Four of the Catskill Region’s six New York City Water Supply reservoirs — Cannonsville, Neversink, Pepacton and Schoharie – are open to non-motorized recreational boating.
The Catskill Watershed Corporation and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection sponsor the NYC Reservoir Recreational Boating Program.
Canoes, kayaks, sculls and row boats are welcome to put in at any of 16 launch sites, as long as they have been steam cleaned and tagged by authorized vendors before entering each reservoir.
Season and Times
• Sunrise to sunset starting May 1, ending October 31, subject to change due to unforeseen interruptions.
• All boats must be removed from DEP lands by October 31
• Temporary passes available for 1 to 7 days and full season
Types of Boats Permitted
• Non-motorized kayaks and canoes
• Row boats, Canoes, Kayaks and Sculls.
• All boats must be at least 9’ in length. For additional guidance on boats and restrictions, please visit nyc.gov/dep/recreation
• Please use the designated launch sites
• Hand carry in only
• No trailers/vehicles in the water
• Some sites will have handicap parking
• No overnight camping
• Portable privies at most launch sites
• No trash receptacles, please carry out all waste
• Public storage racks may be available at some sites on a first come, first served basis
• Boats must be steam cleaned and have a DEP boat tag
• No commercial activities without prior approval
• Boating is not permitted in certain areas. Please review the map and observe all restricted areas
• Boats left overnight can be secured hull-side up with lock and chain to trees above the water line or boat racks if available
• Once a boat is removed from the reservoir it must be steam cleaned and tagged again before returning to the reservoir or to a different reservoir.
Boat Steam Cleaning/Boat Rental
All boats must be steam cleaned prior to being placed on the reservoir to help prevent introduction of zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species which can negatively impact DEP’s water supply infrastructure and water quality.At the time of steam cleaning, all boats will be inspected for aquatic invasive species as well.
Our 4 Recreation Boating Reservoirs
Download our brochures to learn more about boating on four of our NYC Water Supply reservoirs — Cannonsville, Neversink, Pepacton and Schoharie. These are open to non-motorized recreational boating. A quiet paddle here offers scenic views, great birdwatching opportunities and wildlife sightings.
Boat steam cleaning services and boat rental is provided for a fee by vendors listed here. In addition to obtaining your temporary or seasonal DEP Recreational Boat Tag after steam cleaning, you can also get your DEP Access Permit at these locations, or get a Free Access Permit at the DEP website, click here.
Fishing, Hiking, Recreation
Much of New York City’s watershed land is also open for fishing, hiking, and other types of outdoor recreation. This interactive map can help outdoor enthusiasts find City-owned properties and understand the types of recreation that are permitted in each area. See you on the water!
To obtain the Catskill Reservoir Paddler patch, paddle any of the four NYC reservoirs open for recreational boating (Schoharie, Neversink, Pepacton or Cannonsville). Provide the following:
• A date-stamped photo from your boat looking back at the launch site
• A photo/scan of your DEP access permit
• A photo/scan of your boat rental/steam-cleaning receipt
Email your proof, along with an address where the badge should be mailed, to firstname.lastname@example.org.