Starting at the Jamesville Reservoir and continuing to a fishing access just before Rt. 481, Butternut creek is mainly a tight class II+ run. This is punctuated by Dunlop falls, a double-drop just below the bridge at Solvay Rd, and a small dam just before Jamesville Rd. Both are easily scouted and can be portaged on river left.
There have been numerous run-ins with the owner of the A-Frame style house at Dunlop Falls. The best option is to scout the drop from the bridge in street clothes and run it quickly and quietly. Ultimately the river acesses are all public land making the run completely legal despite the fact that he owns both sides of the river at the falls. (Update: The property now has a new owner who has been extremely friendly to kayakers. Please be friendly and help protect access)
The run can be done as a whole, or shortened to putting in above Dunlop Falls at Fiddler's Green Park, and taking out at the fishing access at Jamesville Road to get more laps in on the drops.
At high flows be sure to check the dam drop by Jamesville Road. A nasty hole forms at the bottom.
Trees are the largest hazard on this tight run. Be on the lookout and bring a saw or hatchet.
Tip from the locals:
There are no public bathrooms anywhere nearby. You'll have to make a run to Dewitt if nature calls.
Syracuse Area Runs:
Butternut Creek Chittenango Creek (Cazenovia)
Chittenango Creek (Chittenango) Fish Creek E. Branch (Taberg)
Limestone Creek (Edwards Falls) Oriskany Creek (Oriskany Falls)
Oriskany Creek (Clinton) Owasco River (Outlet)
Salmon River (Section 1) Salmon River (Section 2)
Google Map of New York Whitewater
New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group
A 20-25ft double drop. Ride the green tongue in the center which brings you right, punch the curler, turn left and boof into the slot over the hole below or over the shelf for a clean drop at higher water
A small sloping dam to a small auto-boof. Stick to the right to avoid landing on rocks. This can make a big hole at high water.
If Dunlop Falls and the Jamesville Road bridge drop looks good the rest is good to go.
Permits are not required for this reach.
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
2010 marked the 25th anniversary of protecting the Black and Moose rivers! View an online video documentary on the Moose River and the early role that American Whitewater played in protecting this amazing river.
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