Grass, Lower S. Branch, New York, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV-V (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||60 fpm|
|Max Gradient||150 fpm|
|WEST BRANCH OSWEGATCHIE RIVER NEAR HARRISVILLE NY|
|usgs-04262500||800 - 2000 cfs||IV-V||01h53m||74.6 cfs (too low)|
This is the best section of the Grass! The character of the run is classic Adirondack
"Pool-Big Drop" with sticky holes at high flows. Rainbow Falls, a.k.a. "Large
Marge"5.1+ (Bigger than Magilla) and "Twin Falls" IV+ (Beefed up Fowlersville
Falls w/o the hole) are the "Big Drops" of note. They are spectacular! There are six
other distinctive CL IV-IV+ rapids that are separated by some CL III+ rapids and a few stretches
of flatwater. The area is very scenic so relax and enjoy until you approach the next horizon
line. The run is essentially roadside, but the road is seldom visible. The road is always river
Take Out: (Degrasse)
From Watertown take the Ft Drum/RT 342 exit off I-81. Drive Past Ft. Drum on 342 to Rt 3. Turn Left (NE) on RT 3 and go 14mi past Harrisville.
From Harrisville drive 14 miles to County Rd 27A (2.2 mi past Fine & County Rd 58). Turn Left (N) on County Rd 27A. (You cross the East Branch of the Oswegatchie just after you make the turn on to 27A.) After 3/4mi on 27A you intersect County Rd 27, turn right (N) on CR 27 which takes you to Degrasse. Turn R. at the Intersection in Degrasse and cross the bridge. This is the take out. Check the visual gauge and scout the last rapid from the bridge.
From I-90 Albany/Utica take RT 12 in Utica N. to Lowville. Take 812 from Lowville which intersects RT 3 just S. of Harrisville. (Follow directions above from Harrisville.)
From Canada drive to Canton, NY. Take 68 SE (7.9mi) to Pierrepont and turn right (SW)on County RD 24. Take CR 24 for 5.5mi to CR 27 and turn left(S). Drive 9.75mi S. on CR 27 to Degrasse and the take out bridge. Check the visual gauge and scout the last rapid from the bridge.
Put-in: From Degrasse take Toole Pond Rd 5.9mi SE to the State Parking area (Brown and Yellow signs) which is on the right (south) side of the Rd. Take the short walk down the trail to the river.
Near by Runs:
Grass: Cranberry Lake Section (S. Branch)(III-V), Copper Falls Section (S. Branch)(III-V) Middle Branch (III-IV+, V), Lampson Falls Section (III-V) & North Branch (II-III, V+)
Oswegatchie: East(IV-VI), Middle(IV-V+,VI-) & West(IV-V+) Branches,
Raquette: Stone Valley(IV-V)
Food & Gas: Harrisville or Canton are your best bets for Food and Gas.
Canton - Cranberry Lake Area Reaches
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.2||Large Marge (Rainbow Falls)||5.1|
|1.3||Flat Rock Falls||IV|
|3.0||Adrenaline Falls (Stewart Rapid)||IV|
|4.3||Iron Bridge (Sinclair Falls)||IV+|
This is the first tree top horizon line you come to. Scout right side then left if you consider running this. It is normally portaged left. Safety is difficult. The hole at the bottom of the falls can be bad at high flows and the wall on the right below the drop is a magnet for flipped paddlers and makes rolling tough.
Lat/longitude coords are approximate, from online maps.
Ledge slide drop with multiple lines and a sticky hole at the bottom.
This 30'(+)ledge slide is a rocket launching pad! Scout right. If you don't see the line think about walking. Hint try and finish between the two Rooster Tails at the bottom right. Getting off-line or flipping can be ugly.
The Iron Bridge crossing the river marks this drop (bridge connects Lake George Rd to Tooley Pd Rd). Watch the hole at the bottom, it can/will eat your lunch, especially at high water. Scout right at Med and low flows, high flows scout left. Portage is easiest left I'm told.
Multiple lines. Left side slide is easier. The center ledges and holes offer a tricky CL V option. Scout the center and right lines from the right. Scout Left line from the left. -