Local Rivers

Here are some of my personal favorite rivers and play spots in NY and NJ. There are many more but I have listed the ones most  frequently available due to dam releases or relatively consistent water levels.

Scudders Falls on the Delaware is the local park and play spot. A few years ago a flood washed away the feature, but that did not deter the local boaters. They went in and moved the rocks around (with scuba tanks in some cases) and have fine-tuned the wave to make it better than ever. It’s now steeper and more of a hole on one side and more wave-like on the river left side. It’s also now workable at a wide variety of river levels from about 10,000 cfs on the Trenton gauge up to 30,000 cfs. When it gets too big, the boaters move out to another wave mid-river. When it gets too low, we move upstream about 10 miles to the Wing Dam in Lambertville. The Wing Dam is too tame for the big boys but a great spot for beginners to learn to side-surf and spin. Scudders Location: Rt 29 just north of the Rt 95 bridge to PA in the Delaware Canal State Park. Wing Dam: Lambertville NJ, just past the Lambertville Station Restaurant at the boat launch.

The Mongaup river is a local favorite. It flows into the Upper Delaware about 5 miles north of Port Jervis. It’s dam controlled with releases every other weekend from April through October. It’s closed in the winter for the Bald Eagle nesting season (we see them regularly up in this area). The river is Class 2 to 2+ and a lot of fun. It’s continuous and builds gradually to a giant wave train that dumps into the Delaware. It’s a great place to practice your river-running skills as it’s full or rocks, waves, holes, eddies and features all the way down. Location: 5 Miles north of Port Jervis NY just off  Rt 97. Meet at the park service parking lot on the left just after you cross the Mongaup.

The Lehigh river is another dam controlled river with releases every other weekend all summer. There are three major sections; the lower section from Jim Thorpe down is Class 1 to 2 suitable for teaching beginners and two sections in the Lehigh Gorge State Park. From White Haven to Rockport and Rockport to Glen Onoko are both Class 2/2+ at the usual release levels. There are lots of surf spots, features and a beautiful gorge. Location: Whitehaven is just off Rt 80 at Exit 273 in PA. Drive into town and through the supermarket parking lot to the Lehigh Gorge State Park. Jim Thorpe is off PA Rt 209 South about 3 miles south of the PA Turnpike Exit in Lehighton.

Tohickon Creek is another local favorite located in Pt Pleasant PA about 10 miles north of New Hope PA. Unfortunately this one only has dam releases in March and November, but does flow after a good rain quite frequently. It’s a Class 3 run with a series of really fun ledge drops all the way down and lots of surfing. It’s located in the Ralph Stover state park in Point Pleasant PA.

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March 19th, 2018

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