HOOSIC RIVER paddling, MA, VT, NY.

Jun 7, 2015 - HOOSIC RIVER from Ashton Ave in N Adams MA to Clayton Park (narrow path w/stinging nettles) on Lincoln St in Pownal VT. Quickwater, rapids up to Class II, mostly Class I, waves up to 15". Williamstown gauge at 5.4' - the lowest I've ever run this scenic section at but was lots of fun anyway (I enjoy "reading the river" + perfect weather in the low 70s), I hit some rocks but never got stuck. 9.7 miles, 5+ hours ( 2 breaks & a relaxed pace).

May 25, 2014 - HOOSIC RIVER from Ashton Rd, N Adams MA to Lincoln St, Pownal VT.  Williamstown gage at 5.8' - a very nice level.  Class 1/1+ rapids.  Hints of civilization early but once past Williamstown the shores are mostly wild passing Hopkins Memorial Forest on the L.  Always a very enjoyable run & leaves one wanting more.  Nice weather, temp into the 70s.  No bad bugs.  Saw a couple of fisherman but no other paddlers.  9.7 miles, 4 hours. 

July 7, 2013 - HOOSIC RIVER from North Pownal VT to just past Rt.7 in Hoosic NY. Williamstown gauge at 5.54', Eagle Bridge gauge at 3.75' - a few scratchy spots but a nice non-pushy level. Very nice scenery to the state line with no sign of civilization; rest is near farms, rr tracks or roads, still minimal sights of any development & very pleasant. Mostly class I rapids but a class II drop at the "Hoosic Wave". Some carnage en route: one person hit a shallow post (there are several, less on river R) under the Rt.346 bridge & capsized, another got pinned against some concrete blocks well into the trip - both man-made obstacles! Some strainers in the bends before the Rt.7 bridge could be a problem in higher water. Bald eagle, green & gb herons, hawks, kingfishers, sandpipers, bank swallows, crows, minnows. 10 miles, 5 hours.

 June 2, 2013 - HOOSIC RIVER from Girardi Canoe Access, Ashton Ave in N Adams MA to Conservation Park (unmarked, just an old sign frame left) near the bend on Lincoln St in Pownal VT.  Gage at Williamstown at 5.86', a very nice level.  Mix of quickwater, riffles & rapids up to class 1+.  A few left-hand turns early may have strainers on outside of turns - always safest to eddy out on inside of the bends.  Warning: before reaching Williamstown there is a rope across the river (went under it to the L but could be very dangerous with higher water levels) then a boom (runnable) across - work being done on L shore.  After passing under the Rt.7 bridge there was a fun section of standing waves up to 2'.  The river then mellows out a bit as it butts up against the Taconic Range allowing one to pay more attention to the scenery & birdsong.  9.7 miles, 3.7 hours.

 May 27, 2012 - HOOSIC RIVER from N Adams, MA to Pownal, VT.  Class 1+.  2nd rapid from the start has a new rock midstream & there is only a narrow area either side of it.  One hardly notices Williamstown when passing thru & then the river becomes very scenic as it cuts thru the Taconic Range.  Bald eagles, oriole, red-tailed hawk, turkey vulture, mergansers, mallards, grackles, kingfisher, killdeer, sandpipers, bank swallows.  9.7 miles, 5 hours at a leisurely pace.  Williamstown gage at 5.6' - decent level, a couple of scratchy spots.

May 24, 2009 - HOOSIC RIVER, Girardi Canoe Access in N Adams MA to Conservation Park (unmarked) in Pownal VT.  Class 1+ whitewater.  At 5.6' on the Williamstown gauge = water level good for the most part, a couple of boney rapids.  Despite passing thru Williamstown, the river remains mostly development-free becoming especially scenic in the 2nd half as it butts up against the Taconic Range.   9.7 miles, 3.6 hours.  Dagger Approach, a fun kayak for easy whitewater.

Jul 25, 2010 - HOOSIC RIVER, N Adams MA (Ashton Ave) to Pownal VT (path off Lincoln is well-hidden, plants incl. stinging nettles are growing in).  Class 1 rapids, one easy class 2 near the end - played quite a bit on the way.  Recent rain had brought summer river levels up - 5.6' today on the Williamstown gauge (best to run at above 5.5').  Minimal signs of civilization, no other boaters, no fishermen.  Mink, lots of kingfishers.  9+ miles, 4 hours.

May 25, 2008 - HOOSIC RIVER from N Adams, MA to Pownal, VT.  Put-in at Girardi Memorial Access Area on Ashton Av., N Adams, MA. - take-out: from Rt.346 in Pownal, VT. take Main St then R before bridge onto Lincoln St for 0.3 mi. to Clayton/Conservation Park (sign is missing, basically looks like a wide trail that goes to the riverbank) on L. Gauge at Williamstown was at 5.5', some scratchy rapids, would have been better with water level closer to 6'.  Mostly class 1 with a class 2 before the finish.  Despite passing thru Williamstown, the river remains mostly development-free becoming especially scenic in the 2nd half as it butts up against the Taconic Range.  Stopped for lunch near Hopkins Memorial Forest, unfortunately soon heard gunshots from nearby firing range, otherwise trip was quite peaceful.  Hoosic River Watershed Association.  9.7 miles, 5 hours.  Dagger Approach, a fun river-runner yet stable enough for fishing/birding on flatwater.

Jun 21, 2015 - HOOSIC RIVER from N Pownal VT (upstream of the Dean Rd bridge on river R below the dam) to just past Rt.7 (off Rt.22 there are 2 dirt drives with deep mud puddles that lead to a long pebbly beach, best for high clearance 4WD ) in Hoosick. Williamstown gauge 6.4'; Eagle Bridge gauge 3.05' rising to 3.3'. Class I rapids early then a class II drop at "The Hoosic Wave", stopped for lunch here. The last half was mostly quickwater & riffles with some strainers. A mix of woods & farms. Day lilies, chimney swifts, deer. 10 miles, 3.3 hours.

Jun 28, 2009 - HOOSIC RIVER from NY/VT state line to Hoosic Falls (see ADK East Central guidebook for put-in & take-out).  Quickwater, many class 1 rapids & one class 2 - Williamstown gauge in high 5's, Eagle Bridge gauge at 4'.  Took the class 2 drop (~half hour into the trip as river comes close to road & RR) a bit R of center closely avoiding the close to 3' wave at the bottom.  3 small drops before Rt.22 bridge are playable then flatwater to take-out on the L - saw 2 deer bound across the river here.  Very little development seen, some farm smell.  11 miles, 5.5 hours.  Dagger Approach - fun! - catches eddies well, high initial & secondary stability. 

Jun 29, 2008 - HOOSIC RIVER, state line to just past Rt. 7 in Hoosic.  Pastoral (smell the manure) with forested hills, little development, some road noise.  Riffles, some class 1 rapids & an easy class 2 drop ("The Hoosic Wave", nice wave train & a spot for some of the group to surf).  Weatherfolks predicted a nasty day of storms & all we got was a humid sunny day.  A deer crossed the river ahead of us, merganser family, bald eagle, red-tailed hawks.  Gauges: Williamstown 5.5', Eagle Bridge 3.5' - decent level, some scratchy spots.  Be careful of strainers on outside of bends.  7 miles, 4 hours.  Dagger Approach, a fun 10' poly kayak, also comes in 9' version for the smaller paddler. 


May 29, 2016 - HOOSIC RIVER from Hoosic Junction (water treatment plant) to Buskirk Covered Bridge. Some class 1 rapids & riffles. Eagle Bridge gauge at 2.8' - on the low side but runnable. Mostly away from roads, lots of wildlife. Saw osprey, bald eagles & nest with 2 not-so-small eaglets, mergansers, red-bellied woodpeckers, killdeer, swallows, gb heron, C geese, mink, fish... 7.25 miles, 2.6 hours.

May 25, 2015 - HOOSIC RIVER from Hoosick Junction to Johnsonville. Eagle Bridge gauge at 2.6' - some shallow areas, wouldn't want levels to be much lower. The first rapid has strainers on the left in deeper faster water. Class 1 rapids interspersed with long stretches of flatwater. Played in rapid below the rr bridge, watch out for rocks. River flattens out a mile above Buskirk Covered Bridge. From there it is deep flatwater to the dam at Johnsonville - used a whitewater canoe (Dagger Caption) which was fun in the rapids but too bow light in headwind on the flats, was not easy to add weight to the bow with a float bag in there. Bald eagles, green herons, gb heron, kingfishers, sandpipers, killdeer, mergansers, mallards. Class 1+ from HJ to Buskirk Covered Bridge 7 miles, 2.4 hours; BCB to J 5.2 miles, 2.1 hours.

May 30, 2010 - HOOSIC RIVER Hoosic Junction to Johnsonville.  Morning: Hoosic Junction to New DEC/Rensselaer Land Trust car-top boat launch on Rt.67 W of Eagle Bridge (11.1 miles E of Rt.40 in Schagticoke) - class 1+ whitewater, 1st rapid is trickiest with strainers on the L (we had some carnage, paddler swam out ok but kayak got stuck under strainer, one rescuer also capsized).  Saw no-one.  Immature bald eagle.  4.75 miles, 2 hours.  Afternoon: Flatwater from new launch to Johnsonville dam.  Mature bald eagles, deer, muskrat; colorful flowers incl. buttercups, forget-me-nots, yellow flag.  Saw a handful of other paddlers.  Water high enough to explore some of the shallow backwaters.  9+ miles, 3 hours.

Jun 15, 2008 - HOOSIC RIVER, Hoosic Junction to Buskirk Covered Bridge.  Class 1 whitewater, riffles & long stretches of flatwater.  1st rapid is the trickiest as the main flow goes L toward strainers - you must be able to keep your boat as far R as possible, side-slipping skills using draws & eddy turn skills useful.  Very pleasant with light development mainly near the 2 road bridges.  Osprey, mergansers, gb heron, deer.  No bad bugs.  Eagle Bridge gauge at 3.4', a nice level.  6 miles, a leisurely 3 hours.  Bell Yellowstone Solo, a 14' solo canoe.

Nov 13, 2011 - HOOSIC RIVER Johnsonville to Buskirk Covered Bridge & back.  Temp close to 60F.  Very little development outside of Johnsonville & Buskirk.  About a mile upstream is an island, S side is very shallow, N side has deep water.  Duck hunter, blind, decoys at E end of island - heard a few gunshots.  Huge quantities of avian wildlife: bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, ducks, gulls, gb herons, kingfisher...  Covered bridge shows some damage on upstream side due to flood waters.  Saw 2 other kayakers without life jackets on - NYS law requires that paddlers wear life jackets from Nov 1 thru May 1.  4 hours.

May 25, 2009 - HOOSIC RIVER from Buskirk Covered Bridge.  Downstream for 3 or 4 miles - very little development.  Fish jumping, bald eagles, hawk on nest.  Dam at Johnsonville creates ~6 miles of flat water.

Jun 2, 2008 - HOOSIC RIVER from above dam in Johnsonville.  Flatwater for over 6 miles to above Buskirk Covered Bridge.  Upstream of the bridge, paddled up the 1st swift, lined up the 2nd & turned around at the 3rd (45 mins. from bridge).  Light development, farms, but also stretches with no sign of development, some road noise.  Bald eagle, gb herons, oriole, deer, Canada & domestic geese, r-t hawk, sandpipers, muskrats, mergansers w/chicks, 100s of fish (up to 2').  Dame's rocket, yellow flag, buttercups colored the shorelines.  14 miles, 5.7 hours.  Picked up some trash in the spirit of National River Cleanup Week.  Bell Merlin II, a 15' composite solo canoe.

Nov 19, 2007 - HOOSIC RIVER from Johnsonville.  Minimal development.  Headed up to the Buskirk Covered Bridge & returned.  Ice in the backwaters.  Bald eagle, red-tailed hawk, gb herons.  3 hours.  Swift Kiwassa 12.5, a new 12.5' lightweight kayak with 2 hatches & optional skeg - not on their website yet; 24.5"wide, 13"deck height, as low as 30lbs, cockpit 32.75"x16".

Oct 22, 2006 - HOOSIC RIVER canoeing.  Launch site above dam on S side of river in Johnsonville.  River is lake-like for a while upstream & has some mats of water chestnut - narrows somewhat upstream to ~100' width.  Lightly developed.  Very good variety of fall colors from oaks - most other hardwoods have dropped their leaves.  Some side bays & channels to explore.  Views E to Green Mountains of Vt.  Turned around within sight of Buskirk Covered Bridge.  Usual assortment of C geese, gb herons, gulls, ducks until we were almost back to dam when we spotted 3 bald eagles (1 mature) on a log in the river & some (snow?) geese.  9 miles, 3 hours.


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