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Wallkill River - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Day Trip Report
Trip Dates: May 25, 2009
Nearest City: Sussex, NJ
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Submitted by: Jim Schmitt


We started at Route 94 in Hamburg for a 3.5 mile trip to Glenwood Rd (565). The water was somewhat low, but at no point did we need to drag over riffles or shallow spots. The first mile was fast and shallow water winding through thick woods. The bottom was gravelly with some small riffles here and there. In this section we had to carry over two log jams.

As we approached Route 23, the water slowed and we were treated to a pleasant mile of unobstructed river with yellow water irises and wild phlox blooming on the banks. We were now inside the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge. The terrain was now wide open grassy wetlands, with muddy tree lined banks.

About a mile past Route 23, we hit the first of many strainers and logjams which required either a slippery balancing act to climb over or a muddy, poison ivy infested portage around. The final mile to the take out was more of the same. Log jam strainers, one after another, and many with no good portage blocked the way.

When we reached Glenwood Rd (Rt 565) I checked the gauge beneath the bridge. It read about 1.5 ft. A higher level might have gotten us over some of the logs, but faster moving water would have also made a few of these strainers dangerous.

So the verdict: Beautiful scenery but a high admission price. Most would opt for the more popular section between 565 and Oil City Rd.


Rt 23 to Rt 94 for the put in. Rt 23 to Glenwood Rd (565) to the take out


Hagstrom Sussex County map, "Garden State Canoeing" by Ed Gerler.

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