Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

Lackawaxen River
Threshman's to the Delaware River
by Tom McIntyre

Friday, June 13, 2003

We had a great day on the Lackawaxen on Friday.

The first trip, led by Fred Cohane of the HRCKC (he does periodic Friday late morning trips) started out at 11 AM with 12 paddlers: Five play boats, one recreational kayak, and six canoes. Great group of folks who put safety first. We put in at Threshman's, about 8 or 9 miles upstream of the Delaware River take out (The Lackawaxen runs into the Delaware about 15 miles upstream of the Mongaup/Delaware confluence). This Threshman fellow is quite a character. He's blazed a car-wide trail through his land, complete with nylon rope boundaries with foam floats attached and white lines painted on his grass to lead you to the put in. There his girl friend takes your $5, writes out a receipt, and hands you a neon pink tag to tie to your boat (so if land owners see you on their land, they know where to find you later). There must be a couple dozen cats roaming around. Euell Threshman, the owner, in a colorful fellow who has really put a lot of effort into creating a place where paddlers will feel welcomed and valued...nice to see. He also has an answering machine with the latest release information...I'll try to track down his phone number

The water level was very high, washing out most of the features for the first four miles. More features on the lower half, and much feistier than on other trips down this river. Saw deer, great blue heron, a bald eagle that flew across our path, and about twelve turkey vultures fluttering around the next to last set of rapids...made us wonder why, and we drew straws to see who would venture down that section first.

After three and a half to four hours (with lunch break...damn, those canoeists eat well...only enough room in my boat for 6 oz of water and a granola bar...they had enormous sandwiches, coffee,... I expected to see a watermelon and picnic basket emerge at any moment) we entered the Delaware. I had an hour before the 5 PM meeting of our Kayak & Canoe Club of New York group and a second run down the river.

At 5, we had Dan Kirsch, Connie Farley, Ray Lin, and a newbie, Joseph Violante. We headed up about three miles for our run and did seal launches into the eddie. No flips... except for the practice rolls, and we headed down the river, cocooning Joe who was on his first river of the season. We soon found out that he didn't need much guidance - his strokes and abilities were just fine for the river. With that concern out of the way, we played a bit, but washed off a lot of waves. The holes were pretty trashy, helping us work on our balance and braces.

We made it to the Delaware in about an hour, but given the impending darkness due to clouds, we decided not to do another run. Everyone put their kayak (sorry for spelling kayak backwards again) on their car. Connie, Dan and Joe (bolstered by his success on the Wax) headed for a campground to get some rest before the next day's Mongaup run.

The Lackawaxen is a great river for novices with a difficulty level between the Delaware and the Mongaup. It runs just about every weekday. A website is available to check the current & projected release levels: Lake Wallenpaupack Hydroelectric Station.