Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

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Bee Brook StartShepaug River
by Bob Rancan

Saturday, April 9, 2022

In my 48th season of paddling rivers , I experienced my first hailstorm on the water. Our annual April excursion on the Shepaug in Litchfield County, CT brought a few surprises:

First - high water. The Shepaug is a very rocky river and often gives us a very scratchy run, even in early spring. Last year, for example, the water coming off the reservoir at Peter's Dam registered 2.58 on the gauge and it was an extremely bumpy ride. Usually, a tolerable run is between 2.75 and 2.94 at that gauge. This time, we found it at 3.67 (353cfs). It had just slipped below 400cfs overnight so we opted to do the lower portion from Bee Brook to Hodge Park in Roxbury.

Second - odd weather. It seemed like it would be a nice day, a bit on the cool side. As we were about to get underway, a light rain started to fall. It didn't last though and we proceeded under mostly gray skies into the fast-running section at the start. There was some nice maneuvering through bigger than expected wave trains but everyone got down to Washington Depot without incident. After the town, on a sweeping turn, three paddlers ended up in the river after dropping over a hidden ledge. Fine self-rescue techniques were observed and we were soon underway again. Then it started to rain, lightly at first but driven by a cold wind announced by a thunder clap it changed to hail...not big stones but enough that when I pulled into the lunch stop at the Scout camp, there was ice on my air bags! A little less time than usual was spent at lunch but the precipitation did stop and there was some blue sky. The remainder of the day was uneventful - some wind, some sun and some clouds but great water, fast flowing with nice waves.

No great surprises on the wildlife front but there were many Common Mergansers, both groups of females and many mated pairs. A few Red Tail Hawks and Belted Kingfishers were spotted as well. Another great spring run on the mighty Shepaug. Thanks to Mark Grossmann, Maryanne Phelan (picture credits), Paul Danielewicz, Phillip and Peter Molzer and the three Conn/Mass kayakers who tagged along with us: Brian R., Bill and Mario.


Shepaug River 2022


  • Saturday, May 21: Great Swamp, Patterson, NY
  • Monday, May 23: Belchers Creek, West Milford
  • Saturday, May 28: Rockaway River (tentative)
  • Monday, May 30: Passaic River
  • Saturday, June 4: Farmington River, New Hartford, CT
  • Monday, June 6: Greenwood Lake Launch/Lunch
  • Tuesday, June 7, 2022: Membership Meeting & Presentation (CUC)
  • Sunday, June 12: Passaic River
  • Friday-Sunday, June 24-26: VT weekend - Chittendon Reservoir
  • Friday, July 8: Lackawaxen River, Pike County, PA
  • Saturday, July 9: Cheesequake State Park, NJ
  • Saturday, July 16: Swim With Your Boat Day (tentative)
  • Sunday, July 24: Passaic River
  • Saturday, July 30: South Branch Raritan, NJ Balloonfest
  • Saturday, August 6: Delaware River - Dingmans
  • Friday-Sunday, August 12-14: Spruce Run Reservoir Weekend
  • Monday, August 15: Cedar Creek, NJ
  • Tuesday, August 30: Picnic
  • Saturday, September 10: Lackawaxen River, Pike County, PA
  • Sunday, September 18: Passaic River
  • Friday-Monday, October 7-10: Adirondack Long Weekend
  • Saturday, October 22: Fall Foliage...Paulinskill or Upper Delaware
  • Saturday, November 19: Musconetcong River


  • Saturday, May 14: Housatonic River, Litchfield County, CT
  • Tuesday, May 3, 2022: Membership Meeting & Presentation (Zoom)
  • Saturday, April 30: South Branch Raritan River, Hunterdon County, NJ
  • Sunday, May 1: Spring excursion through the Wallkill River Wildlife Refuge
  • Sunday, April 24: Rockaway River
  • Friday, April 15: Paulinskill
  • Saturday, April 9: Shepaug River - Washington Depot to Roxbury, CT
  • Tuesday, April 5, 2022: Membership Meeting with Show & Tell (CUC)
  • Sunday, April 3: Wallkill
  • Saturday, March 26: North Branch, Raritan River, Somerset County, NJ
  • Sunday, March 27: High Mountain Hike 12 noon--
  • Sunday, March 20: Spring Fling 2022 (rescheduled holiday party)
  • Tuesday, March 1, 2022: Membership Meeting & Presentation (Zoom)
  • Saturday, Feb. 19: Winter Walk/Hike... River trail along Hudson from one of the NJ section Interstate Park's boat basins, either Englewood or Alpine
  • Saturday, Feb. 5: Driving and walking Tour...Westchester Bald Eagles
  • Tuesday, Feb. 1: Zoom Membership Meeting & Presentation - Caring for the National "Wild and Scenic" Musconetcong River
  • Saturday, January 22: Winter Walk...Top of the Palisades, Alpine, NJ
  • Tuesday, December 7: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • Saturday, November 27: Musconetcong River
  • Sunday, November 14: Hackensack River
  • Saturday, November 13: Hike at Cheesequake State Park with Naturalist
  • Tuesday, November 9: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • Sat & Sun, Nov 6-7: 2021 Mullica River Fall Paddle Camping
  • Sunday, October 31: Halloween excursion through the Wallkill National Wildlife Management Area in Sussex County, NJ
  • Saturday, October 16: Paulinskill
  • Tuesday, October 5: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • Monday, September 13: Cedar Creek, NJ
  • Tuesday, August 24: Annual BBQ (6-9 pm)
  • SATURDAY, July 24: An upper branch of the mighty Raritan River
  • Tuesday, July 6: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • SATURDAY, June 26: FARMINGTON RIVER - Riverton, CT
  • Tuesday, June 1: Membership Meeting & Presentation