Hudson River Whitewater

River Levels

Telephone level gauges:
Beep Gauge: (518) 251-2777
Call an outfitter to find the current level.

<> On-line level gauges: 
  • Hudson River at North Creek, NY (below take-out).
  • Location

    The whitewater section of the Hudson is located in eastern upstate NY, about 5 hours from NYC.
    Click for a overview map.


  • Hudson Gorge
  • Below the Gorge
  • Water Levels

    The river is runable in early spring depending on snow melt and rainfall. Levels can get above 10' generating big wave trains. This combined with cold air and water temperatures can make things interesting. There are usually fall releases from Indian Lake giving a water level of 3' on the Hudson. Just stay on the bubble. 2.8 foot is considered the minimum level, with 5.5 to 6.5 being a nice medium to high level. Above 7 foot you had better know what you are doing.

    River Description

    The short section from Indian Lake into the Hudson is a continuous easy III. The normal rafting put-in is just below the IV+ Otter Slide, but if you thow some $ at your guide, I'm sure he will be glad to run it with you ;-). Once on the Hudson the river is a very senic III to IV+ depending on water level. The river is not very technical, but can have big waves and holes (Soup Strainer) at higher water levels.

     Rapids on the Hudson include Blue Ledge, the Narrows (some nice wave trains at high levels), Osprey Nest, Kettle Mountain (with the Soup Strainer hole), O.K. Slip Rapids, and Harris Rift Rapids.

     Things calm down after the Boreas enters at a railroad bridge (with the exception of Greyhound Bus Stop hole) with a long flatwater paddle to the takeout at North River. From North River to North Creek, and then to the Glen is class I-II beginner canoeable runs, depending on water level.

    1998 Release Schedule

    Thanks to Ben B. on the Northeast Paddler's Message Board

    Posted by Ben B. on April 29, 1998 at 22:30:35:

    I've gotten several requests for this summer's Hudson release dates, so here it is as it stands right now:

    now until 6/21- every day
    6/23 - 9/6- Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday
    9/7 - 10/12- weekends only, plus Labor Day and Columbus Day

    Releases are on the Indian River, in Indian Lake, NY. They start at approx 10:30 AM and last anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on how much water is available. The release adds about 700 CFS to the river's flow, creating 3 miles of fairly continuous class 3 water on the Indian River. Nothing there that can't be boat scouted, but some long swims are possible. Once in the Hudson Gorge, it's important to stay with the bubble if the guage at North Creek is reading 3' or less, or it's a long walk out. At 4', the bubble is less critical. At 3' - 4 1/2', the Gorge has some rapids with good sized waves and a few meaty holes that are easily avoidable. Some rapids are shallow and rocky at this level. At 5'+, the waves start to get big and the holes aren't quite as easy to avoid. The whole trip is long, about 3 miles on the Indian and 10 miles on the Hudson itself. Once in the Gorge, there are a few trails out, but they're hard to find and steep. The scenery is beautiful. The North Creek guage is located by the Rt. 28N bridge in North Creek. The phone # for the guage is (518) 251-2777 and it is online at the USGS Realtime water data website. The release adds about 6" to the guage reading when the bubble goes through. As far as I know, the release schedule isn't posted at a website anywhere. Also, there may not be a release if no commercial companies show up on that day, although I never heard that this was a problem last year. There was a complaint by property owners on Lake Abanakee about the releases drawing down the lake too much, so that state has said that this will be a "study year", and the releases could be changed without notice. I don't think that this will happen and the outfitters are booking trips for any date with scheduled releases. I will post any changes in the schedule on the board if I hear about them.

    Happy Paddling!



    This information is my opinion only
    and may not reflect actual conditons.
    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. 
    TOP Back to the
    rafting page put-in.