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The Great Swamp in New York

by B

Trip Overview


I started paddling at the Green Chimneys School put-in off Doansburg Road and paddled north toward the Route 22 bridge. Due to a lack of snow and rain this winter and spring, the water level was down somewhat. This left the usually submerged branches exposed in many areas, increasing the difficulty of paddling through the narrow canal that weaves through the swamp. So I was glad that I took my banged-up, 14 year-old, 9'6" Old Town Otter kayak, because I definitely left some green plastic along my swath.

The weather was overcast, with virtually no measurable wind, and water that was glass flat. I was forced to take out once along the way, but there were a couple of other times where I should have, but just plowed over and through some downed branches.

One blue heron was in my sight just ahead of me for most of the two hour trip and a few pairs of swans were spotted along the way. I made sure to keep my distance in case there were nests along the way. Just past a large duck blind, I spotted a beaver and about a 1/2 mile further north I came across the first of two water rats.

The brush wasn't blooming yet and the Swamp still had that wintery gray, desolate look. Once I got to a second spot that would require another take-out about 2-1/2 miles north, I turned around and made my back south to Green Chimneys rather quickly due to the prevailing current.

All in all, it was extremely quiet and peaceful and a great way to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday.

Accommodations:

User-friendly.

Drive vehicle to sandy put-in spot by the wooden walking bridge, unload and park vehicle in lot.

Fees:

No

Directions:

Route 22 to Doansburg Road. A couple of miles north to Green Chimneys School. Parking and put-in is on the left across from the barn-red buildings.

Resources:

Google Earth

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip