Stony Clove Creek

Stony Clove Creek

The Stony Clove Creek originates at Notch Lake and runs roughly southward through the hamlets of Edgewood and Lanesville in Greene County, and Chichester and Phoenicia in Ulster County. New York State Route 214 closely parallels the Stony Clove for most of its path. Several smaller streams, including Myrtle Creek, Hollow Tree Brook, Warner Creek, and Ox Clove drain into the Stony Clove along its route. In Phoenicia, the Stony Clove flows into the Esopus Creek.

The Stony Clove Creek watershed is 32 square miles. The watershed terrain is steep and mountainous, and includes some of the highest peaks in the Catskills (West Kill, Hunter, and Plateau). Nearly three quarters of the land in the watershed is owned and managed by the State of New York as Forest Preserve. However, most of the land immediately adjacent to the stream is owned and managed by private landowners.

Between 2001 and 2003, Greene County Soil & Water Conservation District staff and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) completed an assessment of the Stony Clove Creek and its corridor. The team gathered historical data and inventoried the entire stream length. The information from this study was used to create the Stony Clove Stream Management Plan in 2005. This plan provides a comprehensive review of stream characteristics, data, maps, and recommended management strategies.

Water quality monitoring by DEP and the United States Geological Survey and ongoing geomorphic assessment show that the Stony Clove Creek is by far, the predominant source turbidity caused by suspended sediment in the Ashokan Watershed. The combination of extensive development in the narrow valley bottom, the increased frequency of large floods in recent years, and consequent erosion into the underlying clay-rich glacial geology have combined to produce prolonged muddy conditions. Currently, the AWSMP is implementing stream restoration projects in the Stony Clove watershed (including Warner Creek) to help improve water quality conditions.

Like many area streams, the Stony Clove is rich in local history. A significant business in the area was the Chichester Furniture factory founded in 1863 and in operation until it went out of business in 1939. The factory was one of the main economic engines for the area and utilized the water from the nearby Stony Clove and the Catskill Mountain Railroad to move goods to market. The Stony Clove was known as a great trout fishing stream and it still attracts anglers to the area.

Map of Stony Clove Creek

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Stony Clove Creek Stream Management Plan

The Stony Clove Creek was first assessed in 2003 and was re-assessed in 2013. A report on changes in Stony Clove Creek conditions is under development and will be available on this website when completed.