Upper Section: Shortly after reaching the Grass from Tracy Brook, the river starts dropping into some nice boat scoutable slides. The first mile or two below Tracy Brook is the best part. From then on there's a lot of flatwater, some sections of continuous class II-III stuff, a few nice small slides, a couple of easily recognized big class V slides, and one super sweet long(1/8 mile?) low angle slide. Both of the big slides would go, but the first is kinda junky looking and the second has a pretty bad hole on the bottom right, but a nice 10ft boof on the bottom left. Overall, this section has some fun parts, but doesn't match up to some of the area's other options; however, this is a great option if you get to the South Branch and it's a little beefy for your liking
Lower Section: This section is class 3 almost the entire time, it is a fun section for intermediate boaters, and open boaters who want to explore some of the great features the Grasse has to offer. As the water changes the run evolves from big holes and defined lines to low level creeking with lots of rock gardens to find micro eddys and play around in to develope skills. The rapids are easy to scout and set safety. This section can easily be run in under 2 hours including shuttle time.
The river has a conservation easement and is open to boating all year except from October 1-November 15, or hunting season. There are multiple hunting clubs in the area, which may not always be super friendly.
Access: Head north out of Degrasse on Claire Rd. and continue a couple of miles past the South Grasse take out. Turn right on Dean Rd. just after crossing the Middle Grasse and park in the shoulder on the right side of the road or continue up the road for about 1.75 miles to the bridge crossing over the river, on the right there will be a parking lot with a DEC information billboard. Taking out at the bridge will miss 1 rapid but also a long flatwater section.
The Put-in, continue up Dean Rd. for about 10 miles. You'll notice lots of hunting clubs and even drive through one camp. When you see the DEC sign for Stone Damn, park and start hiking up the road unless the gate is open as you can continue to drive up the road to another DEC gate if you park here, you will be able to see and hike down to the river. If the Stone Damn gate is closed, It's a little more than a mile to Tracy Brook, which you can reach the put-in and brushwack to the Middle Branch.
The second putin is about midway on the river, this limits most of the hassel of getting to the upper section, however, you miss all of the large slides. After passing the Stillwater club, drive about .5 miles up the road, you will see the river again on the left as you go around a large bend. Park on the side of the road near a DEC conservation easement poster. (see pictures)
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
Google Map of New York Whitewater
New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group
This is an easy put in which allows you to paddle the lower section of the section. It misses most of the large drops and slides. This is best used when access to the upper parts is restricted due to road conditions. All rapids listed are below this put in, and the distance for the rapids start at this point.
After a small flatwater section the river splits with a majority flowing right. The island is a good place to scout this rapid
A series of ledge-pool drops of above 10 feet are next. Each ledge has multiple lines depending on low and scouting is easily done on both sides of the river.
This rapid is undernearth the footbridge to Stillwater camp. It has a nice wavetrain into a medium size hole at certain levels. This is best boat scouted since the Stillwater Camp isn't always the friendlist. This rapid can be seen from the road too.
After another flat water section the river bends to the right and creates nice wavetrains and fun ledge slides. Some of the holes can be on the sticky side. This is also next to the road and can be scouted from either side, always as a nice park and run rapid
Update on access of Middle Branch. There has been a conservation easement put on the Middle Branch of the Grasse corridor for the majority of the year. Unfortunately, the corridor is closed to all recreation types October 1st through November 15th, this being hunting season of course, also one of the best boating windows. This easement will open up those "private waters" to boating this spring. I gained this information from John Gibbs out of the Potsdam DEC office.
In a few weeks this section of the Grasse river will have public access at a number of spots according to a Ranger at the NYDEC office in Potsdam. The designated river corridor under conservation easement will be open to the public for recreational purposes (I think excluding hunting) with a similar legal structure as that in place on the South Branch.
I've run into problems at the footbridge mentioned earlier at the Stillwater Club as well. Soon, "these here private waters" won't be an issue. I'll keep you posted....
Use this gauge with caution as it's in a different, although nearby drainage. In Squires New York Exposed Volume 1, he says 1100 cfs minimum, but on 12/3/06, 2000 cfs at Harrisville corresponded to a minimal level.
This run is runoff dependant, if it has been raining for a couple days it should be good to go, as well as early season runoff. However, it is possible that the section will be dropping even though the gauge is increasing.
Permits are not required for this reach.
Access: Head north out of Degrasse on Claire Rd. and continue a couple of miles past the South Grasse take out. Turn right on Dean Rd.
Take-out 1- Just after crossing the Middle Grasse and park in the shoulder on the right side of the road this is the longer of the two and has large amounts of flatwater
Take-out 2: Continue up Dean rd. for about 1.75 miles to the bridge crossing over the river, on the right, just before the bridge there will be a parking lot with a DEC information billboard. Park here.
Put-in 1 (Upper Section), continue up Dean Rd. for about 10 miles. You'll notice lots of hunting clubs and even drive through one camp. When you see the DEC sign for Stone Damn, park and start hiking up the road unless the gate is open as you can continue to drive up the road to another DEC gate if you park here, you will be able to see and hike down to the river. If the Stone Damn gate is closed, It's a little more than a mile to Tracy Brook, which you can reach the put-in and brushwack to the Middle Branch.
Put-in 2( Lower Section)- is about midway on the river, this limits most of the hassel of getting to the upper section, however, you miss all of the large slides. After passing the Stillwater club, drive about .5 miles up the road, you will see the river again on the left as you go around a large bend. Park on the side of the road near a DEC conservation easement poster. (see pictures)
DEC Info Board
Midway Put in
DEC Recreational easement sign
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Paddlers on the Lehigh River below the Francis E. Walter Dam and Reservoir are concerned that a planned study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its partners, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection will lead to a reduction in whitewater boating opportunities on the Lehigh. The study will evaluate the feasibility of various alternatives to optimize project operation. Aside from the project's authorized primary missions of flood risk management and recreation, the study will also consider water supply and water quality, to identify possible improvements to the existing structure, infrastructure, and operations that will support current and future demands within the region. The Army Corps is holding a public meeting on January 9, 2020 at the Mountain Laurel Resort in White Haven, PA from 6-8 p.m. to explain the study and hear public comments. American Whitewater, Appalachian Mountain Club, and other organizations are expected to file comments with the Army Corps prior to the September 29th deadline in order to share our concerns about the study and potential impacts on boating, the outdoor recreation economy, and the Delaware RIver Basin. We encourage our members to attend the public meeting to voice their concerns.
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