Sub-basins of the Lower Esopus Watershed

While the Esopus channel is divided into three ‘valley’ segments according to its general characteristics, the sub-basins are grouped according to a different set of characteristics; the basins on the west side differ markedly from those on the east side because of size, topography, tributary size, and land use. The west side drains a large area much of which is in the Catskill Park; slopes are greater and land use is more rural, less urban with overall very high forested cover. The east side is a much narrower area, and it supports very dense urban development in the Kingston area, with a high percentage of impervious surface and low percentage of forested cover. The following sub-basin descriptions correspond to the numbered sub-basins shown on Maps 1a and 1b; 59 of these sub-basins are described below, according to the valley segments into which they drain.

Esopus Valley Segment I

The West Side

01. (V1_T1W) This small sub-basin, just over half a square mile, is drained by a 1.5 mile stream channel. It is located in the Town of Olive and extends to the edge of the Ashokan Reservoir. The Town of Olive landfill and recycling center, which is now closed, is at the edge of the sub-basin along Beaverkill Road. The sub-basin is over 90% forested and wetlands are evident in and along the Esopus Creek channel.

02. (V1_T2W) Adjacent to the SUNY New Paltz property, in the Town of Olive, this sub-basin is just under one square mile in size with a main stream channel of about 1.3 miles. The stream originates near the Ashokan Reservoir in a large wetland area at Rte. 28A; additional large wetlands are found between Woodland Drive and Chris Lane and off Beaverkill Rd. in the south portion of the subbasin. The area is over 90% forested with a high proportion of wetlands.

03. (V1_T3W) This sub-basin is in the Town of Marbletown; almost a square mile in size, it contains a stream channel of about 1.75 miles. The area is more than 95% forested. One of the stream branches originates in a lake between Stone Church Road and Blue Heron Drive. Additional wetlands are found along Rte. 28A and near Lee Woods Drive.

04. (V1_T4W) The stream that drains this sub-basin is almost 3 miles long, and is connected to the reservoir by a spillway channel. There are extensive wetlands in the vicinity of the confluence of the spillway channel and the stream between Stone Church Road and Spillway Road, near the Marbletown and Hurley town boundary, which bisects the sub-basin. The area is over 96% forested.

05. (V1_T5W) This very small sub-basin (about a square half-mile) contains a 2-mile stream channel with several small branches. The stream originates in wetlands near Lapla Road. The area contains extensive wetlands; it is about 94% forested and extends from Ashokan Road to just north of the Marbletown/ Hurley town boundary.

06. (V1_T6W) This long narrow basin covers two and a quarter square miles and is drained by a very long stream of almost 5.5 miles. The area is 93% forested, and is bisected by the Marbletown/Hurley town boundary, with scattered wetlands throughout.

07. (V1_T7W) This very small sub-basin in the Town of Marbletown, is 98% forested, with a stream that is almost 1.5 miles long. The stream enters the Esopus near the end of Hidden Valley Road.

08. (V1_T8W) Another very small sub-basin in Marbletown, this area is almost 100% forested, with a stream just over 1 mile long. It extends from Hidden Valley Road to the Esopus, and is bisected by Ashokan Road.

The East Side

09.  (V1_ET6E) This area in the Town of Marbletown is comprised of two small sub-basins, with two small stream channels, and is over 85% forested. It contains some large areas of hydric soil (likely wetlands). The Catskill Aqueduct runs through this sub-basin, as well as sub-basins 010 through 014.

010.  (V1_ET5E) With an area of four and a half square miles, this sub-basin is the second largest that drains into Valley 1. It is over 90% forested with a high proportion of wetlands, lakes and ponds, and contains a main stream channel that is over five and a half miles long. The stream originates near Vly and Scarawan Roads, in an area of extensive large wetlands (the Vly). It flows to Hacker’s Pond just south of Rte. 213/4 and into the Esopus, east of Johnson and White Pine Roads.

011. (V1_ET4E) This very small sub-basin, almost 100% forested, contains a stream almost a mile and a half in length. The sub-basin extends from just southwest of Rte. 213 near Stillwater Road to the Esopus just east of White Pine Road.

012. (V1_ET3E) Bisected by Rte. 213, this very small sub-basin of about half a square mile contains a 2 mile long stream. The eastern portion of the sub-basin contains extensive wetlands that extend into a very small sub-basin to the north. This tiny sub-basin, between 011 and 012 is drained by a small stream that runs through some large wetlands in a lowlying area along the Esopus channel. Several small streams drain the areas between sub-basins 09 and 014; these tiny watersheds are mostly forested.

013. (V1_ET2E) Bisected by the Olive/ Marbletown line, this half square mile sub-basin extends south of Rte. 213 in the vicinity of Highland Road. The area is 97% forested. A stream channel about one and a quarter miles long enters the Esopus just downstream and across from the SUNY New Paltz property.

014. (V1_ET1E) Covering about five and a half square miles, mostly within the Town of Olive, this is the largest sub-basin that drains into Valley 1. It is just over 80% forested, with a branched main stream channel six miles in length. Headwaters of this stream lie in hydric soils (likely wetlands) between Beaver Lake Road and Upper Sahler Mill Road; it flows into the Esopus opposite the SUNY New Paltz property. Other areas of extensive wetlands are just southwest of Crispell Road, and between Gyves Road and County Road 2A. The sub-basin contains a significant proportion of wetlands, lakes and ponds throughout. Between this sub-basin and the edge of the reservoir is a forested area that contains several very small streams that run into the Esopus.

Esopus Valley Segment II

The broad floodplain that is most evident in the Espous Valley 2 reach contains old oxbows, intermittent streams and wetlands that drain directly to the Esopus channel. This floodplain area illustrates the movement of the Esopus channel and changes in meander patterns over time. This is normal for a stream channel; in fact meanders help to slow flood flows.

Where the Esopus channel gradient is relatively flat and flow is sluggish, it is especially critical to maintain minimum stream flows to keep the water moving; this improves water quality, discourages algal blooms, improves habitat for fish, and improves recreational potential of the channel through some of the heaviest populated areas. This portion of the Esopus Creek begins at Hurley Mountain Road in the Town of Marbletown, and traverses the Towns of Hurley, Kingston, and Ulster and the City of Kingston to its endpoint at Leggs Mill Road in the Town of Ulster.

The West Side

1. Stony Kill. (V2.2_T1W) The 12 mile long main channel of the Stony Kill drainage area and its tributaries have a drainage basin of approximately nine and a half square miles. About 87% of the sub-basin is forested, and it includes some extensive wetlands between Stone Road and Dug Hill Road. The headwaters of the Stony Kill begin in an area of small wetlands and intermittent streams. Along Stone Road and Quarry Road it flows through several large wetland areas. This sub-basin is located within the Catskill Park, partly in the Town of Hurley and the lower portion in the Town of Marbletown. Many small scattered wetlands are in the upper portion of the basin. The second large wetland area is in the vicinity of Lapla Road between Newell Drive and Pine Ridge Road in Marbletown. A portion of the Stony Kill runs through the Esopus floodplain west of Hurley Mountain Road.

1A. (V2.1_T1W) This very small sub-basin drains into the Esopus opposite Barberry Rd. and includes floodplain along its southern edge. It is bisected by Hurley Mountain Road.

2. (V2.2_T3W) With a drainage basin of a little over nine and a half square miles, this 6.7 mile stream flows through largely forested land in the Catskill Park. Significant wetlands are found in the vicinity of Onteora Lake, where the stream originates. Most of the basin is in the Town of Hurley, with small areas in the towns of Kingston and Woodstock, just beyond the east edge of the Ashokan Reservoir. The main stream channel flows along Thielpape Road, originates in Onteora Lake in the Town of Kingston. Significant extensive wetlands are found along this stream to Onteora Lake and the Stony Hollow area, to the vicinity of Morgan Hill Rd. One of several branches of the main stream originates in the area of Morgan Hill, with fairly extensive wetlands. Three branches of Englishman Creek, between Eagles Nest Road and Reichel Road, also drain this sub-basin. Their headwaters are also associated with wetlands, especially in the vicinity of Bluestone Road.

3. (V2.2_T4W) This much smaller (about half a square mile) sub-basin in in the Town of Kingston, and starts on Gallis Hill. Almost half the basin in in the Esopus floodplain, and about 70% of it is forested. The main channel is about a mile and a half long; mostly in the Town of Ulster, with a small strip in the Town of Hurley.

4. (V2.3_T1W) The four-mile Keator Brook drains a sub-basin of almost three square miles. The Brook follows Rte. 28, with numerous small tributary streams on both sides. The road is a heavily travelled corridor and parallels the stream for most of its length. Most of this basin is in the Town of Ulster, with a small piece in the Town of Kingston at Stony Hollow. The stream curves to the south just before Stony Hollow. About a fifth of it is in the Esopus floodplain. At the Esopus, the stream runs through the edge of an old oxbow west of the 209/28 interchange. The watershed is about 80% forested.

5. (2.4_T1W) This sub-basin, just over a square mile in size, is drained by a stream almost three miles long with several small branches. It includes the I-87 interchange, and just over half is forested. The remainder is developed with a high percentage of impervious surface. Bisected by the Thruway and Rte. 209, it includes an old oxbow in the Esopus floodplain near the radio tower. Most of this subbasin is in the Town of Ulster, and about half lies in the Esopus floodplain. It includes the Alapaha Golf Course on Sawkill Road.

6. (V2.4_T2W) This very small drainage has almost a mile of stream, which begins at the hill to the southwest of the 209/I-87 intersection; more than half is in the Esopus floodplain. The sub-basin is just south of Rte. 209, centered on I-87. It includes the area around the filtration plant. About a third is forested, and it lies in the Town of Ulster.

7. (V2.4_T3W) The Sawkill is the second largest sub-basin in the Lower Esopus Creek watershed, with almost 42 square miles. The main stream of the Sawkill is 21 miles long. Geographically, it is the first sub-basin to extend well beyond the Reservoir into a mountainous area of the Catskill Park. This basin begins in the Town of Ulster and extends through the Towns of Kingston and Woodstock. The Sawkill has many tributaries and significant wetlands, large and small, scattered throughout the basin. About 90% is forested. For more detailed information this sub-watershed can be further divided into smaller basins. Stream corridor information is available in the “Sawkill Creek Stream Corridor Assessment Report” (2007) by Integrated River Solutions, Inc. for the Sawkill Watershed Alliance.

8. (V2.4_T4W) Just north of the Sawkill is this very small, mostly forested sub-basin that drains the Hallihan Hill area just west of I-87. The main stream channel is about a mile and a third long.

9. This small sub-basin (about a quarter of a square mile) in the Town of Ulster has a stream channel nearly a mile long; about 75% forested. This area is bisected by I-87.

The East Side

10. (V2.4_ET5E) This sub-basin of about a square half mile includes Lake Katrine. It’s just over 55% forested, and has a small stream, about two miles long, which enters the Esopus at Leggs Mills Road. The west end of the sub-basin is at the foot of the Flatbush Ridge.

11. (V2.4_ET4E) Sub-Basin 11 straddles the Rte. 9W/199 intersection and includes the Hudson Valley Mall in its southwest quadrant. Its stream channel drains into the Esopus near the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Its main tributary (about a mile and a half long) has several branches between Rte. 9W and the Esopus floodplain in the area north of Rte 199. Extensive wetlands lie along its east edge, along the Flatbush Ridge east of Rte. 9W.

12. (V2.4_ET3aE) Sub-Basins 12-14 lie south of Rte.199. Sub-Basin 12, with its one mile of stream channel, is a very small area that includes commercial development between the railroad tracks and Rte. 9W. It has almost no forested cover (4%), and very high impervious cover.

13. (V2.4_ET3E) Sub-Basin 13 lies just south of 12, but extends east across 9W; its stream is Bear Ghat Kill, which originates on the west slope of the Flatbush Ridge east of Rte. 9W. The stream is about two miles long with several branches; wetlands lie along the edge of the Ridge. The sub-basin has high imperious cover and commercial development; its one-third forest cover lies in its eastern portion. It includes a portion of floodplain.

14. (V2.4_ET2aE) Located entirely west of 9W, this very small sub-basin has a mile long stream, is one-fifth forested, and extends from the Esopus Ave. to the south , west to Chambers School. Two-thirds lie within the Esopus floodplain, with residential areas in the western third.

15. (V2.4_ET2E) A three mile long stream channel drains this sub-basin of almost two square miles. It is bisected by the City of Kingston/ Town of Ulster municipal boundary, and extends from Lincoln Park south to just south of Broadway and west to Chester St.l, east to Manor Ave. Most of its 15% forested cover is at the eastern end, up against the Flatbush Ridge, which is where the stream’s tributaries originate, and which has wetland areas. Lincoln Park contains the second stream branch within the Esopus floodplain.

16. (V2.4_ET1E) This very small sub-basin is drained by a stream (just over 1 mile long) and it extends from Manor Lake to Schwenck Drive. It encompasses a large area of floodplain east of Albany Ave. and extends west to the vicinity of the Broadway and Chester intersection. The Esopus floodplain contains old oxbows, wetlands and Manor Lake, all within the City of Kingston. Forest cover is just over 10%; impervious cover is very high.

17. The Tannery Brook (V2.3_ET3E), with main stream channel about two miles long, drains a small sub-basin of about one and a half square miles. The sub-basin is about 10% forested, with extensive impervious surface cover. It extends south into the town of Hurley to the Wiltwyck country Club golf course and east almost to Rte. 32. The stream enters the Esopus southeast of the traffic circle, between Schwenk Dr. and Kingston Plaza.

18. This extremely small sub-basin extends from the Esopus floodplain along the east side of I-87, Hurley Ave. and Snyder Lane to the Fairview and Merritt area. Forested cover is just under 20%.

19. Sub-Basin 19 lies between Lucas Ave. to the railroad tracks and includes Bailey Middle School in the City of Kingston. It has high impervious cover, about 6% forested cover, and a small stream less than a mile long.

20. (V2.3_ET2E) Forested cover is about 20% in this sub-basin of about a half square mile, with high impervious surface coverage. 20 occupies the area just east of I-87, mostly in the Town of Ulster, and includes Spring Lake to the Wiltwyck Country Club golf course.

21. (V2.3_ET1Ee) Sub-Basins 21,22, and 23 total just under a square mile. They receive drainage from the Rolling Hills area in the Town of Hurley and into the Town of Ulster. Forested area is down to about 30%, with a very large proportion of impervious surfaces. Each of these small sub-basins has a single stream channel of approximately 1-2 miles in length. Sub-basin 21 extends from Park West Court to I-87 and south to the Lucas Ave. and DeWitt Mills Road intersection . These basins are in the area where the wide Esopus floodplain is bordered more by Hurley Ave. than by Rte.209 which runs through the floodplain in this area. The floodplain contains numerous wetlands and oxbows in this area.

22. This very small sub-basin extends from the Esopus to Rolling Meadows just east of Hurley Ave.

23. (V2.3_ET3aE) In the Town of Hurley, sub-basin 23 extends from the Rte. 209/Main St. intersection east to Rolling Meadows.

24. (V2.2_ET3E) Sub-basins 24 and 25, also in Hurley, extend from Riverside Park north to Wyncoop Rd., east to Lucas Ave. and 24 extends south to the vicinity of the Town of Hurley municipal boundary. These basin areas are highly developed, with a large proportion of impervious surfaces; still the forested area is around 60%. Sub-basin 24 is larger at just over a square mile and a half, with a three mile stream channel. Several large wetlands are present especially along the stream channel and along Lucas Ave.

25. (V2.2_ET2aE) Sub-Basin 25 is very small with a stream channel just under a mile long.

26. (V2.2_ET2E) Sub-Basins 26 and 27 are small areas that collectively include about one and a half square miles. Forested cover is still high, at over 90%. Sub-Basin 26 in the Town of Hurley is bisected by Rte. 209 and lies between Bessal Rd. and Altamont Dr. It contains wetlands in its central area.

27. (V2.2_ET1E) The headwaters for sub-basin 27’s stream is in the area of the town line between Marbletown and Hurley. The stream enters the Esopus opposite Stony Creek.

28. (V2.1_ET3E) This one and a half square mile sub-basin lies mostly to the east of Rte. 209 from Pine Tree Lane, where the main stream enters the Esopus, south to the Marcott Road area, and east to a very large wetland at the base of the slope near the Town of Marbletown municipal boundary. The area is about 85 % forested.

29. (V2.1_ET2E) This is a much smaller basin, just over half a square mile, with a main stream channel just under 2 miles long, in the Town of Marbletown. The stream enters the Esopus at Marbletown; most of the watershed here is on the west side of Rte. 209. The stream’s headwaters lie at the slopes just west of where the Tongore enters the Esopus.

30. The Tongore (V2.1_ET1E) sub-basin occupies just over four square miles in the Town of Marbletown, with a main stream channel of about four and a third miles. The stream enters the Esopus about a mile southeast of the intersection of Hurley Mountain Road and Tongore Road. The east watershed boundary is very close to the Esopus. The sub-basin extends from the area of extensive wetlands and streams west of Rte. 209 almost to the Cottekill (in the Rondout watershed). The basin extends south to Stone Ridge, on both sides of Rte. 213, west to Fairview Cemetery and north to the Bush road in the Atwood area. This sub-basin is about 65% forested and includes numerous wetlands, both large and small, especially in the area south of Stone Ridge Pond. A large wetland connected to the Esopus floodplain is just north of Stone Ridge Pond, and may be an old oxbow.

Esopus Valley Segment III

The West Side

31. (V3.2_T1W) This sub-basin is 1.5 square miles in area, about 85% forested, and its main stream channel is about three and a quarter miles long.

32. (V3.2_T2W) South of the Plattekill, this small sub-basin is just over 10% forested with a small stream.

33. The Plattekill (V3.2_T3W) is the largest sub-basin in the Lower Esopus Creek watershed, at 43.8 square miles. About 90% forested, it contains over 18 miles of main stream channel, and many branches. Because of its size this sub-basin can be divided into smaller drainage areas for more detailed description and analysis.

34. This sub-basin in the Town of Saugerties extends from just south of Mount Marion to the Esopus just east of the Plattekill. It is about a square half mile in size, about 60% forested with a stream about a mile and three quarters long.

35. (V3.4_T2W) This sub-basin begins just south of Rte. 32 and extends north; a very small area, its small stream enters the Esopus near Glenerie.

36. (V3.4_T3W) The Mudder Kill sub-basin borders the Plattekill sub-basin; its extensive branched stream is almost four miles long. About three square miles in area, and 65% forested, this sub-basin is bisected by the Thruway, and contains extensive wetlands in its central area between Churchland Road and Kings Highway. The Mudder Kill enters the Esopus at the end of Esopus Creek Road across from Stierley Ave. in Saugerties.

37. (V3.4_T4W) The Tannery Brook sub-basin is just over a half square mile. It is bisected by Rte. 32, and includes the west edge of the Village of Saugerties. Tannery Brook is about a mile and a half long, entering the Esopus near Park Road.

The East Side

38. (V3.5_ET1bE) This very small sub-basin extends to the tidal flats at the mouth of the Esopus. About 50% forested, it does not have a defined stream channel.

39. (V3.4_ET3E) This tiny sub-basin is about 30% forested, with a stream about a mile long. It supports an extremely high percentage of wetland, lake and pond (about one-fourth of its area is wet).

40. (V3.4_ET2E) This sub-basin is only 15% forested; it’s a very small sub-basin in the Village of Saugerties, and its stream is just over a mile long.

41. (V3.4_ET1E) This sub-basin extends along the Flatbush Ridge; it begins behind sub-basin 15 and runs behind 13,11,10 and 44. It supports an extremely high percentage (over 11%) wetlands, lakes and ponds, and is just over 75% forested. The flow from this sub-basin enters the Esopus opposite the Plattekill, just inside the Catskill Park boundary. With an area of just over 2.5 square miles this subbasin is unusually long and very wet.

42. (V3.3_ET1E) Both 42 and 43 lie along the west side of Rte. 9W. This extremely small sub-basin is about 34% forested; its stream is just under a mile long, and enters the Esopus at Glenerie Lake Park.

43. (V3.2_ET1dE) About 45% forested, this sub-basin is drained by a stream that is just under a mile long.

44. The drainage from this very small sub-basin enters the Esopus just east of Leggs Mills Rd. The stream is almost a mile.

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