Woodstock that has inexpensive food… Forget the name though, been there once.


The Catskill reservoirs piss me off…
Or more specifically, the NYC DEP who owns and oversees them. These are massive bodies of water stretching for miles, that should be open to paddlers/non-motorized boating. At least via permit where one doesn’t have to leave there canoe/kayak on city land. The City is 120+ miles away, and is the biggest landholder in most reservoir counties. That land was originally taken from rural property owners using eminent domain for pennies on the dollar. It’s been a hundred years since Boss Tweed and Tamanny Hall. The city should now do right in the 21st Century, and open up more of these places for recreation. And if you’re a NYCDEP bureaucrat who happens to read this, don’t deal me any of that fear-mongering-because of-water-quality-and-9/11-security-crap! Just be glad for your taxpayer-based salary. Upstate NYers are very concerned with keeping their environment and water quality clean. We’re also the first ones to recognize and report trouble. So OPEN UP more of the damn reservoirs to the public!!!

(Sorry, to get off on this rant…But I just needed

to vent.)

I sat across from the Mole Poblano once
… but I was still glad I stuck with my regular fajita order. I guess I’m not much of a “trier” when I’ve got a sure-thing on the menu.

Word, Bob.
Let’s launch an assault on Albany. I harass the DEP guys at the Delaware County Fair about this every year. They tell me that its a liability issue more than anything else. They have this irrational idea that a dry-suited, spray-skirted kayaker is somehow more likely to flip and drown than a beer-drinking nimrod sitting in a tippy tin rowboat with a fishpole.

[No offense to any real fisherpeople who may be here]

Taco Juan’s

Thank you all!
Looks like there’s a good possibility that we’ll be meeting spiritboat and his lovely wife for a Sunday morning paddle. We may check out some of these other suggestions while we are up there. Sadly, time is short, and there’s so much to do (hike, go to festivals, drink beer, do nothing, etc.)

Thank you also for the restaurant suggestions…we will definitely visit Pancho Villa. Clarion, if you’ve never tried a dish with Mole sauce, you don’t know what you’re missing! Muy Bueno! Fantastico!

And if I find Last Chance Cheese, I’ll have a beer for all of you…especially those of you who will (I am sure) be doing the same for me down at Raystown.


Last Chance Cheese Shop…
Is pretty much in downtown Tannersville… South side of Rt 23A and east of the one light that is the intersection of CR25A and SR23A… There is ample parking across the street plus limited street parking there… Not hard to find.