The Neversink near Cuddebackville
|Source||East Branch Neversink River|
|- location||S of col between Slide and Cornell mountains, Town of Shandaken, Ulster County|
|- elevation||2,960 ft (902 m)|
|Secondary source||West Branch Neversink River|
|- location||NW slope of Slide Mountain, Town of Shandaken|
|- elevation||3,480 ft (1,061 m)|
|- location||S of Claryville, Sullivan County|
|- elevation||1,600 ft (488 m)|
|- elevation||400 ft (122 m)|
|Length||55 mi (89 km)|
|Basin||435 sq mi (1,127 km2)|
|Discharge||for Godeffroy, NY|
|- average||463 cu ft/s (13 m3/s)|
|- max||33,000 cu ft/s (934 m3/s)|
|- min||32 cu ft/s (1 m3/s)|
|Discharge elsewhere (average)|
|- Claryville||174 cu ft/s (5 m3/s)|
The Neversink and its two branches
The Neversink River (also called Neversink Creek in its upper course) is a 55-mile-long (89 km) tributary of the Delaware River in southeastern New York in the United States. The name of the river comes from an Algonquian language phrase meaning "mad river."
In the 1890s Theodore Gordon expertly matched dry fishing flies to actual insects. Edward Ringwood Hewitt conducted research on insect and flies from his property above the town of Neversink. As a result, the Neversink River is considered by many to be the birthplace of American dry fly fishing.
The Neversink's main flow begins just south of the border between present-day Ulster and Sullivan counties, where the east and west branches of the river join near the hamlet of Claryville. Both branches begin on the slopes of Slide Mountain, the highest peak in the Catskills. The west branch is joined by several major tributaries, such as Biscuit Brook and Pigeon Creek at Frost Valley YMCA in the town of Shandaken, Ulster County. In its upper course, it is a rocky and wild stream, ideal for trout fishing. But, most of the land around it is privately owned and not open to fishermen.
It flows generally southeast through the mountains. Not far downriver from the confluence in Neversink, it is impounded to form the Neversink Reservoir of the New York City Water Supply System. . It is connected by a 5-mile (8 km) water tunnel to Rondout Reservoir, and subsequently to the Delaware Aqueduct. Development of the Neversink Reservoir resulted in the displacement of many locals, as several towns along the river were flooded to make the reservoir. New York City paid for their relocation.
It flows through the town of Fallsburg, the hamlets of Woodbourne, South Fallsburg, and Old Falls. It enters the town of Thompson near Bridgeville; New York State Route 17/Interstate 86 cross it at Exit 107. The Holiday Mountain Ski Area was developed near the river. Southern Sullivan County has less developed country, and the river passes over its largest waterfalls, Denton Falls and High Falls in the Neversink Gorge. It flows southeastward into western Orange County. Near Cuddebackville, it is joined from the northeast by Basher Kill, then flows southwest. US 209 runs parallel to the river, which joins the Delaware River at Port Jervis. Tristate Rock marks the area of the borders of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania; Interstate 84 bridge passes over this point.
Along much of its length, the Neversink is a popular trout stream, mostly north of Woodbourne. In addition to rainbow trout, it sustains brown trout, brook trout and the rare tiger trout. The river is home to other fish species such as smallmouth bass, carp, sucker, bluegill, American eel, and lampreys; and a diverse range of flora and fauna.
Other forms of recreation are rarely pursued on the river. Several swimming holes are available; however, many are on private property or restricted public property. The relative narrow nature of the river is not hospitable to boating. The river is mostly navigable with small watercraft from near its dam in Hasbrouck to its mouth; however, it is seldom traveled. In the late 19th century the river was said to have been navigable to Claryville, where a tannery operated. The river provided a transportation waterway for the tannery's products as well as smaller steam-propelled vessels.
In heavy rains the Neversink River sometimes floods near its mouth at the Delaware River. This occurred most recently in April 2005, causing some destruction and dislocation in the Port Jervis area. The Myers Grove community near Huguenot was particularly affected. In addition, heavy rains, in combination with an extended period of unusually warm weather after a moderate to heavy winter with a considerable snowpack, can produce devastating floods at the headwaters of the river from January to April. The snowpack melt increases the volume in the river at the same time as rain.
A detailed history of the river can be found in James Eldrige Quinlan's History of Sullivan County, published in 1873.
- Cuddebackville Dam
- List of crossings of the Neversink River
- List of New York rivers
- Neversink Preserve
- U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed April 1, 2011
- Askins, Justin. The Legendary Neversink, page xv
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Neversink River.|
- 1851 Neversink Aqueduct
- The Neverskink Valley Area Museum
- D&H Canal Historical Society
- "USGS Report, Flood of April 2–3, 2005, Neversink River Basin" (PDF). (17.3 MB)