Johnsonville Dam, Johnsonville, NY (#14) to James Thompson Hydroelectric Project, Valley Falls, NY (#15)

4.2 miles

#14 Access: From the east, at the intersection of NY Rt. 22 and NY Rt. 67, travel Rt. 67 west about 8.3 miles to Johnsonville Road/County Rt. 111. From the west, at the Valley Falls bridge over the Hoosic River, travel east on NY Rt. 67 about 2.8 miles to Johnsonville Road. Go north on Johnsonville Road to River Road less than 0.1 miles on the right. Take River Road northeast to the parking area along the river. The put-in is about 100 yards down a mostly informal path to a small cove below the dam. The parking area is signed.
Just beyond the Johnsonville Dam, floaters pass under a historic 1891 mesh-floor iron bridge, and then past the piers of an old Greenwich and Johnsonville Railroad trestle. (A historic G&J railroad car is on display at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Greenwich, NY.) This section of river contains some big rocks, and is hard to float in low water. Further downstream, water becomes backed up by the dam at Valley Falls. As the dam and the adjacent abandoned factory buildings become apparent, and above the sign reading “Caution, Dam Ahead,” pull to the right and look for a grassy ramp to the river and the take-out site (#15). Under no circumstances should floaters go beyond this point!

#15 Access (for spotting a vehicle, or for paddling on the Valley Falls backwater): Just west of the NY Rt. 67 Valley Falls bridge over the Hoosic, turn on Schaghticoke Road to its end at Bunker Hill Road. Go right on Bunker Hill Road to a signed parking area on the right, in grass. This site has room for only 3 or 4 vehicles.

The stretch of river between the Valley Falls dam and the next impoundment downstream is, except for a very short stretch, are only safely paddled by expert floaters. Remnant dams, rapids, and large rocks are the rule in this section.