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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.
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