An excursion along this moody stretch of river alternates between the tumultuous thunder of Class I, II and III white water rapids and water smooth enough to allow you to sit back and enjoy the lush woodland scenery, and wildlife that abounds in this unspoiled valley.
The river sets the pace, as it flows past the picnic areas of American Legion and Peoples State Forest and winds through the idyllic villages of Riverton and New Hartford. Along the way, you will traverse several exciting sets of rapids as well as chart a course around the string of islands that punctuate the river.
As a rule, passage to the right of the islands is shallow and wide, while passage to the left, is faster and rockier. The most challenging spot lies just past the sharp left bend of the river known as "High Banks", a Class II or III stretch of boulder strewn rapids located 4.5 miles from Riverton. As you approach this bend, be on the lookout for a narrow stand of tall straight pines, on your left, that serve as a reminder of the turbulent chute straight ahead.
PUT IN The state picnic area, in Riverton (Rte. 8 north to Rte. 20), immediately below the Rte. 20 bridge, across from the Hitchcock Chair Factory Store.
Take Out Point: Satan's Kingdom Access Area, before the Rte. 44 bridge, on the right, above Satan's Kingdom Gorge. Swing right just past River Run Apartments to get out of the current. If you find yourself within sight of the high bridge (Rte. 44 bridge), pull over to the right immediately. Satan's Kingdom Gorge is a short distance from the Rte. 44 bridge and should only be traversed by expert whitewater canoeists or by inner tubes and rafts.
Mileage 11 miles
Time: 5 to 6 hours