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.