Grass - 1. Lampsons Falls to Downerville


Grass, New York, US

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1. Lampsons Falls to Downerville

Usual Difficulty IV+ (for normal flows)
Length 4.2 Miles
Avg. Gradient 30 fpm
Max Gradient 60 fpm

Lampsons Falls


Lampsons Falls
Photo by Ron Turney taken 11/05/06 @ 700cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
WEST BRANCH OSWEGATCHIE RIVER NEAR HARRISVILLE NY
usgs-04262500 600 - 3000 cfs IV+ 01h44m 135 cfs (too low)


River Description

Directions:
Put In: Heading north out of Degrasse on Clare Rd. for 4-5 miles to the yellow/brown sign on the left for the trail to Lampson's Falls. It's probably about a half-mile easy walk to the water from there.
Take Out: On Route 24 just north of the town of Russell boaters will see a NY state sign for Downerville, a no-longer existent town at the confluence of the N. branch of the Grasse with the Main branch. Coming from Russell, turn right (SE) onto dirt/gravel Donnerville road, after old cemetary on left, take next right. Follow along beaver pond then downhill to confluence. About a mile and a half from main road to take-out.  


Description:
The trail comes out right at Lampson's Falls, which is Fowlersville-sized but has a bunch of flakes sticking up that don't look friendly at all; judge for yourself, I had no issues continuing down the trail to the bottom. From the pool below you have some flatwater to warm up on before dropping into a nice pool-drop rhythm. Most of the drops are worth scouting just to see the assortment of possible lines that most offer up. At low water this seemed like a nice creeking progression from Taylorville on the Beaver, with a few drops which were definite steps up. Nothing is mandatory and everything was pretty easy to scout/portage. The last mile stretch the river starts to widen and become more small rapids. When you come to the Confluence of the North Branch on river right, there will be a small path through the woods which will take you back to the parking lot. This section can be connected and run all the way down to Russell.

 

Canton - Cranberry Lake Area Reaches

Boland Creek                                                   Elm Creek 

Grass (1. Lampsons Falls to Downerville)       Grass (2. Downerville to Russell)      

Grass (3. Morley to Massena)                    Grass (4.Woods Bridge Road to Route 47)     

Grass, Middle Branch                                 Grass, North Branch   

Grass, Upper South Branch                        Grass, Lower South Branch (Twin Falls)         

Oswegatchie, E. Branch (2.)                           Oswegatchie, E. Branch (3.)

Oswegatchie, W. Branch                                   Plumb Brook

 

 

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

 

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StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2016-04-05 20:58:32

Editors


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.8Old Bridge IIIPhoto
0.8ThanksVPhoto
0.8No ThanksIV+Photo
1.0Dan's HoleIII+Photo
1.3S-TurnIIIPhoto
1.4Snot RocketIII+
1.6The SlotsIIIPhoto
1.6There You GoIII+
1.8North Country BoofIVPhoto

Rapid Descriptions

Old Bridge (Class III, Mile 0.8)

Old Bridge

Old Bridge
Photo taken 05/07/13

This is the first Rapid of the section, after a moderate flatwater paddle from Lampson Falls. The gradient drop is easily seen from above as well as remants of an old bridge. Scouting is best from river left, it is also possible to boat scout.



Thanks (Class V, Mile 0.8)

Thanks

Thanks
Photo taken 05/07/13

 After the old bridge pool, This will be the next horizon line and is one of the largest sections on this section. It changes greatly which varing water levels from a flaky slide with large curling waves to large waves and holes. To scout, take on on river left of the island. Portage is a neccessary for most paddlers with the easiest along river left, along the game trail in the woods.



No Thanks (Class IV+, Mile 0.8)

No Thanks

No Thanks
Photo of Greg Miller by David Pynchon taken 05/08/13 @ 500 cfs

This is immediately below Thanks, at low levels this can be one of the best rapid but as the flow increases the holes become stickier and stickier. Scout along the same path as with Thanks, portaging too can follow this path



Dan's Hole (Class III+, Mile 1.0)

Dan's Hole

Dan's Hole
Photo taken 05/07/13

This is the next drop after No Thanks pool, this rapid also varies greatly as does the flows. At low levels this is a small hole but at high flows it become sticky with large boils and water pushing into the wall. Scouting can be either left or along the rock pennisula. A sneak line is available along the far right at high levels.



S-Turn (Class III, Mile 1.3)

S-Turn

S-Turn
Photo taken 05/07/13 @ 2000 cfs

After some flatwater the river starts dropping gradient again. This is a large S-Turn in the river. This can scouted river right from the large rock abutment or boat scouting.



Snot Rocket (Class III+, Mile 1.4)

The river splits with a majority going left over a small waterfall, while right is a tight shoot with a hole at the bottom. This right section is runnable at all levels. Scouting can be left for the falls, and either on the island or right for the shoot.



The Slots (Class III, Mile 1.6)

The Slots

The Slots
Photo taken 05/08/13 @ 2000 cfs

At low water this rapid is a bunch on low angle slides, with multiple routes. At high water, it becomes a small slide into a hole, similar to the upper part of Sinclair Falls (Twin Falls section). Scouting can be down river left as well as a path to portage.



There You Go (Class III+, Mile 1.6)

After the slots the river splits again around an island with the majority of the water flowing right, the right side has a small water fall with different paths, at low level this is the easier drop. The left has a small 45 foot shoot. At low water this shoot is either dry or unrunnable. Scouting is best on the island if running the rapid or left with portaging the easiest along the left side.



North Country Boof (Class IV, Mile 1.8)

North Country Boof

North Country Boof
Photo taken 05/07/13

This is the final large drop. The river again splits with a large amount of water flowing right.  The right side becomes difficult to run at high water, for this side scout right. The left channel has nice 7 foot waterfall, scouting for this is best left, as well as portaging. The rock on the river next to the falls (seen in picture) is a sive, this can be seen especially at low water.




User Comments

Users can submit comments.
August 27 2008 (3588 days ago)
Dan McDonnellDetails
On Route 24 just north of the town of Russell boaters will see a NY state sign for Downerville, a
no-longer existent town at the confluence of the N. branch of the Grasse with the Main branch. This
put-in/take out spot gives boaters at low water a chance to get off the river before the scrappy
section to Russell. It's also the take-out, obviously for those boating the North Branch. It's also
a great place for boaters at flood stage to put-in and ride the haystacks to Russell. Coming from
Russell, turn right (SE) onto dirt/gravel Donnerville road, after old cemetary on left, take next
right. Follow along beaver pond then downhill to confluence. About a mile and a half from main road
to take-out.
November 17 2006 (4237 days ago)
Andy CookDetails
Ran this section on November 5, 2006. Level was around 600 cfs. on the gauge. First couple drops
were a lot of fun, next few miles a bit scrapy and then the runout was pretty tedious. Did a video
tour; check it out: http://www.flowpaddlers.org/users/andy/speced/lampson/lampson.htm


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