Musconetcong Watershed National Water Trail

The Musconetcong Watershed National Trail is a system of water trails created to promote recreational access within the Musconetcong Watershed and is one of only six nationally designated trails in New Jersey. The effort to establish the trail was led by the Musconetcong Watershed Association in partnership with the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, Warren County, the Musconetcong River Management Council, and the Mohawk Canoe Club. The water trail includes routes along Lake Hopatcong, Lake Musconetcong, and the Musconetcong River, utilizing established public access points that accommodate a diversity of trip lengths and levels of difficulty.

While opportunities for recreation exist from Lake Hopatcong, the headwaters of the Musconetcong River, all the way down to Riegelsville, New Jersey, where the Musconetcong joins the Delaware River, several major dams prevent an uninterrupted paddle. In addition, important factors such as water level and level of difficulty presented by a particular stretch of the river should always be taken into account when planning a trip. Since there are many public access points, it is possible to plan a variety of shorter or longer trips, for beginners and intermediate paddlers.

A trail brochure offers information on 11 water trail trip segments, which provide access for recreation in natural, historic, and agricultural landscapes. Best for kayaks and canoes, conditions range from flat water to advanced white water, in segments 4-12 miles long, or longer when combined. Entry and exit points are included in the brochure and signage will be added to main access points in the coming months.

Printed trail brochures are available at the Lake Hopatcong Environmental and Cultural Center, 125 Landing Road, Landing, NJ. 

Trail Brochure

National Recreation Trail Database

  • Waterway Trails

    Before setting off on a trip, there are important factors to consider such as water level, availability of public access, hazards along the trail, and the level of difficulty presented by a particular stretch of the river.

    Lake Hopatcong 

    1. No Wake Lake Paddling - Hopatcong State Park (Lakeside Boulevard, Landing)

    Launch Sites / Take Outs: Hopatcong State Park, offers public parking and restrooms

    Fees: Summer $6 parking fee for NJ residents and $10 for non-residents; off season $12 launch fee for NJ residents and $20 for non-residents. For more information visit, Hopatcong State Park Fee Schedule.

    Highlights: After launching from Hopatcong State Park, paddlers can travel south to Landing Channel, where they can reach the southernmost end of the lake which is almost entirely a no-wake zone.  Notable landmarks include Floating Island, Kingsland Cove, and Shore Hills Beach.  


    2. Middle Lake Hopatcong – Lee’s County Park and Marina (Howard Boulevard, Mt. Arlington)

    Launch Sites / Take Outs: Lee’s County Park and Marina, offers ample parking and restrooms available in-season

    Fees: $15 launch fee

    Highlights: This launch is in the middle section of the lake, and is, therefore, the busiest of the Lake Hopatcong waterway trails.  Paddlers can travel south, where the shoreline includes landmarks such as the former grounds of the Breslin Hotel and several estates that once belonged to notable lake residents, including the famous stage actress Lotta Crabtree.  The southern route also leads to the former Bertrand Island Amusement Park (now Lakeshore Village condos), and the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club.  Around Bertrand Island, paddlers will pass Bed Bug Island and enter King Cove, with a view of Hopatcong State Park.

    Paddlers can also travel north from Lee’s Park, paddling around Chestnut Point and across Great Cove to Nolan’s Point, where several lakeside businesses are located (including restaurants and a miniature golf course). From there, paddlers can navigate around Halsey Island and/or Raccoon Island.


    3. Beginner-Friendly No Wake Paddling – Ashley Cove

    Launch Sites / Take Outs: Espanong Road, Lake Hopatcong, Limited Parking

    Fees: No Fees

    Highlights: This launch is in the middle section of the lake, and is, therefore, the busiest of the Lake Hopatcong waterway trails.  Paddlers can travel south, where the shoreline includes landmarks such as the former grounds of the Breslin Hotel and several estates that once belonged to notable lake residents, including the famous stage actress Lotta Crabtree.  The southern route also leads to the former Bertrand Island Amusement Park (now Lakeshore Village condos), and the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club.  Around Bertrand Island, paddlers will pass Bed Bug Island and enter King Cove, with a view of Hopatcong State Park.


    4. The Northwest Coves and Islands of Lake Hopatcong – Roland and May Eves Mountain Inlet Sanctuary

    Launch Sites / Take Outs: Lakeside Road, Hopatcong, offers 10-15 parking spots, but no restrooms

    Fees: No Fees

    Highlights: From Mountain Inlet, a paddler can turn left to go north into the end of Henderson Cove or turn right to explore around the small islands along the shoreline before turning into Byram Cove (which is open water, but during summer weekends can be very crowded with anchored boats). Raccoon Island is straight ahead out of the inlet where you can see the only ferry operating on the lake with Halsey Island further beyond.


    Lake Musconetcong 

    5. Lake Musconetcong Boat Ramp – Fishing on a small lake

    Launch Sites / Take Outs: Allen Street And Dell Street (behind Growing Stage Theater), Netcong NJ, 40.900834 N 74.703881 W, limited parking, portable toilet available.

    Fees: No Fees

    Highlights: Lake Musconetcong is a stocked fishing lake, please observe fish advisories. The lake can be circumnavigated in about an hour. The Morris Canal towpath runs along the shore near the dam.


    Musconetcong River 

    6. Follow the Morris Canal through a Mountainous Gap - Brookside Park to Saxton Falls (6.67 miles)

    Launch Site: Brookside Park (Byram Township) located at the Musconetcong River/Lubbers Run confluence next to Rt. 604 Bridge, about a 45 yard carry from parking lot to put-in.  There is adequate parking here.

    Take-out: Easy take-out on river right just above the Saxton Falls dam.  Plentiful parking, pit toilets.

    Degree of Difficulty: Flatwater up to Intermediate Moving Water

    Highlights: This uppermost stretch of the river begins with a mile of Class II rapids – including one particularly hazardous area – and ends in the long, sluggish dam pool above Saxton Falls.  Less experienced paddlers may launch at Brookside Park and paddle under the bridge and head upstream on Lubbers Run (which offers about one mile of pretty flat water), or put-in at the International Road Bridge which is below the hazardous area.  There are also access points to the flatwater dam pools above Waterloo Village and Saxton Falls.

    Outstanding features along this stretch of river include Waterloo Village Historic District – a restored canal and mill village that is open to the public (entrance fee required).  The dam pool above Waterloo Village offers a great view of Allamuchy Mountain.  Both dam pools above Waterloo and Saxton Falls contain extensive wetlands and excellent birding opportunities.  The Morris Canal merged with the river at Waterloo Village and a portion of the canal and the remains of an incline plane can be seen at the second dam portage.  The terminal moraine of the Wisconsonian Glacier crossed the river here.  Glacial deposits of sand and gravel are mined at the enormous quarry complex that parallels the Morris County side of the river from just below Waterloo and Rt. 80 all the way to Saxton Falls.

    Hazards: About 0.82 miles downstream of the Brookside put-in is a steep drop across a series of rocky ledges.  There is little chance to scout or portage at this point.  Approach this at the center and then hard towards the right.  Immediately after the ledges the river bends sharply to the right and flows under an abandoned bridge that has only a 2-foot clearance (extremely dangerous during high water).  Paddle strongly to the right side where there is an eddy pool that offers the opportunity to scout (there is a high likelihood for strainers at the bridge).  This can be scouted by locating the easy to find trail off of the main road.  There are two dams at Waterloo Village, but both are fairly easy to portage.  Take out on river-left at the first dam, and river-right at the second dam at Waterloo Village.  After passing under Rt. 80, be on the lookout for strainers along the sand and gravel quarry.


    7. Natural Scenery - Saxton Falls to Hackettstown Fish & Wildlife Access (5.6 miles)

    Launch Site: Just below Saxton Falls Dam, boats can be slid or carried down a steep bank.

    Not the best put-in, but there are pit toilets and ample parking.

    Take-out: Fish and Wildlife access below Schooleys Mountain Avenue bridge and 1/10 mile below overhead power line at river right.

    Degree of Difficulty: Intermediate Moving Water to Advanced Moving Water/Whitewater

    Highlights: Most of this stretch of river is suitable only for those paddlers who can comfortably negotiate Class II (+) rapids.  There are rapids with steep drops of 2-3 feet, areas of narrow rocky passages and swift currents.  The upper portion of this river segment passes through Stephens State Park and offers splendid mountain scenery.  There are toilets available and a restored lime kiln can be seen next to the park office (river left).  A Highlands Trail follows the river for some distance on river left.  Progressing downstream, the river scenery transitions to a mix of historic and modern development through Hackettstown, including the historic Union Cemetery.  In 2008 and 2009 two dams were removed by MWA making paddling through this section without portage possible.

    Hazards: The first half of this river segment features Class II (+) rapids with some narrow boulder-strewn channels (beware of strainers).  Below Stevens State Park bridge, a series of steep drops must be approached with caution.  The East Avenue Bridge (second bridge after the second dam) has extremely low clearance even during low flows, approach with care.  A similar condition exists at the Schooleys Mountain Avenue Bridge.


    8. Historic Hamlets & Bridges - Beattystown to Hampton Borough Park (12.0 miles)

    Launch Site:  Immediately below the Kings Highway Road Bridge on river left, parking for 4 or 5 vehicles.

    Take-out: Hampton Borough Park and Playground, portable toilet available, and ample parking.

    Degree of Difficulty: Intermediate Moving Water

    Highlights: This segment features a few brief stretches of Class II rapids (especially in Point Mountain Park and between Changewater and Hampton) which require good boat handling skills to successfully navigate.  Less skilled paddlers can avoid the Class II waters by launching at Point Mountain Road Bridge and taking out at the Fish & Wildlife access in Changewater (just above the bridge on river-right).  This segment is jam-packed with historic structures and places, and outstanding scenery is found in several secluded natural areas.  Three hamlets, Beattystown, New Hampton, and Imlaydale, are listed on the National Historic Register, as are the Stephensburg Stone Arch Bridge, the New Hampton Pony Truss Bridge, and the Miller Farmstead.  Several other structures are deemed eligible for the National Register.

    Hazards: The Penwell Mill dam (the only intact dam in this river segment) requires portage (river-right a few yards above the dam).  However, there are several broken down dams and fishing weirs that require careful scouting and navigation, especially between Changewater and Hampton.  A small, partially submerged steel girder dam in Butler Park should be approached with care.  Under normal flow conditions, these dams can usually be safely navigated after careful scouting.


    9. Best for Beginners: The Agricultural Musconetcong Valley - Hampton Borough Park to Bloomsbury (9 miles)

    Launch Site: Hampton Borough Park and Playground, portable toilet and ample parking

    Take-out: Bloomsbury, river-right above the Rt. 173 bridge and just below the Rt. 78 overpass.

    Degree of Difficulty: Intermediate Moving Water

    Highlights: From Hampton Park to Asbury the river flows closer to the center of the valley, offering sweeping views of the mostly agricultural landscape.  This is the most suitable river segment for those who have limited river-paddling experience because there are few rocky riffles to navigate.  The river below Asbury is exceptionally scenic and secluded, with no roads and few buildings to be seen.  Here, the river is mostly bordered by private land (including private fishing and hunting clubs) so there are limited opportunities to get out of the boat without trespassing.  The privately owned Musky Trout Hatchery is on river-right, and this segment ends just past the Route 78 bridge at river right.

    Hazards: The Asbury dam requires a river-right portage on a muddy bank.  On the portage, you will pass the Musconetcong Watershed Association office, which is surrounded by a native plant pollinator garden, walk across the road, and put in downstream the 5-story stone grist mill, which is being restored by the MWA.  There are 5 fishing weirs (dams built by private fishing clubs) between the Wolverton Road Bridge and Bloomsbury.  Some of these have a drop of 2-3 feet, but each has an open chute that can be navigated with relative ease.  The openings in the fishing weirs tend to be near the center.  Scout carefully before proceeding, making sure that a proper boat angle has been set.


    10. Advanced Whitewater in the Musconetcong Gorge – Bloomsbury to Hughesville

    Launch Site: Bloomsbury, river-right above the Rt. 173 bridge and just below the Rt. 78 overpass.

    Take-out: Hughesville Fishing Access, (across from Hughesville Fire House), 40°37'46.8"N 75°08'38.8"W

    Degree of Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced Moving Water/Whitewater (aka class I+-II+)

    Highlights: This section offers the Musconetcong’s only true whitewater in normal flows, but requires a portage around the river’s largest dam at 37.5’ high.  Downstream of Historic Bloomsbury, there are two sets of stone portals under railway crossings and the valley narrows into a densely wooded gorge.  After the second set of portals, the river slows into the Warren Mill pond.  Portage at the river left, toward the mill race gates, to avoid the tall and unmarked high hazard dam.  There is a class II+ rapid below the Warren Glen dam, and a fun wave train below the former Warren Paper Mill at the Route 519 bridge, where the dam for the Hughesville Mill was located.

    Hazards: The Bloomsbury dam, which is slated for removal, requires a portage at river left.  Exercise caution entering tunnels in case of blockage/strainers. Carry Warren Glen dam on left. Class II+ rapid directly below Warren Glen dam features strong gradient, swift currents through rocky, technical rapids. High risk of dangerous, unavoidable deadfall/strainers in strong current. Scouting entire rapid is strongly recommended. Advanced whitewater boat handling and river reading skills necessary.

    Note: at the time of this writing, both the Bloomsbury and Warren Glen dams are slated for removal sometime in the future.


    11. Early Industrial Heritage - Warren Glen Village to Delaware River Confluence – 4 miles

    Launch Site: Hughesville Fishing Access, (across from Hughesville Fire House), 40°37'46.8"N 75°08'38.8"W

    Take-out: Riegelsville Boat Ramp on the Delaware River

    Degree of Difficulty: Intermediate Moving Water

    Highlights: This section of the river reflects natural ecosystems being restored from heavy industrial usage.  More than 150 years ago, several mills were established, most related to the paper industry.  This section has now been restored to free-flowing conditions by the Musconetcong Watershed Association and its partners through several dam removals.  The river meanders through dense forest, under truss bridges, past old mills, and through historic districts, including Finesville’s cluster of 18th century stone and brick buildings which resemble a small English hamlet of stone buildings.  Once reaching the Delaware River, turn downstream to access the take out at river left.

    Hazards: Braided channels, strainers, and river-wide deadfall. Several short, rocky rapids requiring confident boat handling and river reading skills, including a 2’-3’ rocky drop at site of former dam in Finesville. From Finesville to the confluence with the Delaware, the river meanders through steep banks, with increased chance of frequent, unexpected strainers and braided channels. Strainers will often occur at bends in the river with strong current flowing through them, requiring strong boating skills sufficient to stop a safe distance above the strainer, climbing steep banks, dragging or carrying boats around strainers, and re-entering boats from steep banks. Paddlers with only beginner skills should avoid this area of the river.

  • About the Musconetcong Watershed

    The Musconetcong River begins at Lake Hopatcong (New Jersey’s largest lake) and runs 42 miles down to the Delaware River at Riegelsville.  Surrounded by rugged Highland ridges, the river flows by state and county parks, historic hamlets, nature preserves, and one of the region’s most scenic and agricultural valleys.  The Musconetcong River forms the boundaries of Sussex, Morris, Warren, and Hunterdon Counties, and its 157 square mile watershed includes all or parts of 26 municipalities.

    Human habitation along the Musconetcong River began over 10,000 years ago when Paleo-Indians camped along the river’s glacial waters.  The Lenape Indians planted corn in the rich limestone river valley, and no doubt canoed down the river they named Musconetcong or rapid running stream.

    The European settlers displaced the Lenape during the early eighteenth century and built their mills and villages along the river.  By the early nineteenth century, the Musconetcong valley was one of New Jersey’s most important iron-producing and agricultural regions, supplying both the New York and Philadelphia markets.  Historically, transportation over the Highlands was a poor region.  The Morris Canal, now a National Landmark, overcame these obstacles with inclined planes and a series of locks, some of which parallel the river and Lake Hopatcong.  Later, railroads connected the region’s agriculture and industry to major shipping ports, and enticed city residents for visits to the country, to Bertrand Island’s amusement park in Lake Hopatcong, and for peach picking in the Musconetcong valley.  The region’s history is visible from its waterfronts, with the river flowing through seven Historic Districts and under numerous metal truss and stone arch bridges listed on the National Historic Register. 

    The Musconetcong watershed is the focus of several public and private conservation and preservation efforts.  These include farmland and open space preservation programs, aquatic habitat restoration for native Brook Trout and migratory fish, and agricultural best management practices.

    Despite the considerable efforts to protect the Musconetcong and its tributaries, it may be one of the most threatened rivers in the state.  Water quality studies have shown that nonpoint pollution or polluted runoff is by far the greatest source of contamination impacting the river.  Bacteria, temperature, and phosphorous levels have all been shown to exceed the state and federal minimum water quality standards in some sections of the river.

    The Musconetcong Watershed Association (MWA) was formed in 1992 by local residents in response to concerns about the potential impacts of suburban development on the river and its watershed.  This now includes programs to monitor water quality, environmental education programs for children, landowners, and local governments, river cleanups, and promoting recreational programs throughout the watershed.  MWA works in partnership with the Musconetcong River Management Council, including local municipalities and counties, to protect and promote the river, other conservation organizations, and the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, formed in 2012, which implements similar programs with the lake community.

  • Lake Tips and Precautions

    Lake Hopatcong has many places where kayaks and canoes can be launched, but parking is very limited at most sites.  The Waterway Trails use launches that have ample parking.  There businesses around the lake that rent kayaks, including Lake’s End Marina in Landing and Lakeview Marina in Lake Hopatcong, which also have launching sites.  Lake conditions present different challenges and risks than river paddling notably from the wakes of motorized boats, wind, and the potential for exposure to rapidly changing weather conditions.

    • Be prepared for significantly more boat traffic and water turbulence on warm summer weekends. Consider wearing bright colors and posting a (non-orange) display flag to help with visibility.  Always wear a life jacket.
    • Wear or display a light when kayaking on the lake at night.
    • Be mindful of the weather. If dangerous conditions arise, consider seeking refuge at a dock until the weather passes. Respect private property and do not trespass on private land unless you are seeking help.
    • Roughly a third of the homes and businesses display dock numbers which are important location markers listed in the 911 Call Center, just like house numbers.  If you need help, take note of the nearest dock number.  The numbers themselves are written in white on blue placards, displayed on docks, bulkheads, and boathouses.
    • No Wake buoys are placed in certain areas of the lake, based on geography, hazards, and safety. Although the waves from wakes outside these areas can still be felt, kayaking in No Wake areas is likely to be calmer and safer. Also, be aware that motorboats are not supposed to create a wake within 100 feet of shoreline.
    • If you choose to anchor, do not do so in an area that impedes navigation for others.
    • Take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by thoroughly cleaning the vessel and equipment you bring onto the lake before launching and again after pulling out of the lake.
    • Remember that the lake is used for a variety of recreational purposes, including fishing (from boats and from shore), cruising, sailing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, wake surfing, windsurfing, and more. Be respectful of others on the water.
  • River Etiquette

    Thanks to state, county and local preservation efforts, public access to the Musconetcong continues to increase and public land along the river is generally well marked.  However, much of the river is bounded by private property, some of which is not posted.   

    The Musconetcong Watershed Association asks recreational users of the river to respect the rights of private property owners.  Unless it is absolutely necessary, please do not enter private land, especially if posted “No Trespassing (unless there is prior permission from the property owner).  In New Jersey, waterways are in public ownership, but river bottoms are generally owned by the adjoining property.  This means that owners may ask boaters to not anchor or fish.

    If conditions are such that passage through private property is necessary (i.e. where a fallen tree or a dam blocks downstream passage), carry the boat around the river obstruction as expediently and discreetly as possible.  Most property owners will be understanding, but not if you decide to stop for a picnic or lunch on their lawn.  The Landowner’s Liability Act (N.J.S.A. 2A: 42 A-2 et seq.) which was enacted in New Jersey in 1968 limits the liability of landowners where an injury has occurred to anyone engaged in an inherently risky recreational activity such as river paddling.

    Paddlers are encouraged to “take only pictures; leave footprints behind.” This includes bio-degradable items such as apple cores and orange peels.  Make a habit of picking up a bit of litter on each river trip.

    Finally, since the Musconetcong is one of the most popular trout streams in New Jersey, it is not advisable to canoe the Musconetcong during the beginning of trout-fishing season, especially on weekends.  Information on trout season (which normally begins in early April) can be obtained from New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.

    Nevertheless, meeting an angler on the river is inevitable.  The best way to approach the situation is to gently alert the angler, who may be facing downstream.  Give every courtesy by paddling away from the angler; announce your presence, but do it quietly!  When approaching an angler, paddle gently and be one with the river.

  • River Safety

    Canoeing is a great way to relax and enjoy nature, but as with any outdoor activity, there are inherent risks that can lead to injury or death.  Paddlers bear personal responsibility for their own safety.  Common sense, caution, careful planning, and being properly equipped will greatly reduce the risks.  A local canoe club, like the Mohawk Canoe Club, Appalachian Mountain Club, or those listed on the American Canoe Association website, offer organized paddling trips and safety training courses. 

    Remember: Due to the ever-changing nature of rivers, weather conditions, and other factors, no guide can substitute for common sense, caution, and careful planning.

    Safety Tips:

    Paddle at your skill level: The Musconetcong offers flatwater for beginners and Class I & II for skilled paddlers.  Class II rivers are often referred to as “technical” meaning that a degree of boat-handling skill is required to navigate rocks and boulders in swiftly moving current.  Always make sure your paddling adventures are in sync with your skill level.

    Paddle Prepared: Never paddle without wearing a Personal Floatation Device (AKA life jacket).  Always carry water, a first-aid kit, and an extra paddle.  In cold weather, dress accordingly and bring a change of warm clothing.  In warm weather, bring along insect repellent and sunblock.  Plan your trip carefully and seek out the latest information on ever-changing river conditions.

    Paddle Smart: Don’t paddle alone, and if in a group, designate a lead boat (someone who knows the river and won’t allow anyone to paddle ahead of the group), and a sweep boat (to ensure no one is left behind).  When known or potential hazards are encountered, take the time to scout before proceeding downstream.

    River Hazards:

    Dams: There are several dams along the Musconetcong River, and most are potential killers, so approach each with caution.  Even some of the broken down remains of mill dams and the small weirs built by anglers should be approached with caution.  Information on where to carry or portage boats around the major dams appears in the Waterway Trail descriptions.

    Strainers: Strainers are fallen trees or debris piles that block all or a portion of the river.  Like a kitchen strainer, a river strainer will let water through, but not you or your boat.  Be alert for strainers, especially where the river narrows, islands, and around sharp bends in the river where strainers may loom with little time to react.  Scout the situation and if in doubt, carry the boat around on the safest shore.

    Bridges: Bridge piers are common collecting points for strainers and often become completely blocked after a flood event.  Some Musconetcong bridges have very low clearance and present a moderate to severe hazard depending on the water level.  The low-clearance bridges are discussed in the Waterway Trails section of this brochure.

    Cold: The best paddling opportunities are usually during late fall and early spring when the water and air temperatures are cold.  Even during June and September when the weather seems mild, hypothermia can be a problem for the unprepared paddler.  To avoid the risk of hypothermia, wear synthetic fleece or wool, or special gear (i.e. wet suits) for thermal protection.  At the very least, bring along a complete change of clothing in a dry-bag or double-bag your clothes with black plastic trash bags.  Tie gear securely to the boat.

  • Musconetcong River Water Levels and Degree of Difficulty

    It is useful to note that the degree of difficulty paddling the Musconetcong, like most upland, swift-flowing streams, changes in direct relation to the water level.  For most of the Musconetcong from Hackettstown to the Delaware River confluence, the “ideal” river depth is between 2’ and 2.5’.  At this level, there are fewer rocks and clearer routes through most of the rapids.

    A difference of .25’ above or below the ideal range for much of the river can change the difficulty rating from Easy Moving Water to Intermediate/Advanced Moving Water.

    River levels can be found at the USGS stream water gauge near Bloomsbury: https://on.doi.gov/2NQeLHz

    Between 1.65’ and 2’, stronger boat handling and river reading skills are required to successfully navigate many of the fishing weirs, broken dams, rock gardens, and gravel bars. Negotiating rocks and rapids becomes more technical, and long kayaks and boats with keels will have more difficulty navigating obstacles at this level.

    From 2.5’ – 3’ the current is noticeably pushier, again requiring stronger boat handling and river reading skills.  The stronger current will create larger waves, and more importantly, increase the risk of being swept into and under strainers. The combination of strong current and strainers is by far the greatest hazard at higher water levels.

    All paddlers should wear properly fitted life vests, (PFDs), at all times regardless of skill level or degree of difficulty.

    Flatwater:

    • Current is slow to moderate
    • Passages are easily navigated and obstacles, (dead fall, dams), are easily avoided

    Easy Moving Water:

    • Current moves at moderate pace
    • Small riffles and rocky areas are easily navigated with clear, obvious channels
    • Basic boat handling skills required to avoid rocks, strainers and other obstacles

    Intermediate Moving Water:

    • Current moves at moderate to swift pace
    • Intermediate boat handling and river reading skills required to identify and navigate through rocky rapids and weirs, and navigate around broken dams, strainers and other obstacles
    • Increased risk of getting caught on rocks and swept into or under strainers
    • Some deadfall and strainers may require squeezing under, climbing over, or carrying around

    Advanced Moving Water/Whitewater:

    • River moves at moderate to swift pace
    • Strong river reading skills and boat handling skills, including ferrying, eddy turns, and peel outs required to successfully negotiate frequent drops, rocks, braided channels and unexpected strainers.
    • Some rapids may require scouting when possible
    • Paddlers should have some swift water rescue training and carry safety equipment including helmets and throw bags.

    Please note that the terms “river-left” and “river-right” assume a view of the river that faces downstream.

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