Paddle the Catskills Waterways

Paddle Powered

A day cutting through calm waters or cruising downriver is a day well spent.

Forget motors - really forget them as they are prohibited in most lakes, ponds, and rivers in the Catskills - and grab a paddle instead. Whether you’re a paddleboarder, canoer, or kayaker, the Catskills offer some of the best paddling in the Northeast. Head to the reservoirs, drop in a lake, or cruise downriver with nothing but the sounds and sights of nature around you. Sounds peaceful, doesn’t it?

Upper Delaware River

The upper Delaware River practically forms the boundary for southern Sullivan County on its way to the Atlantic. This winding river offers canoers, kayakers, and rafters beautiful scenery along with varied water speeds. Check out the stretch from Long Eddy down into Pond Eddy, you won’t be disappointed.

  • Water Speed: Walking Pace – Light Rapids
  • Distance: 45 miles
  • Rental Shops: Yes
  • Location: 41o 50’56.8” N 75o 08’09.2” W
Paddle Sullivan County
Photo Credit: Kellie M. Place
Photo Credit: Jonas' Essential Matters
Photo Credit: ThoughtCo

Esopus Creek

With scheduled water releases, Esopus is a hot spot for kayakers looking for some great class II, III, and IV whitewater. Couple the rapids with world class scenery and you’ll get why this is a hot spot for some of the best whitewater kayaking in the Northeast. Perfect drop in points can be found along High Street in Phoenicia.

  • Water Speed: Light Rapids – Class IV
  • Distance: 15 miles
  • Rental Shops: No
  • Location: 42o 04’53.4” N 74o 19’44.9” W
Paddle Ulster County

Pepacton Reservoir

As one of the major reservoirs that provides New York City with its water you best believe it is big. That’s a good thing too, not just because it helps city dwellers, but because it means there is tons of exploring to be done here by water. Just don’t forget to get a free DEP permit before heading out.

  • Water Speed: Standing – Walking Pace
  • Distance: 22 miles
  • Rental Shops: Yes
  • Location: 42o 04’37.3” N 74o 58’01.3” W
Paddle Delaware County
Photo Credit: Litton's Fishing Lines
Photo Credit: Walking Man 25 7
Photo Credit: Litton's Fishing Lines
Photo Credit: Biking Hiking with Kids
Photo Credit: Tim's Camping Review
Photo Credit: New York-New Jersey Trail Conference

North-South Lake

Grab your vessel of choice and experience paddling surrounded by the Catskill Mountains. A quick paddle ideal for early risers, the beautiful reflecting water and scenery will take your breath away. Suggestion: grab some paddleboards and head out early in the morning to catch the reflection of the beautiful colors bouncing off the mountains from the sunrise. 

  • Water Speed: Standing – Walking Pace
  • Distance: 1 mile
  • Rental Shops: Yes
  • Location: 42o 12’05.3” N 74o 02’14.3” W
Paddle Greene County
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