This photo needs editing.
Difficulty II-III
Length 2.2 Miles
Flow Range 300 - 1000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 43.6 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 06/07/2016 6:34 pm

River Description

Canandaigua Outlet flows north from the outlet of Canandaigua Lake to the Erie Canal. The creek is full of strainers and wildlife. The only interesting whitewater occurs where the creek passes through Shortsville ("The Shortsville Run").

The Shortsville Run is a 2.3-mile class II-III whitewater paddle with a 5-foot vertical waterfall drop (class III) at the "Old Mill" immediately above the Highway 19 bridge at Littleville. The average gradient throughout the length of the Shortsville Run is ~27 feet per mile. The maximum sustained gradient occurs in that half-mile stretch between the Highway 41 (Shortsville Road) bridge and the takeout at Jones-Blunt Park, where the gradient is ~50 feet per mile.

(See this map for detailed, local info on the shuttle.)

To the Takeout:
Take Route 21 South through Manchester to Shortsville.
Take a Left onto Water St.
Park in one of the parking areas, next to the stream on the Left.

To the Putin:
Continue South on Water St.
Stay straight, crossing Main St. and the tracks. The road you're now on is Sheldon St.
Sheldon St. curves around Right, becoming Aldrich St. At the next intersection, bear Left (South) onto Pioneer Rd.
After about half a mile, Pioneer Rd. T's into Rte. 19. Bear Right onto County Road 19. Park near the tracks and hike up to the (main) putin.

Note: the Fishing Access Site is on Pioneer Rd., near CR 19. As noted below, use this putin at your own risk.



Not far downstream from the Fishing Access, be careful about the river-right bank. At the cow pasture, if you grab what looks to be an inviting eddy, you risk getting zapped by an electric fence.

Wildness and Crazy Out-of-Control "Paddlers"
For years, the town of Shortsville held its "Wild Water Derby" on this stretch. Lots of locals showed up in all manner of boats, including Grumman canoes and homemade rafts. The great news is that, after a nine-year hiatus the race was resurrected for 2006! It was the largest ACA-sponsored event in NY in 2006--and it was twice as big in 2007. It took place this year on April 24-25, 2009. See this link for details.


2009 Releases:

Releases will be approx 500 cfs.  The water will get to the Little Bridge between 2:30 and 3:30 and will remain on until around 8:00pm.  The will vary somewhat depending on the Lake Level and runoff from recent rain if there is any.


April 24

May 22

June 19

Sept 4

Oct 9

Nov 6




Finger Lakes Area Runs


Bowman Creek                        Cascadilla Creek                  Canandaigua Outlet 

Canaseraga Creek                  Canisteo                               Cayuga Lake Hole 

Cayuta Creek                          Conesus Creek                     Fall Creek (1.) 

Fall Creek (2.)                         Fall Creek (3.)                       Great Gully Creek 

Honeoye Creek                       Irondequoit Creek                 Keshequa Creek 

Keuka Outlet                         Lock 32 Whitewater Course    Owasco River (Outlet) 

Salmon Creek                         Sixmile Creek                         Sugar Creek 

Taughannock Creek (1.)         Taughannock Creek (2.)         Trumansburg Creek 

Vanbuskirk Gulf


Google Map of New York Whitewater

New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group



Rapid Descriptions


Class - Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
The putin is about 1/2 mile upstream from the Highway 19 bridge and old mill, where the railroad tracks approach the river-left bank. You will have to park where the railroad tracks cross highway 19 and then walk along the tracks about 1/4 mile south to the creek. An alternative putin, to avoid the Mill Drop, is at the Benjamin J. North fishing access located about 200 yards downstream from the Highway 19 bridge. Please note that state fishing access points are, by law, restricted to fishing only. Kayakers will be ticketed if caught.


Class - III Mile - 0.2
The Mill Drop is the first and most technical whitewater on the Shortsville Run. This 6-foot falls occurs where the creek plunges through a break in the "Old Mill" diversion wall. Forty feet upstream from the falls there is an eddy along the river-left stone wall. You may car scout the falls from the Highway 19 bridge, but private property prevents a closer foot scout.


Class - II+ Mile - 0.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
The Surf Wave is next, about 200 yards downstream from the Highway 19 bridge, at the Benjamin J.North fishing access. A river-wide ledge drop forms a fun but shallow surf wave. Immediately downstream of the Surf Wave is a long stretch of shallow class II+ whitewater through a rock garden. There are numerous surf waves in this section.


Class - II+ Mile - 2.2
Jones-Blunt Rapid is the final rapid (solid class III). It is located immediately before reaching the takeout. A series of ledge drops over a 100-yard distance provides great fun and is easily scouted by foot. The drops are angling and could present minor problems for novices. Takeout at Jones-Blunt Park (more commonly known as "Budd Park") just downstream, on river left. A small parking lot is located there.


Class - Mile - 2.3
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
The takeout is at the Jones-Blunt Park located on the northwest edge of Shortsville.
Alternatively you may paddle downstream another 3/4 mile past Jones-Blunt Park (class I-II) to the Dewey Road bridge.
About 100 feet upstream of this bridge is Spin Hole, a diagonal hole that is large and sticky enough to practice spins. Using this alternate takeout increases the total run distance to 3 miles.


Gage Descriptions

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Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

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article main photo

Moose River Video

Mark Singleton

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.


Matt Muir


Alex Barham


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1195207 05/31/09 Matt Muir Abstract
1191063 07/04/07 Matt Muir n/a
1200140 06/07/16 Alex Barham Added local info
1196118 04/01/10 Matt Muir Updated link for ww derby; added warning of electric fence.
1206586 06/07/16 Alex Barham Added local info