Mohawk River Kayaking: Down Memory Lane

When I wanted to get in a few hours of paddling last weekend, I picked a spot which required no guidebooks, websites, GPS or research of any kind. I decided to put my kayak into the water in a place I’ve known my entire life, in Crescent NY, on the north bank of the Mohawk River, right next to Route 9.

Halfmoon NY gas station

My grandfather used to own a gas station there. He bought it in 1946 and lived there in a house attached to the back of the station until he passed away in the late 70s. A few years after that my grandmother sold the place and it became a Stewart’s, which is still there today.

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Kayaking Sturgeon Pool

Sturgeon Pool is another paddling spot that has been on my list for a long time. It is a relatively wide section of the Wallkill River, just above its confluence with Rondout Creek, where the northward flowing water is imprisoned behind a hydro electric dam.

Route 213 in Rifton NY

I’ve paddled the Rondout multiple times, both in the Kingston area up to Creek Locks (a dam built as part of the D&H canal) and above downstream from where the Wallkill empties into it. I’ve also canoed the Wallkill itself upstream of Sturgeon Pool in Walden, NY.

On Friday morning I had business to attend to in Albany so I decided to carve out a couple hours for exploration on my way home and fill in a gap in my upstate paddling resume.

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Kayaking in Rye NY

I’ve had my eye on the Long Island Sound as a paddling destination for a while. I’ve worked in a Westchester County for years and have customers all along the Sound. Driving around the area, I constantly pass by bits of water in New Rochelle or Mamaroneck, that make me say “That looks like it would be fun to paddle. I wonder where I could put in.”

Rye Town Dock

That is always the question. Along the Hudson, there are many spots where I can launch my kayak for free and the Hudson River Greenway Water Trail website makes finding them easy. My resource for finding launch spots outside my home zone is paddling.com. It’s useful, but not nearly as good as the site for the Greenway. Many of paddling.com’s entries lack detail.

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