Esopus Creek Whitewater

River Levels

Telephone levels

Town Tinker Tube Rentals: (914) 688-5553
Recorded Level (Cold Brook): (914) 657-2388

On-line level gauges:

Esopus Creek at Allaben, NY (above Portal put-in).
Esopus Creek at Cold Brook, NY (near Boiceville take-out). Runnable at 5.0 foot, more fun at 6.0 foot, and quite challenging at 6.25 foot.


The whitewater section of Esopus creek is located 30 miles west of the Kingston exit of the NY Thruway on Route 28. It is about 2 hours from NYC.
Click for river map, or overview map of northeast USA.

Water Levels

The river is runnable in the spring and after a heavy rain. There is a scheduled reservoir release the first weekend in June during which the KCCNY holds a slalom race. There may be summer and fall releases depending on reservoir levels. This water feeds NYC, and is a popular fishing river, so whitewater boating is a low priority in dry years.

River Description

The normal whitewater section runs from the Portal (where the release water enters) below Allaben through Phonecia to Boiceville, just above the Ashokan Reservoir.

It is about 10 miles long, with the first section having small creek characteristics. Railroad rapid just above Phonecia is the only class III rapid. It is recognized by railroad tracks falling into the river. Severe erosion has been changing this rapid, so scouting would be a good idea. After some more class II+ rapids in Phenocia, the river gradually slows down with increasing flatwater mixed with gravel bar sections to Boiceville.

Alternate takeouts downstream of Phonecia, and near a railroad museum on 28 cut out several miles of senic but slow water.

Put-in is at the Portal on Rt 28 if you want to surf the wave there, or at a small roadside park near a cemetary just downstream. Take-out at Boiceville is between the supermarket and hardware store just upstream of the highway bridge. Please park your shuttle vehicles at the school across the street to keep the locals happy.

On non-release summer weekends, the creek has become a popular tubing spot. A good place for normal people to avoid.

Dangers on the river include some bridge piers and fallen tree strainers from the bank erosion, especially from below railroad rapids to the 28 bridge.


This information is my opinion only
and may not reflect actual conditions.
It is based on my usually hazy memory,
and should not be used to decide whether
you or your guides are qualified to run the river.

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