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Upper Carmens River in New York

by  tfedler

A self-supported trip created by tfedler

Trip Overview

We couldn't have picked a more perfect day to paddle with three friends. The weather was cooperative providing us with sun, a slight breeze and temperatures reaching the low 80's. We started the day by driving two cars down to the take out point which is roughly 3 - 4 miles south of our entry.

Once back at the put in location we launched our tandem kayak and canoe into the river. At this point the river is shallow and very narrow which was a challenge for two of us paddling the kayak, most of the time we bottomed out and had to move ourselves along using our hands. When freed the river zig-zags through over hanging trees and brush but widens after about a quarter mile.

The river slowly flows from north to south and required more steering than paddling. Once we entered Southaven Park we needed to exit our water crafts and walk them around a man made dam. From there, we continued our trip, encountering a variety of wildlife and enjoying the sun. At the end of Southaven Park we needed to exit again and carry our crafts down about 13 steps into the rushing water created by the dam directly behind us. A little challenging getting back into our boats but that may have had to do with the belly laughs.

Further down the river we passed Glacier Bay Sports which is on Montauk Highway, close to where we parked our cars. (For a fee, you can park in Glacier Bay and they will transport you to the start of the river). Just past Glacier Bay there is a take out on the left side of the river which is where we stopped for lunch. It also happens to be where we parked our cars and is about a 1/4 of a mile walk.

After lunch we continued on the river south of Montauk Highway for another 1/2 mile and then headed back. If you continue south from this point you will be in Bellport Bay.

The biggest laugh of the day was when my buddy and I latched onto our fellow canoers with a telescoping gaff and hitched a ride for a good 2 minutes before they noticed, originally thinking they were battling the wind.


Limited parking on the side of the road. Put in is on the east side of the road behind a chain link fence. Wooden deck path leads to the head of the river.




LIE East to Exit 67 North. Parking is less than a 1/10th of a mile north on both sides of the road. There is an abandon house on the right.


Nothing more than my Hagstrom.

Trip Details

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location