This photo needs editing.
Difficulty II-IV(V+)
Length 3 Miles
Flow Range 15.00 - 28.00 FT
Flow Rate as of: 2 hours ago 8.84 [FT] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 04/21/2016 3:34 pm

River Description

Rumor is that Cohoes Falls was run in 2012 on the river left side which is (acessable by continuing up the path); however, the main attraction for this section are the high water waves.  These features fully form above 15.5 ft and increase in size as the river continues to rise. The main wave is easily comparable to Inner-City Strife on the Black River in Watertown.

While there is a very large (800ft long) straight-forward eddy that forms behind the waves, missing it is not an option and will result in having to run the river to the power dam below Saratoga Ave to take out on the river left eddy.  Similarly, a swim could be disastrous.

If you are in the neighborhood and the level isn't quite right it can still be worth the trip to check out the waves.  When the Lower Cohoes Wave isn't in there will sometimes still be a shallow surf wave at this location. Also at slightly lower levels the main wave will form a hole.


Bring a 50ft rope so there is plenty of slack to tie your boat with.

Here is a video at low water (11ft)



Capital Region Area Reaches

Basic Creek                                    Batten Kill                                         Claverack Creek 

Cobleskill Creek                             Fox Creek                                         Hannacrois Creek 

Hoosic                                            Hudson (Lock 2)                               Kinderhook Creek  (1.) 

Kinderhook Creek  (2.)                   Kinderhook Creek  (3.)                      Kline Kill 

Normans Kill (1.)                            Normans Kill (2.)                                North Chuctanunda Creek 

Mohawk (Upper Cohoes Wave)     Mohawk (Cohoes Wave)                   Poesten Kill (0.) 

Poesten Kill (1.)                             Poesten Kill (2.)                                 Quacken Kill  

Schoharie Creek                            Stony Kill                                           Wyant's Kill 


Google Map of New York Whitewater

New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group

Rapid Descriptions

Cohoes Falls

Class - 5.2 Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

A 90ft drop which goes from bone dry in the summer, to raging and brown when the waves are in.

Upper Cohoes Waves

Class - III+ Mile - 0.1
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Forming at around 15.5 ft these waves get bigger and more powerful as the water continues to rise.


Gage Descriptions

A staff guage on the retaining wall by the outflow pipes for the power plant.  Visible from the falls park on river right.

Directions Description

Reaching these waves is a bit of a challenge and is part of the reason no one seems to know about them:

  1. From 787 north turn right onto Saratoga Ave
  2. Take an immediate left at the light after crossing the bridge over the Mohawk onto Clifton Rd
  3. Take a left at the first stop sign onto River St. 
  4. Park by the fence where the road hits the cliff overlooking the river.
  5. There is a trail that goes upstream to the right. Follow it and at the third or so overlook will be a tree 10 ft in with a rope or two on it.
  6. From here lower your boat and then yourself onto the "beach" below. Use extreme caution scaling the cliff, the rock is loose and probably wet. This deposits you in the eddy, and in front of you will be the waves.

No Accident Reports




article main photo

Moose River Video

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.


Alex Barham


Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1201820 02/05/13 Alex Barham
1201819 02/05/13 Alex Barham
1201821 02/05/13 Alex Barham
1205897 03/09/16 Alex Barham Updated
1206290 04/21/16 Alex Barham Added local info
1191141 05/23/01 n/a n/a