Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

Upper Delaware
Pond Eddy to Sparrow Bush, NY
by Jim Mc Loone

September 9, 2007

The weather was clear to partly cloudy with a high forecast at 80. The Barryville gauge showed the water temperature ranging from 73 to 79 with water levels ranging from 2.8 to 3.0 feet, about 200 cfs more than the normal 1,100 cfs for this date. Head winds were refreshingly mild.

The group of seven paddlers in five boats met at West End Beach in Port Jervis at 10:00. We waited fifteen minutes for one person who did not show up. We finalized our plans and drove to the take out, in Sparrow Bush, NY where we dropped off one car. The rest continued north on 97 to Kittatinny’s Pond Eddy base where we paid $5 per car to park and $2 per boat as a launch fee. This was a joint trip with Joan and Andrea from the Wanda Canoe Club; James, Robyn, Anita and Scott from HRCKC, and Jim from both clubs.

There was a stone jetty at the put in that provided a pool to launch and we had to ferry out to mid stream before turning down stream. James and Anita paddled kayaks, Scott a solo canoe while Joan partnered with Andrea and Jim with Robyn in tandem canoes. The first couple of miles were pretty flat with a couple of places where we were had to roll through the shallows on rounded pebbles.

From the first, the scenery was spectacular. We even saw a couple of hawks and a heron, although not closely enough to photograph.

In my opinion this stretch is the finest the Delaware has to offer. It includes solitude with several fun rapids, Stairway, Mongaup, Butlers Rift and Mill Rift in the midst of impressive scenery such as the Hawk’s Nest canyon, all in a ten mile trip. This stretch is home to a number of bird species and other wildlife.

We had an opportunity to surf at Stairway and some standing waves at the Mongaup and Mill Rift.

After the trip four of us stayed in Port Jervis for dinner. We found that The Deck was closed so we moved on to Alice and Tom’s ??? just past the bridge across the Neversink. It was a great choice.


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