Chateaugay - Lower Chateugay Lake to Cooks Mill

Chateaugay, New York, US


Lower Chateugay Lake to Cooks Mill

Usual Difficulty II-V+ (for normal flows)
Length 12.2 Miles

Fun and fast

Fun and fast
Photo of Quality WW by Jim D taken 04/29/07

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-04271500 4.00 - 10.00 ft II-V+ 00h56m 2.25 ft (too low)

River Description

The Chateaugay is a very fun and scenic run in Northern NY, near the Canadian border. Much of the river is in a deep and committing gorge. There is a huge (100-ft) 2-stage waterfall on this run that looks pretty much unrunnable to me. There is also a large dam that is usually portaged.  Because of the steep walls of the gorge, some of the rapids are difficult to scout and there are several places where it would be close to impossible to get off the river. The river also goes through a long tunnel. Make sure there is no wood in the tunnel before you run it. Overall, a great run.

Dennis Squires reccomends in his book to run laps on the top 2 miles taking out at High Falls for the best Class 4.

radpat shared:
"We ran this May 28 (2011) at 54m3/s (1900 cfs) on the gage in Huntingdon, Québec: See Hydro Quebec, click on Saint-Laurent sud-ouest, and then Huntingdon gage. (Lynx will open in a new window.) 54m3/s (1900 cfs) is very good and it's possible to stop and scout; 70m3/s (2470 cfs) is fast, with no scouting possible; 100m3/s (3530 cfs)...???
"The first 6 miles of rapids is class 2 nonstop, great for canoeing. Then the action starts one mile after you cross the big power line. We will try to put in there next time....looks like a half-mile walk to get to the road. The first rapids in the canyon can be run in the middle, then far left. Lots of small ledges and slides, one after another, in a 100ft tall canyon--no way to exit, with pocket-sized eddies, and no way to scout very much. No Scout Rapid is crazy, with a big rock in the middle at the end of the drop, with a monster hole and pinning risk. Run all the way right and then sprint left for the next drop to avoid a sticky hole. For the next drop, run staight in the middle or far right. Easy takeout before the (unrunnable) falls.
"Follow the road for an easy walk and trail on the left. After the falls, there's 1 mile of class 2 rapids before the tunnel. At the end of the tunnel is a 10-foot falls; jump out on the right. You should buschwhack the mountain to see if there is no tree in the falls. Next is 1 mile of small slides and play holes to the dam. Run straight in the middle of the dam and scream! A small rapid follows to recover in, if you're not dead. Next drop should be run on the far left. Then you will see a bridge and hit the last slide, a long, fast and furious slide rapid named Hey Diddle Diddle......straight in the middle......finish with one mile of class 2 rapids.
"Full facemask and elbow pads are recommended for this run."

Thanks to radpat for this description! If you have more info on this or another run, please add a comment! Click on the Comments tab, scroll to the bottom, and click on Add a Comment.


Potsdam - Malone Area Reaches

Chateaugay                                                    Deer (Dickinson Center)

Deer (Dickinson Center to Lawrenceville)       Grass (1. Lampsons Falls to Downerville)

Grass (Sec. 3)                                                Grass (Sec. 4)

Jordan                                                             Little Trout

Marble                                                             Meacham Lake Outlet

Raquette Sec. 3) Hannawa Falls                    Raquette 2) Piercefield to Parmenter Site

Raquette Sec. 4) Stone Valley                        Salmon

Salmon (Chasm Falls)                                     St. Regis

St. Regis, E. Branch                                        St. Regis, Middle Branch (Sec. 1)

St. Regis, Middle Branch (Sec. 2)                   St. Regis, Middle Branch (Sec. 3)

St. Regis, Middle Branch (Sec. 4.)                  St. Regis, W. Branch (Sec. 1)

St. Regis, W. Branch (Sec. 2)                          St. Regis, W. Branch (Sec. 3)

Trout Brook


Plattsburgh Area Reaches

Ausable (Ausable Chasm)                                       Ausable, E. Branch

Ausable, W. Branch (4. High Falls Gorge)               Ausable, W. Branch (5. The Flume)

Ausable, W. Branch (Section 6)                               Black Brook

Boquet, S. Branch                                                Boquet, N. Branch

Chateaugay                                                             Great Chazy (Chazy Lake to Miner Lake)

Great Chazy (Miner Lake to Mooers)                      Great Chazy, North Branch

Little Black Brook                                                     Little Trout

Marble                                                                    Salmon

Salmon (Lake Champlain)                                        Saranac (Permanent Rapids)

Saranac (1. Union Falls to Silver Lake Road)          Saranac (2. Silver Lake Road to Redford)

Saranac (3. High Falls Gorge)                                 Saranac (Sec. 4)

Styles Brook 

Google Map of New York Whitewater

New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2016-04-05 22:03:49

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
1.6No ScoutVHazard
2.0High FallsVIHazard Waterfall Photo

Rapid Descriptions

No Scout (Class V, Mile 1.6)

Make sure you get out well before this one. Squires says that after 1.5 miles, the river narrows down and takes a sharp bend to the left. Get out on the right before the bend--or else you're running it blindly.
No Scout Rapid is crazy, with a big rock in the middle at the end of the drop, with a monster hole and pinning risk. Run all the way right and then sprint left for the next drop to avoid a sticky hole.
Lat/long coords for this one are approximate, from online maps.

High Falls (Class VI, Mile 2.0)

Second Drop of a BIG waterfall

Second Drop of a BIG waterfall
Photo by Jim D taken 04/29/07

This two-stage 100-footer is a mandatory portage.

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