Upper Delaware Trip

I am planning a 3-day, 3-night paddling trip down the upper Delaware River this summer. The plan is to put in at Callicoon and take out in Sparrowbush with camping 1 night each in Narrowsburg and Shohola areas. This means 14-17 miles each day. So here are my questions:

1 - can anyone recommend some good places to camp for a night? we are not adverse to “no-frills” camping, even on an island mid-river (water levels permitting).

2 - is 14-17 miles on this stretch of river doable for itermediate paddlers? especially 3 days straight…

3 - what is the typical speed of the water in these areas?

4 - for a summer trip (July most likely) what would be the best species of fish to target? Are we too far south to hope for trout? Smallies? Carp?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

here is the NPS map

Usually people plan for 2 mph on the Delaware but if you actually paddle 3 is reasonable making your days reasonable.

Water though didn’t look high last week. You can contact outfitters in the area.

low water
July is very late in the season for the Upper Delaware.

Call Landers canoe rentals, ask Landers.



see the box : search for river ? tap that box then enter Delaware.

AM will coordinate stream gauges for you.

you know none of your links work
so do us a favor and take out the s.Then they will work.

I hadn’t thought about the water level…
so that leaves me with a pressing need to come up with a Plan B should the water levels drop to non-navigable levels. Right now (and I don’t see this changing) there are 2 of us going on this trip - we are both intermediate paddlers and advanced hikers/campers. Can anyone suggest a 3 day paddling trip on, preferable, moving water in the NJ/NY/PA area? Unfortunately, we are stuck with the July timeframe so we need to make the location work for the time of year. Please help!

Look at resources
in the Pine Barrens of NJ or a little further down the Delaware.

The water level in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is usually reliable in July, if you would care to move your target area a little to the south. The dam at Lake Walkenpaupack is used for hydroelectric power, and as such releases water into the Lackawaxen, which feeds into the Delaware. Not as much in the way of rapids, though, but still a nice area.

go West !

search for canoe camping Susquehanna River probably below Sunbury but check water flow from NOAA water for above Sunbury.

Old info but you never know
I grew up in that area of the Catskills and 40+ years ago actually canoed part of that. It’s one of the loveliest areas in the NE, by the way. So my information is very old and may not be very useful.

When I scoped out the territory for camping and canoeing back then, I had originally settled on the Mongaup river system (Swinging Bridge, Mongaup Falls, Rio Reservoirs). A few portages, no white water to my recollection, mostly lakes/reservoirs strung together. You might check that out for potential.

Because it was still frozen over when I did my trip way back, I went for plan B: the Bashakill/Neversink to the Delaware. That was a mistake!

Copper !
Me too. Long road over the hill to Hackettstown. Beautiful country before they built the bridge, tunnel, 80.

Stars filled the sky. Now Jervis’ sky is grey with hydrocarbons.

I had a farmer shout at me at the ford. 40 years later he comes out to shout at me. Have a good day farmer.

Completed out trip
We left Thursday night (7/10) and camped in Narrowsburg, NY for 2 nights. 3rd night was just north of Barryville. Weather was damn near perfect Friday and Saturday with 1 or 2 passing showers, sunday was overcast and muggy in the morning with the clouds burning off by lunchtime.

The itinerary was awesome. Water was 4.5 feet on the Barryville USGS water watch gauge which was plenty high and the river moved at a 2.5mph clip…without paddling! Fishing was rough with all the rafts on the water - such a busy weekend.

If you are considering doing a trip like this, I highly recommend going when the water at the aforementioned Barryville gauge is running between 4 and 6 feet. Several sections of Class II rapids including the most famous section - Skinners Falls. While Skinners was the most challenging and biggest waves, I had the most fun on day 3 across Staircase, Mongaup and Butlers Rift rapids with the last of those being the best simply because they went on forever. wave after wave came crashing over the deck.

Also, we must have seen at least a half dozen eagles. It felt like twice that much but I’m sure we saw some of the same birds more than once.

SIDE NOTE: I know I am going to the hell for outdoors lovers by admitting this, but the chinese food in Narrowsburg is pretty darn good, especially around a campfire! Thanks for reading and happy paddling!

Another SIDE NOTE: According to the Go Paddling link above, the take-out point we used on day 3 was unconfirmed. I can confirm it is an active and nice spot to take-out or start a trip. It is on RL just south of the #2 RR bridge in Sparrowbush (a few miles north of Port Jervis).