Schroon - Starbuckville to Riverbank


Schroon, New York, US

Disclaimer

Starbuckville to Riverbank

Usual Difficulty II-III (for normal flows)
Length 6.25 Miles
Avg. Gradient 30 fpm

End of 1st Rapid


End of 1st Rapid
Photo by Bill Shaughnessy taken 05/10/08 @ 4.61 ft

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
SCHROON RIVER AT RIVERBANK NY
usgs-01317000 2.60 - 7.50 ft II-III 01h51m 2.37 ft (too low)


River Description

This section of the Schroon river is rated as a class II/III. There is an alternate putin at latitude 43.6453972, longitude -73.7598190. The purpose for this alternate putin is to avoid over a mile of flat water; if you put in here, your run will be about 3.25 miles. You will miss two rapids, however. The first, a 25-foot-long class II, is under the Rte. 8 bridge; it is quite bony at lower levels. The second rapid is much longer but I have not run it so I cannot say anything as to its level.

If you use the alternate putin I would caution you to be careful to avoid the private section of riverbank immediately across from the log home. It would be wise to not park your cars there either, even though the shoulder of the road is public (public relations, you know). On each side of this small section of private riverbank is public land. If you choose to use the alternate putin, you will be immediately above the third rapid of this section, which is a III-. It is run center to right center to center. If the water is above 4.8 be careful of the pourover just above the last drop on river right as the current will push you that way. There are some fun surfing waves below both drops if the level is right.

After a short calm you will come to the fourth rapid. This is a class II at all levels with many easy waves to surf and very long (about 1 mile). If it gets close to the minimum flow it gets rather bony. Above 4.8 the trees are in the current so the swim can be very long.
About 1/2 mile below you will arrive at the biggest rapid on the river which is called "the big drop." If you have not been on the section before it would be wise to scout it first as the lines are not visible till you are on the drop itself. Do NOT scout from the right bank as the owner is NOT friendly to paddlers. You will know you are close to the rapid because you will hear the roar around a sharp bend to the right. At that time proceed anywhere to the left bank and pull out to scout. There are two lines over the ledge. The sneak route is far river right and is good for open boaters at most levels. A more exciting route is left of center. The slot is narrow and does not leave much room for error. The good thing is that there is not much of a rapid above the drop. Be sure to avoid the far left as the hole there can be a keeper at certain levels. The hole on the right can also give a paddler an opportunity do do some unplanned manuvers (if you know what I mean). After the drop there are a number of waves to play on.
After the big drop the only thing left to do is to paddle about 1/2 mile to the bridge and then 1/4 of a mile to the takeout on the left.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2008-05-11 08:17:04

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
3.0Alternate PutinPutin

Rapid Descriptions

Alternate Putin

If you put in here, your run will be about three miles. You will miss two rapids, however. The first, a 25-foot-long class II, is under the Rte. 8 bridge; it is quite bony at lower levels. The second rapid is much longer but I have not run it so I cannot say anything as to its level. If you use the alternate putin I would caution you to be careful to avoid the private section of riverbank immediately across from the log home. It would be wise to not park your cars there either, even though the shoulder of the road is public (public relations, you know). On each side of this small section of private riverbank is public land.




User Comments


2012-06-13 07:20:01 (811 days ago)
x (1)
On "Big Drop" there is an aluminum canoe at the lip of the drop that is wrapped around a rock. It
is not clearly visable at 3.5 ft. Do not run river right as there is a rope running fron the canoe
on that side. It may be attatched to an anchor. The canoe has flushed and been removed
penijassssssss

2011-09-07 10:51:21 (1091 days ago)
dominickrc (153504)
2011 9/7 We ran this last weekend and will again this coming Saturday at 5:30AM (yup we are early
birds). I have run this from 3.7 weeks prior. When we ran it last week levels where 5.8-6. 5.8-6 is
a very fun level. We put in at the DAM which means a few extra rapids but a bit of flat water as
well. I think it is worth the extra flat water. Total run from the DAM takes about 2 1/2 to 3
hours. The mile long strecth of rapids is very fun at 3.9 feet or greater. Anything lower is
runnalbe but very boney. Anything above 5 it would be good to have your roll down but there are
plenty of places to get back in your boat so no worries for sure. Currently there is scafling
hanging from the 2 nd or 3rd Bridge for repairs, hang left and you cruise right under it if the
levels are 6' or less. At 7' you may want to portage around on the right, very easy portage. Rather
then go around or hit my head, we choose to go straight down the middle, dump over, wait 7 seconds
and rolled back over. No issues. Now the best and most fun rapid is near the end. I would not call
this the "BIG" drop, rather just "the drop" or as we called it after seeing it at 4'...."little
missy" since it was very underwhellming at this level. However that all changes at 6'. "little
missy" which looks like a bumpy ride at 4' churns water back about the size of a Tahoe SUV. Now
there are 3 routes. #1 At level 6' River left through the Tahoe sized wave/ hole...if you do not
know how to roll in a hole...avoid this route. If you can roll you will be getting wet. #2 River
Right, this is the safest route followed by a nice large wave to launch your self up up and away.
You could go river right and before the nice large wave scoot left...but what fun is that. This is
the route the other guys on our trip took with no issue and launched off the nice wave. #3 River
Center...this is the route I choose since I was not sure which way I wanted to go this time. I
ended up going through the Tahoe Sized Churning Wave/Hole on its right side. I succesfully made it
through but this put me a bit side ways. Next I was pushed to the Nice large wave river right, hit
that side ways...up up and away and came down upside down. Rolled back up and road the rest of the
smaller waves to the flat water section. At 6' I would say it was the most fun and the DROP or
Little Missy is a solid class III but is not very long so no worries if you really don't have your
roll down. Scouting on river left is very easy and there is beaten trail. At 4' no real need to
scout but is a nice place to eat lunch over looking Little Missy on the rock.

2011-06-27 10:40:57 (1163 days ago)
gary debacherDetails
[Note that I inadvertently replaced the name of the author of this comment with my own name. Sorry
about that.] "I've run the section from just before the Dam at Starbuckville down to the rapid
pictured here by the road on Schroon River Road. I really struggled to find notes about the river
before running it and for the sake of others I thought I'd give a few notes on running that 'top'
section. I work at a local summer camp where we wanted to find some really exciting water for kids
aged 12-14 to be able to do, thankfully they learnt quickly and did great on this section. (We're
planning to run the lower section on Tuesday August 11th - I'll let you know how it goes!) Dam is
usually busy with fishermen but you can practise ferry gliding, which is what we do with our kids
here. You continue down stream for a few minutes before you see the bridge ahead of you. From a
view in a lower eddy it clearly is rocky in lower waters but if you stick FAR right, close to the
bridge pillar there is a nice smooth run down into the waves below. The drop isn't big but bigger
than it looks from above. We've had no problems there and you could easily run it river left if you
were looking for a bumpier ride. After the rapid, another section of river joins across the right
eddy into the pool. I'm not 100% sure where the river comes from but there is a rapid there which
can be run if you took your boat up to the top. It's easier than the main channel under the bridge
but probably more rocky, especially in lower water. Again we practise ferry gliding across this
section. You continue down river some way, over some very small ripples and the river bends left.
You will see a very nice holiday home with private beach on the left. We stopped for a sneaky lunch
break there but I wouldn't if you saw life in the house. Just round the corner is the next big
rapid. With 3 sections grade 2-3, this is definitely fun fun fun. The river will bend around again
to the left. As you see the first ripples you can pull out river left but it will involve hiding
you boat in some trees and I really don't think an open canoe would fit in there. It is possible
and I would recommend to paddle JUST past the ripples staying far left and pull into a beach just
round the corner if you need to go and set someone up with a throwbag lower down. The first rapid
is the biggest water and should be run river left down the green chute, there is a reasonably sized
eddy river left where we stop before going for rapid 2. Warning though: The land on river left
where we stand with throwbags is definitely private property and so far we've only been asked to
move on once on the land just past rapid 2 but since then we've tried to keep hidden and been okay.
There is a big rock on the left bank we stand on with throwbags just above rapid 2 in case of any
accidents at rapid 1. Rapid 2 is much easier but just rocky. There is an island in the middle of
the river which splits the rapid at number 2. We paddled the left channel which is easier to
portage - we saw no real options for bank support on the whole section on the right. On the actual
run (river left) there is a rock right in the middle which we stuck close to it's right side before
moving river left to avoid another big rock in the middle of the river. Eddy left is good to stop
after and the pool below is sizable enough in case of swims. I actually paddled back up the rapid
on sticking close to the island in the middle and was able to get out and look over to the other
side of the river over the island. It definitely looks runable just rocky. Probably much easier in
higher water to avoid the rocks. The water was fairly high when we were there and as I said, it
looked okay. The third rapid is the longest and great fun. Ferry glide across the river as you
really want to go down it towards river right. Lower down on the left are some big rocks even at
higher water but centre-ish is okay too. It is rather a long section but the bottom is visible and
there is a great flat pool at the bottom to pick up swimmers. The view from the eddy bottom right
back up to the eddy at the top on river left is limited but if you position yourself right there is
just enough room to raise a paddle for an 'ok' signal. From the pool you head right and endure a
rather boring flat section heading under the bridge before eventually arriving at the rapid you
have described here. We've taken the kids here a few times and they've all loved it as an intro to
whitewater. Surf waves on the bottom rapid were rockin'."

2009-07-05 08:53:38 (1885 days ago)
gary debacherDetails
The warning applies mainly to open boaters, who may be at risk of swamping and taking long swims in
the Schroon rapids. I ran the Schroon in OC-1 on 7-1-09. The level was about 3.8, enough that I
seldom even clipped a rock in the rapids. I put in river-right below the modern hwy bridge and the
dam. The first rapid, under a RR bridge, was well covered with water. Several routes were possible,
but some quick maneuvers were needed. Kind of a class 2+. The only other rapid of consequence on
the upper part of the run began with some twisty waves and holes, allowed a brief chance to decide
which side of an island to run. I ran left, but after stopping on the left bank, I saw the bigger
waves right of the island had no special hazards. The rapid continued with heavy waves for a total
length of about a quarter mile. There were few opportunities for an open boater to struggle to the
bank and bail. Most tandem open boats and even many ww OC-1s might swamp and have to swim a long
way to the pool below. I would have to class this as a low 3 because of the somewhat complex entry,
the potential for swamping, and the poor options for recovery without swimming a long rapid. I do
agree with the river info author that there is too much flatwater unless the intermediate put in is
used. While the rapid described above has wave surfing potential and is fun to run, it is too
similar to the rapids below the intermediate put-in. I had no difficulty with the "class 3 minus"
or the nearly mile long "class 2" by virtue of my paddling a Millbrook OC-1 that runs dry. But
again, most tandems and some WW OC-1s would take a lot of water in these rapids, and there are few
opportunites to eddy out and dump or pump out a boat. As for the class 3 Big Drop, I did not see a
good place to stop and scout. Also, going to the extreme right to enter the rapid did not look
workable, but entering rignt of center worked well, and after that it was just another long ride in
strong waves. The different hazard level on this section is related to the capabilities of kayaks
(I am also a kayaker) versus open canoes. The river info author's rapid classifications are in line
with current practice, but the length of the rapids and the difficulty of landing along the way to
bail or dump will make these rapids look a bit different to open boaters.

2008-05-10 08:54:31 (2306 days ago)
Bill SDetails
Using the alternate lower put-in, the length of the run is shortened to a little over 3 miles.
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