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The Great Swamp, Patterson, NY

Sep 13, 2013
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Long Island, NY
For information pertaining to the Great Swamp itself you can visit http://frogs-ny.org

Put in location: DEC Access at the end of Marble Road, Patterson, NY 12563


Take out location: Green Chimneys School's Picnic Pavilion 400 Doansburg Rd, Brewster NY 10509


The take out is about a 15-20 drive from the launch.

GPS Data:
Trip Odometer: 7.34 Miles
Moving Time: 3 Hours 16 Minutes
Moving Average: 2.2 MPH
Stopped 1 Hour 39 Minutes - I guess the beaver dams and lunch break added a lot of time
Overall Average 1.5 MPH

Permits needed: None known

Here's the overview. I marked all the beaver dams that required getting out of the boat for. This trip was done November second, different times of the year may, or may not, have different water levels.

GreatSwampDams by Hansen.Dougie, on Flickr

GreatSwampMap by Hansen.Dougie, on Flickr

Two other members of LI Paddlers and myself made this trip. They travelled tandem in a nice Kevlar Mad River Explorer with wooden gunwales and decks. I paddled my Swift Raven anticipating a lot of canoe obstacle dragging.

The twisting and turning river meanders and nicely changes your view of the skyline through the trees. It starts off narrow and then gradually widening for the last mile or so. The current isn't strong but also increases at the river widens. We encountered numerous beaver dams so there was a lot of getting in and out of the canoes. I brought my canoe pole and I found it very helpful getting over the obstacles. Teamwork also came in handy.

We spooked a lot of ducks, I think many of them were Wood Ducks. We also had a large Whitetail Buck (at least an 8 point, quite possible a 10+) bound away from us. Saw numerous Great Blue Heron and turtles. A Red Tailed Hawk was on his perch and we also spotted a school of Yellow Perch in the river.

It was a nice way to spend the day and I'd like to go back and paddle when the trees have leaves on them.

GreatSwamp2013-17.jpg by Hansen.Dougie, on Flickr

Canoe Limbo by Hansen.Dougie, on Flickr

Duck Blind by Hansen.Dougie, on Flickr

Mad River Explorer by Hansen.Dougie, on Flickr

What a great day by Hansen.Dougie, on Flickr

All the photos:

Nov 21, 2012
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Eastern Long Island, NY
Doug, where are the pictures of David and me looking like idiots at every beaver dam, or floating log. You also left out the part about you hitting the deer with your canoe. Might be the first recorded incident of a canoe versus deer encounter.

Glenn MacGrady

Staff member
Oct 24, 2012
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The Great Swamp is a local paddle for me. It is the only river system I know that flows in two different directions into two different watersheds. At one end the swamp drains north into the Housatonic River, and at the other end it drains south into the Hudson River.

HERE are several photos I took of a trip in mid-June when the water was at very high levels. You can then paddle in many directions, literally among the trees in the forest. The duck blind on dry land in your photos was almost under water in June. My boat is the Bell Wildfire in the first photo, otherwise never seen.
Sep 13, 2013
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Long Island, NY
Thanks Rob, I enjoy snapping them.

Waterspyder, Here's one of David having fun at your expense:

Wheelie! by Hansen.Dougie, on Flickr

Here's the deer I hit:

Dark reflections by Hansen.Dougie, on Flickr

It's amazing how much our Beaver Dam hurdling skills improved as the day wore on. In the afternoon I felt like trying some of the stunts I saw in the 1939 Canoeing Video ;-)


You are fortunate to have that close to you. It's a neat place. Great photos!

Wow, the complexion of The Great Swamp changes greatly with the seasons. I have to get back there in the spring or summer. I'll give you a heads up if you'd like.
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