While the Adirondacks are rife with lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams, few are as wild as the Opalescent River. From its humble origins deep in the High Peaks Wilderness, the Opalescent empties into the iconic Hudson River, just south of Tahawus. It is designated a wild river for 11 miles from Flowed Lands to its confluence with the Hudson. This makes it a truly wild paddling experience for those looking to find solitude and get away from developed shorelines.
From exit 29 off I-87, turn west onto Blue Ridge Road (CR 84) toward Newcomb. Follow this route for 17.4 miles to an intersection with Tahawus Road (CR 25). Turn right on Tahawus Road. Continue for 4.3 miles to the junction of Tahawus Road and Opalescent Road. A bridge should be visible on the right. The water you see is the Hudson River but paddling upstream you'll find the Opalescent River on your right.
The Opalescent River offers paddlers a wild experience! It is a wonderful pairing with a paddle on the Hudson. Putting in at the bridge over the Hudson on Opalescent Road, paddlers will travel upstream to find the Opalescent River on the right. The water can be quite shallow, but a delightful paddle nonetheless. As the Opalescent winds and meanders through the forest, you'll find sandy beaches on the bends and magnificent views of some High Peaks and surrounding mountains. You may only be able to travel 1 mile up the Opalescent, but in high waters, further travel may possible.
The Department of Environmental Conservation plans to build several primitive campsites in the area. Campers are permitted to camp on public lands in the nearby High Peaks Wilderness or Vanderwhacker Wild Forest so long as sites are at least 150 feet away from any road, trail, spring, stream, pond, or other body of water.
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