Hudson River north of Saugerties

There is said to be a “dangerous maelstrom” on the east side of the Hudson a bit north of Saugerties. The chart shows the main (deep) channel to the west and another, narrow channel close to the eastern shore. The two channels are separated by long shallows.

I have no intention of visiting this area but I am curious to know what kind of water behavior is to be found here at high and low tide. Anyone?

Dangerous Maelstrom?
The only thing I’ve ever encountered there that would qualify are the powerboaters and jet skiers that frequent that area. Actually, no big thing, more wakes to surf.

There is a large area of shallows there as noted. I got into that one time as the tide was going out and had to literally walk on my hands through the muck to get to deeper water-lots of broken shells down there that can cut you up also.

Is this much further north than Malden? Paddle there pretty frequently during the summer months as my in laws live in Saugerties. The Esopus is a good time trial creek (‘crick?’)

Its right in the Malden area, I think
I’ll have to look at the chart again. I was in Saugerties on Saturday, checking out areas with river access - Tina Chorvas Memorial Park, for one.

Lot of variation

– Last Updated: Oct-31-06 11:01 AM EST –

We haven't paddled further south than Tivoli, but one thing that does happen on the Hudson is a huge variation in current effects depending on the strength of the tide and, for waves, the play with the wind. There is a small RR overpass at the entrance into a shallow marshy area, for example, not far south of where we launched. On our way south it was running a several knot current and required that one of our group be towed, two hours later it was barely there. I'd guess that maelstrom is a creature of relatively big tide changes.

The tide can run up to 5 ft at the first dam in Troy, over 140 miles up the Thruway from NYC. Pretty surprising really.

Malden Maelstroms
I’ve been water skiing, crusing, and paddling that area since 1970. I have NEVER seen anything that even remotely could be construed as a maelstrom. The only possibility that I and others have reached is that this is either folklore or is left over from the days before the channel was dug. Sailing ships of Henry Hudson possibly could have run aground here.

BTW glider, Tina Chorvas Memorial Park is directly across the creek from “Cliff Haven”. Feel free to stop in whenever anyone is around and introduce yourselves (The green floats and ramp). My brother and crew took the floats out on Saturday. Unfortunately, I was working.

Tivoli Bay and the Railroad Bridge
can be found here in pics from a recent trip if the link works.
The Hudson River Watertrail Association puts out the Hudson River Watertrail Guide and the nav charts mark out the location of the Maelstrom. I’ve only hit it at what I guess is it’s weakest for it certainly wasn’t any sort of effect that was as frightening as it’s name. The tidal rips outflow from Tivoli Bays had more ooompf.

The Watertrail Guide is about the best $25 you can invest in poking around on the Hudson River.

See you on the water,


I just joined HRWA and look forward to reading the guide all winter.

I experienced the Tivoli Bay railroad bridge in July. I’m glad to know that it wasn’t just my newbie paddling skill (or lack thereof) that made it difficult getting back out against the tide.

Hey Glider
Don’t know how far south you’ve ventured, but one of my favorite paddling spots is right around Cold Spring. Down south to Constitution Marsh (tranquil, serene) and out into the maelstrom (this qualifies) of Journey’s End right by West Point. A little further north and you’re around Bannerman’s Island, for a true touch of the Rhine on the Hudson.

Then there’s always the Race around Manhattan for the stretch under the GWB…

Such a majestic river: Shattemuc, ‘the river that flows both ways’… Enjoy.

Pollepel Island

– Last Updated: Nov-01-06 6:08 AM EST –

The ruins of Bannerman's Arsenal are located on Pollepel Island.

Haven’t gone more than a few miles
north or south of Kingston yet but the places you mention are definitely on the list for next summer.

The greatest thing about the Hudson is that you can re-visit the same areas but the conditions create a different experience each time.