Beaver - 1. Moshier Section

Beaver, New York, US


1. Moshier Section

Usual Difficulty IV-V (for normal flows)
Length 3 Miles

Moshier Falls

Moshier Falls
Photo of Dave Broer by Matt Muir (KHCC) taken 09/05/99

River Description

This is the jewel of the Beaver. It begins with a couple of easy waterfalls, followed by some technical rapids; the last rapid, Moshier Falls, is a long, technical Class V. Moshier Falls is easily accessible from the takeout, which yields quite a number of spectators with cameras and video cameras. It's a serious rapid, with body-beating rocks and an undercut cave. The trail on the right does double-duty as a portage route and an attainment trail for those who want to rerun it.

Also see the Taylorville Section (Class III), and the Eagle Section (Class V), both of which run on weekends in September. See also the Raquette River, Stone Valley Section (Class V), which has two releases on Labor Day weekend.

The Beaver River originates from Stillwater Reservoir in the western section of the Adirondack Park northeast of the village of Lowville. The area is undeveloped and camping is available throughout the area.

Terrific campsites are available at the Soft Maple Campground centrally located between the Taylorville and Eagle runs. Boaters also often crash at the Moshier put-in. However, camping at the Taylorville put-in is no longer permitted after reports of public nudity and midnight low-water descents of the drops at Taylorville were brought to the attention of Orion.

Hazard Warning!
Moshier Falls, the last rapid on this reach, has a very nasty sieve on River Left. Just downstream of the boater in the photo above, a paddler got sucked under a rock on Aug. 31, 2003. Quick action by boaters with ropes helped stabilize him and get him out of the hazard. Moshier Falls is no place to swim!

Posted by Chris Koll:
The releases are a product of negotiations by American Whitewater that resulted in a series of 11 whitewater releases during a typical year spread over three challenging sections of Beaver River whitewater. The sections are dry except for release days when Orion Power allows water to spill back into the natural river bed creating whitewater runs ranging from class 3 to class 5.
The runs are typically short--varying in length from one to four miles--and on most release days water is scheduled on two different parts of the river. Boaters can easily paddle one section of the Beaver in the morning and then catch a second section in the afternoon.
The whitewater sections include the Taylorville run, a 1.5-mile stretch that features six class 3-4 drops. While some of the drops appear intimidating--particularly a steep 30-foot slide--the rapids are fairly straightforward and are appropriate for strong intermediate paddlers looking for an introduction to steep creeking.
The Moshier section is the jewel of the river--a 4-mile run that includes two runnable waterfalls, a number of easy class 3 rapids, and concludes with a long, technical class 5 rapid composed of four discernible drops. The section is appropriate for experts or strong intermediates with judicious scouting and/or portaging.
The Eagle section is short and demanding. Only a mile in length, the run starts off with four class-5 drops where the river drops the equivalent of 475 fpm. Eagle is a demanding expert run.

Questions regarding the Beaver can be directed to Chris Koll by email or by calling 315-652-8397.

Lat/longitude coordinates verified by GPS.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2012-08-30 22:40:13


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
-0.2Put-in slide5.1Portage Hazard Photo
0.3First FallsIIIWaterfall Photo
0.4Second FallsIIIWaterfall Photo
0.5Mauser's FaceplantIV
2.5Moshier Falls5.0Photo

Rapid Descriptions

Put-in slide (Class 5.1, Mile -0.2)

Adam Herzog runs the Slide

Adam Herzog runs the Slide
Photo taken 09/06/09 @ a good level

This one's optional; you have to paddle upstream and then hike your boat uphill to run this steep, rock-infested slide; most boaters don't. But more seem to be running it each year.

First Falls (Class III, Mile 0.3)

You are clear for take-off

You are clear for take-off
Photo of Jes Patch by Tim McIntosh taken 2147483647 @ release

After the pool at the putin, you'll see a huge mass of boaters, waiting, scouting, taking photos...for the First Falls. This is about the easiest waterfall you'll ever run. Just don't find yourself a little too far right, as you'll find yourself in a nasty crease that's separated some good paddlers from their boats.

After you've run it, paddle over to the right side and walk back up for a cool drop that's not as vertical as this one.

Second Falls (Class III, Mile 0.4)

Mmm, Mmm, Beaver

Mmm, Mmm, Beaver
Photo of Jes Patch by Jerry Palushock taken Labor Day 2004 @ release

This one has a nice auto-boof feature. It can wash you up on the rocks about 10 feet away from the landing zone, so be careful. After this drop, head right for some rocky gnar.

Mauser's Faceplant (Class IV, Mile 0.5)

After the second falls is a complex, shallow, rocky thing, Head far right for the eddy. Really try to stay upright through this thing. Your face will thank you.

Moshier Falls (Class 5.0, Mile 2.5)

One-Bladed Even !

One-Bladed Even !
Photo of unknown by Steve Graley--aka--Phantomboater taken 09/15/02 @ 525 cfs

This is the big one, the reason why the Moshier's such a gem. It's four drops in quick succession--kinda like a narrow, steep version of Lost Paddle. Use the trail on river right to scout or portage or walk back up for another run.

Spectators can get here for photos or just to watch the fun by walking downstream a couple hundred yards from the takeout and using the footbridge to cross the stream to the river-right trail.

User Comments

2011-03-21 06:56:49 (1467 days ago)
Robert FarmerDetails
Don't be fooled, the last section of four drops is solid Class 5 at release levels. There are
easier drops upstream, one of which in particular gets run multiple times by athletic boaters
willing to carry back to the top; it's about a 10-12 footer. If your mortality is never in doubt,
feel free to portage the final four drops on the right, a common strategy.
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Calendar Control Date:
Calendar by Date by Title

September 2013

Beaver - Moshier Section Release
10:36 am -10:36 am est
10 am-2 pm 400 cfs


Beaver - Moshier Section Release Lowville,NY runs 08/31/08 - 09/01/13
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Associated Projects

  • Beaver Relicensing (NY)
    AW worked on restoring several boating flows to the Beaver River through a relicensing process, which concluded in 1999.