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 right.DirectionsTake 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
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 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. -
There is a river wide log between Large Marge (Rainbow Falls) and "Whip it". It was in the left channel about 100 yds above whip it. You have to portage it when Harrisville gage is below 900. The water is at the bottom of the heart on the Degrasse Graffiti
The river wide log in the rapid under the Degrasse takeout bridge has flushed out and is no longer in play.
This is a class V run. Scouting, Portaging and evacuation may be easy, but the drops are big and consequential. Scenery is sick beautiful.
We took a low water run on this section on 10/21/2007. The log is no longer blocking the left channel.
4 years ago
by Jim Dobbins
Season: April and May are generally the best months for the Grass, but Oct and Nov also offer windows of boatable flows following three or four days of good rain.
Flows: The USGS gauge on the Oswegatchie in Harrisville provides an "approximation". The benchmarks below have many variables, so make sure you assess each drop yourself, especially at MED and HIGH flows. If Harrisville gauge is rising:
MIN:750-800cfs (3.5') - You will scrape in numerous areas, but have enough for the main drops.
MED: 1100cfs (4.0') - Only slight scraping, but holes are tame.
HIGH: 1700 (4.75') - Ratchet up the difficulty of all rapids at least half a level. Holes are bad!
If Harrisville guage is dropping add 150 cfs to the flows above.
Visual "Gauge": Check the Graffiti on the river right rock just below the bridge in Degrasse. If water is rising and touching the bottom of the "heart", then you can scrape down the wide places and have good water for the drops. If water is dropping then middle of "heart" is the MIN mark.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Grasse, Twin Falls
Grasse, Open boating
Grasse, Long slide
Grasse, Adrenaline falls
Large Marge (Rainbow Falls)
Basford Falls 3
Basford Falls 2
Basford Falls (Center Line)
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