Paddle the Park Series
Hancock, NY to Long Eddy, NY
May 15, 2011
Hancock is a village of about 1,200 people. It is located at the confluence of the East and West Branches of the Delaware River and is near Rt. 17. It grew as a result of the railroad steam train logistics in the early 20th century.
Long Eddy is a community of a little under 700 people and served the timber raft industry as an overnight stop during the nineteenth century. Today it is the home of Dedeco International Inc who gave us permission to use their parking lot for our shuttle.
The weather forecast was rather iffy; cloudy for most of the day with periods of thunder shower activity around noon and again around two. Water level at Callicoon was about 4’, the water temperature about 58 and the air temperature was in the low 60's. Several people cancelled out of the trip due to weather concerns.
I arrived at the put in about 9:40, twenty minutes early, to find Ted and Chris waiting. We decided to run the shuttle immediately and have late comers wait at the put in. It was a good decision since we were all there was.
The trip launched at 11am and took off at 3:20 pm. Our party of three, two rec kayaks and a solo canoe, decided to make the run without stopping except for a short break for lunch a little below the Lordville Bridge. The lunch spot was a stony beach where a stream entered. The best way to describe the footing was as quick stone. There was a lot of sand mixed in and our feet sunk in a bit. We chatted with a fly fisherman for a bit, had a bite to eat, and moved back onto the river.
The only boaters we saw were a pair of people in a tandem kayak and a fisherman on a cataraft. We did spot numerous fishermen on the banks and in the water. We also spotted a couple of hundred flat cars stored on the tracks that paralleled the river. There is no money being made by those cars.
Wildlife sightings included an Oriole, Wood Ducks, Geese, Eagles, Vultures (that seemed to be circling my kayak) swallows, a goldfinch and a pair of deer.
The water could best be described as fractional. That is to say the most of the riffles were below class I. A few places were of marginal depth and I think we might have had some scratchy spots if the level had been a foot lower.
This trip was a lot of fun for me as I paddled a more remote part of the Delaware than I usually do.