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The river was more than swift, it was fast! It was twisty! It was full of challenges at every turn. The flow is typically 6ft/mile, but the water was about a foot higher than usual. Had to take control the minute you hit the water or it controlled you before you got a chance to take a breath! Be prepared.
Lots of log jams along the sides with many opportunities to use your skills. There were mild ripples all along the trip. And, there was one particular run that was a nice Class I that lasted for a few minutes, perhaps about 3 miles from the put-in.
Some of us ran into, literally, a downed tree about five miles into the trip... maybe 2-3 miles before the take-out in Croton. It was a major surprise around a fast moving twist in the river. On the right there is a shore... easy portage, but if you ended up on the left side of the river (no chance to paddle across - too swift) you have to hoist your boat up the side, vertically, about 4-6 ft - it was hard work but a fun part of the adventure!
As a result a several women taking a swim and the portage problems around the tree, a 3 hour paddle turned into 5 fun- filled hours.
Paddling across the Croton Pond was not too bad because the wind wasn't strong. Had a great burger at the Driftwood just up the road.
Loved the trip. Not for novices. Be prepared to get wet and have good water shoes.