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River access input sought; Six New York access points considered

This is an artist’s rendering of stairs leading to the Upper Delaware River under the existing bridge at Pond Eddy, NY.
Contributed photo

By Fritz Mayer
March 12, 2014

UPPER DELAWARE RIVER VALLEY, NY — Sullivan County officials have been working for a couple of years on a project to enhance and upgrade six access points to the Upper Delaware River. There is one access point in each of the river towns. The broad outlines of the projects are posted on the county website, and can be viewed at tinyurl.com/n8gldml.

The county is accepting public input on the plan until March 21. The program is being coordinated by the Sullivan County Department of Planning and Environmental Management, which has published an analysis of each site.

The first is located beneath the existing bridge at Pond Eddy, which will eventually be replaced by a new bridge. The analysis says, “Site needs to primarily accommodate fishing from the shoreline.” The project might also include interpretive signage related to the existence of an old canal wall that exists at the location.

The second location is near Barryville and currently features a launch site that can be used by cars with trailers. A potential program at that location might include, “trash cans, picnic tables, and seasonal portable toilets,” and “hard-surface paving areas to improve river ingress/egress at the shoreline.”

The third location is the river access at Ten Mile River, which is currently used as a drop-off point for canoe liveries and is home to a seasonal National Park Service ranger station. A hard surface might be added to this location to aid with parking, as well as trash cans, picnic tables and seasonal toilets.

The forth location is the river access at Skinners Falls, which is currently used for kayak and canoe launching as well as fishing and swimming. A project at this location might include “trailer parking and trailer access for driftboat guides,” two boat ramps and “additional car parking (site requires approximately 100 spaces at peak use).”

The fifth location is the access area where Callicoon Creek enters the river near the Callicoon Youth Center. According to the analysis this was “formerly the premier access point in the region including trailer access and restrooms.” The analysis says the site “needs to primarily accommodate motorized and non-motorized boat launches. But it also says, “no formal launch areas; maintain natural look as much as possible.”

The sixth location is the access at Long Eddy, which is currently used as a drift boat launch site, and for fishing from the shore. A project for this access might include, “trailer parking and trailer access (12-15 trailers and vehicles) and car parking.”