Indian River to North River runs through the remote Hudson River Gorge. Difficulty varies with water levels.
This section of the Hudson is unique in that its release is by way of a tributary, the Indian River.
As of 2023, the releases from the dam on Lake Abanakee happen only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, between May and September.
If the dam is releasing, the trip actually starts out on the Indian River which usually only releases from 9:30 AM until 11:30 AM.
Take out is the pullout “river exhibit” at the intersection of NY 28 and 78 in the metropolis of North River across from Adirondack Adventures. Street address 4658 NY-28, Minerva, NY 12851.
Normal Put in is on Chain of Lakes Road about a miles east of NY 28 (park to the west/left side to allow rafters to turn their vehicles).
Link to shuttle route.
Protip – there’s nothing in North River, but the town of Indian River about a mile past Chain of Lakes Road on 28 has basic services.
Cell phones work reliably on the high point of the shuttle, sporadically at the put in and never at the take out.
Class IV+ warmup Otter Slide
Directly below the dam. Otter Slide has a slightly technical lead-in to a ~10ft drop at low water. During releases, this drop becomes a massive boiling hole. Beware of undercut rocks on river left, the normal line is right of center, where a small amount of water shoots through the hole.
Below Otter Slide, the river is nearly continuous Class III for a mile with a break and then close to a mile of slightly easier nearly continuous class III. The hardest parts of the gorge are harder than the Indian and has no good egress, so if you are struggling on the Indian consider calling it a day. The road is close to the river just above the big island after the 1st rapid on the Indian and you can walk out from the confluence as well.
Bomber Roll Required for Hudson Gorge
Neither the Indian nor the harder rapids on the Gorge are good places to swim with long, rocky rapids and significant width, so a strong roll is pretty much mandatory. The delays caused by swims can also get you behind the bubble. For club trips with questionable paddlers, anyone who swims on the Indian should probably walk out and anyone who swims twice on the Indian should definitely walk out.
The Hudson River Gorge is surrounded by Wilderness Study Areas.
At levels below 4 feet the river is Class III. At levels of 5 feet and above, the river feels like big water Class III+/IV.
Once the Indian makes confluence with the Hudson several rambling rapids welcome you to the Hudson Gorge at the Cedar Ledge.
When cliffs appear on river right be ready for the Narrows. From about 4 to 6′ on the North River gauge you can expect the waves in the Narrows to roughly equal the gauge reading. If the gauge reads 4′ you’ll find waves about 4′ high, and at 6′ on the gauge you’ll find 6′ waves.
After the Narrows is Mile Long Rapid aka Carter’s Landing.
The Kenyon Eddy is your que to ready for Givneys Rift Rapid (or Soup Strainer). This rapid is characterized by a hard right turn, and it continues for nearly a mile.
Then Harris Rift Rapid running along the Northeast side of Harris Mountain finishes in the regions known as Fox Den and Bobcat Den.
Above the Boreas River within Harris Rift Rapid are several great surfing opportunities for rafts and kayaks in levels below 5 feet. The confluence with the Boreas River enters river left after a railroad bridge trestle crossing above the river.
Wit the exception of a single sneakable drop it’s all flatwater now. Bus Stop – a river wide ledge with a sneak river left. Center route is the stickiest part of this hole, while river right routes slide easy at 2500 to 5000 CFS.
After Bus Stop Rapid are three miles of flatwater to the takeout in the boomin’ metro of North River NY on river right.
Use the River Exhibit area to take out.
Once you leave the Indian you are in remote run with little good egress. Carry proper first aid gear and breakdown paddles.
Cell phone service is good at the high point on the shuttle, spotty at the put in and that’s it.
The nearest emergency services are in Glens Falls and Warrensburg, nearly an hour away.