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  75 Miles on the Upper Delaware(w/pics)
  Posted by: spiritboat on May-16-14 11:15 AM (EST)

-- Last Updated: May-16-14 9:43 PM EST --

Four fellow P-netters and paddling friends: TommyC1(canoe), Gary F(canoe), Vincent B(inflatable kayak)and me Spiritboat-Bob(sit-in kayak)...4 days paddling with 3 nights camping. No portages along the longest undamned, most pristine, most popular river in the East.

We picked the right time to go--Far enough before Memorial Day, we chose weekdays only(no canoe/kayak/raft weekend liveries with their potential summer crowds to compete with;-.) We began at the Northern-most terminus main branch of the Delaware in Hancock NY, at the confluence of the river's east and west branches. We continued until the Mill Rift near Matamoras,PA.

A paddler's paradise, we saw only the occasional trout/shad fisherman(no motors allowed on the Upper Del)an abundance of wildlife, and paddled through a vast array of water texture...Long flat stretches of southward flowing flat current with moderate but challenging whitewater rapids aplenty.

Not to mention, loads of guy laughter around a campfire at night.

and Side B -- Note large snake sunning itself on rocks...Gary, "the Man who returned from the Netherworld" took all of these:

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Messages in this Topic


  Posted by: poleplant on May-16-14 11:19 AM (EST)
Thanks for the pics. Great trip. Haven't done it in a while.
  very nice
  Posted by: bzeka on May-16-14 12:02 PM (EST)
Just love the pics
  next time you are there,
  Posted by: betmkaplan on May-16-14 2:11 PM (EST)
approx. 5 miles north of Narrowsburg river right, check out the Butterfly Barn if you haven't already been there. There is a giant maple tree, too.
41.654634 -75.050767
  I will...Sounds wonderful.
  Posted by: spiritboat on May-16-14 2:27 PM (EST)
  Good trip!
  Posted by: TommyC1 on May-16-14 2:38 PM (EST)
The weather forecast was dire but other than a diabolical headwind (Hal?) the weather was pretty nice.

My first time on the Delaware :-)
Thanks Bob!

My pictures are here.

  Need some recommendations
  Posted by: mmulvey on May-16-14 3:18 PM (EST)
Planning on doing a 3-day, 2-night (perhaps a 3rd night if necessary) trip on the upper delaware. Looking for recommended put-in and take-out spots. Also recommendations on camping locations for a 2 person crowd (although 2 is company!). We are not adverse to camping on an island with ZERO amenities, except for driftwood for a fire.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Great post!
  Upper Delaware access
  Posted by: betmkaplan on May-16-14 4:17 PM (EST)
Besides this site, check out Delaware Highlands Conservancy for info and resources.

I have used Hancock, Narrowsburg on the PA and NY sides, 10 Mile River, and Lackawaxen. Parking availability may be limited at several of these public sites, especially on the weekends.

Keep in mind river flow will affect your put in/take out choices, as there is a big difference between transit times when its high in Spring, and when flow is low later on in the season. In August it can be almost like paddling flatwater.

Hope that helps. Let us know how you make out.
  Posted by: TommyC1 on May-16-14 5:38 PM (EST)
We were hoping to poach some primitive(free)sites our first two nights.
There are lots of no trespassing signs and few places not in view from somebodies house.
The VERY few possibilities I saw were too early in our days.

Our first night was at Soaring Eagle campground just above Kellams Bridge. That was clean and well maintained and our site was open but nice. $14 per head.

Our second night was at Landers in Narrowsburg. The site was OK and the operator showed up around sunset to open the store and take our camping money. But the bathrooms were NASTY! $17.30 per head.

Our third night was at Buckthorn State Forest (PA) below Pond Eddy. That was free primitive (no thunderbox) camping but you have to pick up a permit at the Zane Grey Museum. The site Bob and I stayed at was overused and under cared for. And traffic on Rt 97 right across the river made the whole "primitive" thing seem a bit ludicrous. But hey the price was right.

If I went again I would scope out the campgrounds and try to stay at the nicer ones.
  More island with better tree coverage
  Posted by: spiritboat on May-16-14 6:11 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: May-16-14 9:59 PM EST --

begins a little further downstream from around Dingman's Ferry to the Del Water Gap--But not nearly as many rapid sets. This is another magnificent area, containing the DWGNRA(Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area) It has less intrusions of private land, allowing one-night only primitive camping. There are also a few private campgrounds available with hopefully(gasp!)clean restrooms.
But still, do your research.

  Nice guys!
  Posted by: Andy_Szymczak on May-16-14 3:22 PM (EST)
I did that same route about 40 years ago when I was in Boy scouts. Maybe this time I'll paddle upstream and then back. Hate doing shuttles alone!
  Even with all your great powers...
  Posted by: spiritboat on May-16-14 4:46 PM (EST)
and a great boat--You'll find paddling upstream extremely difficult for more than just a mile or so.

Email me when your ready Andy. I paddle the Mongaup 1 - 2 times a year when it releases. I can easily shoot North or South on 97 to join you for a daytrip or even an overnight on the Delaware itself.
  Paddling Up
  Posted by: TommyC1 on May-16-14 5:52 PM (EST)
We had a pretty good flow pushing us down and a moderately harsh headwind pushing us back up. Flags were flying! Bob and I both paddled upstream a few times and even with the wind assisting it was pretty tough going against the current in most places. It would be tougher in the rapids.
  Posted by: spiritboat on May-16-14 6:07 PM (EST)
When I said "a mile or so," I really meant maybe a block or two. One can "play against the bank" in the flats--slipping in and out of eddy coves. But dodging up from behind rapid rocks, make the proposition a no-go.
  Said in jest
  Posted by: Andy_Szymczak on May-16-14 10:38 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: May-17-14 8:56 PM EST --

Flat areas I could probably do, but would have to line up the rapids. Be a blast coming down though in a fast boat. Once paddled 4 miles up the Passaic river during flood stage, took me 2 hours, and 20 minutes back. That was fun!

  Posted by: spiritboat on May-18-14 6:36 AM (EST)
Upstream? Damn Boy, you be on steroids;-.
  I was going downstream
  Posted by: Andy_Szymczak on May-18-14 11:29 PM (EST)
at that point. Best I could do was 3.0 mph in spurts going upstream. Flow ranged from 2.2 to 3.5 mph. I hit 8.9 going downstream at one point, but couldn't take a photo while I was paddling.
  Nice Pics
  Posted by: wildernesswebb on May-16-14 6:13 PM (EST)
looks like a nice piece of water?
  Great trip.
  Posted by: seadart on May-17-14 4:27 PM (EST)
I was always plotting to do this when I lived close to the river in Bucks county, PA, but never got the time before I moved away.
  Great trip footage
  Posted by: Belhade on May-21-14 11:15 AM (EST)
I love the Delaware River. I have a few work sites (Port Jervis, Narrowsburg, Callicoon) to get out there on occasion. I've done a weekender canoe trip back in my 20s with a few friends and several vices. Would love to re-do it sometime.

A question: what was the inflatable? I have an Intex Explorer K2 (tandem) which would probably work (along with an old Old Town Loon).
  The inflatable is a Thrillseeker.
  Posted by: spiritboat on May-21-14 4:12 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: May-21-14 4:55 PM EST --

It is made by Custom Inflatables in West Virginia. They can be quite pricey--But worth it, if you run a lot of whitewater quite often...They are self-bailing and thrive in both very pushy and extremely low-flow creeks where quick pivots are required. They also boof ledges nicely. They are not the best boats for covering vast touring miles if you are in any kind of hurry, though.

My friend Vincent was using a 12 footer, and departed after the second day. I use a smaller 9-foot "playboat" size, and together we've run a good deal of Class III+,IV(in places neither of us would attempt in either a canoe or decked kayak;-)

Here's some pics of a couple weeks ago, on the Schoharie...

And previously, on the Catskill Creek...

If your Intex is not self-bailing, bring a Clorox bottle with the bottom cut off. And if you're using an Old Town Loon, shove pool noodles in the nose(better yet, use the Intex only in any rapids.) I'd also advise starting with no more than an 8/10 mile day on the Delaware. Good Luck!

  re delaware paddle
  Posted by: sg6 on May-29-14 3:39 AM (EST)
I paddled with Gary several times on the Delaware, great guy, look forward to this summer at Kellums Bridge area.
  Looks Good
  Posted by: Guideboatguy on May-29-14 1:57 PM (EST)
I finally took some time to go through the photos. Looks like a neat place, very different from anything we have out here.

"Uh-oh, headwinds"? You knew that was going to happen.

Good pics overall - nice job of showing all the variety.


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