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Difficulty III-IV(V)
Length 10.5 Miles
Gauge WEST BRANCH OSWEGATCHIE RIVER NEAR HARRISVILLE NY
Flow Range 1000 - 6000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 28 minutes ago 431 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 04/05/2016 7:56 pm

River Description


Description:

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

Rapid Descriptions

Midway Put in

Class - N/A Mile - 0

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.

Charlie's Rapid

Class - III Mile - 0.2

After a small flatwater section the river splits with a majority flowing right.  The island is a good place to scout this rapid

The ledges

Class - III Mile - 0.35
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

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.

Stillwater Bridge

Class - II+ Mile - 0.5

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.

Stomper

Class - III Mile - 1
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

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

Comments

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12 years ago

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.

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Dan McDonnell
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12 years ago

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....

Gage Descriptions

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

NA

Directions Description


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)

No Accident Reports

Alerts

News

article main photo

Moose River Video

1/18/2011
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.

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Gregory R. Miller

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Thomas O'Keefe

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Alex Barham

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Matt Muir

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1202060 05/08/13 Gregory R. Miller Rapids added
1202063 05/08/13 Gregory R. Miller added Becca
1202074 05/09/13 Gregory R. Miller change lat/long
1202214 05/19/13 Thomas O'Keefe copy edits
1206033 04/05/16 Alex Barham Added local info
1203252 04/10/14 Gregory R. Miller Charle's Rapid
1191107 12/06/06 n/a n/a
1202061 05/08/13 Gregory R. Miller Directions and info
1202073 05/09/13 Gregory R. Miller flows