|The Hoosic River is seventy miles long, starting in Massachusetts, running through Vermont, and ending at the Hudson River near Lock 4. While many portions are navigable by those with only flatwater experience, some portions require more advanced skills, and others are only attempted by the Evel Knievel's of the paddling world. See the Hoosic River Watershed Association link for maps and more information. The Second edition of Natural Areas of Rensselaer County contains information as well.|
Here is information on the access points for the river in New York State from upstream to downstream. Distances are from one access to the next. Unsigned means there are no official signs at the access point.
Tannery Dam (5.3 miles) - Unsigned launch is below the Tannery Dam in Vermont. This section contains Class 2 Rapids. map
County Route 95 Bridge (3.5) - Unsigned access is at the bridge on County Route 95. This section is easily navigable. map
Rock Cut - While the area downstream from Rock Cut is easily navigable for 3 to 4 miles, there currently are no take out points before the Hoosick Falls flood chutes which are extremely dangerous. map
Hoosick Falls (4.6 miles) - There are signed access points on either side of the river downstream from the Hoosick Falls power station dam. This section does include class 2 rapids. map
Eagle Bridge (2 miles) - In 2010 a new boat launch was created by the Rensselaer Land Trust and DEC a little west of the Hamlet of Eagle Bridge. There are stairs down the water and a carpeted slide for the boat if needed. There's a little bit of a current from the launch to the next bend downstream and flat water after that. It's mostly farm land with only a couple of houses until you reach Buskirk.
Buskirk Covered Bridge (5.1 miles) - There is a signed access right at the bridge on route 103 and another a quarter of a mile downstream off of 59A in a backwater out of the main channel. There's a narrow notch in the bank to the water from the parking area next to the bridge that drops about 4 feet. The river is quite wide in this section and the current is practically impreceptable. There is some farm land but most of the time there is an undeveloped buffer along the river. As you get closer to Johnsonville there are a number of extended back yards on the south side of the river. map
Johnsonville (4.2 miles) - Take out is on the left above the Johnsonville Dam and there is a good sized parking lot there. There is what appears to be a man made dike around the area that you have to clamber over. The put in for the next stretch is a hundred yards or so down River Road on the other side of the dam and there is a small sign marking it. The current is fairly swift and there are rocks in the river but nothing too difficult for about a mile where the river makes a lazy "M" shape and a bluff appears on the left. The river narrows considerably and drops a bit. The land on the right is flat although probably muddy and could be used for a quick portage especially during low water when the rocks in the channel may be more exposed. The river widens after this point as the water backs up behind the James Thompson Hydroelectric Project dam in Valley Falls map
Valley Falls Dam - Takeout is on the right above the James Thompson Hydroelectric Project. There is a small signed parking area here. The river below the dam is generally not considered navigable. map
Schaghticoke Dam - There is an access point on a dirt road that bisects the impoundment, sort of like a reservoir, above the Schaghticoke Dam. The river below the dam is only navigable by the experienced during whitewater releases. map
Powerstation Road (5.4 miles) - There is a small, signed parking area near the Brookfield Power substation. From here you can canoe to the Hudson river. The river is shallow in places and can be difficult during low water. Take out is at the Lock 4 Canal Park. There is about a quarter of a mile portage to the parking area. In high water it may be possible to make it into the lock and avoid the portage. The park closes at 4:30. map
Natural Areas of Rensselaer County, New York
Hoosic River Watershed Association