A scenic flatwater paddle punctuated by Medina Falls, a 38ft clean drop. This is run often as a park and huck. video
Click on the photos in the Photo tab to see the park and huck slide and the play spots here as well.
Western New York Area Reaches
Beaver Meadow Creek Canadaway Creek (1.) Canadaway Creek (2.)
Canaseraga Creek Cattaraugus Creek Cattaraugus Creek, S. Branch
Cazenovia Creek, W. Branch (1.) Cazenovia Creek, W. Branch (2.) Chautauqua Creek
Clear Creek, N. Br. Conesus Creek Eighteenmile Creek
Eighteenmile Creek, S. Br. Ellicott Creek Genesee (Letchworth)
Honeoye Creek Keshequa Creek Little Chautauqua Creek
Murder Creek Niagara Oak Orchard Creek
Oatka Creek Rushford Lake Outlet Sugar Creek
Google Map of New York Whitewater
New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group
The Glenwood slide is in and it's good today. If you're in the area it's worth checking out for sure!
John E. Butts Memorial Park - Park n Play
There is a little more on Oak Orchard than most know of. Most of it is tranquil water but there's some action too! Behind John E. Butts Memorial Park, (No, its not a prank made up name from The Simpsons) is a park n play spot. Its on Rte 63 in Medina just north of Rte 31A. Pull straight into the park and stay to the left past the skate park and playground along the water past the small dam until the end of the drive. Walk a short distance upstream across the grass just beyond the outfield of the baseball diamond. You are there.
When the Shelby gauge reaches 8.5', its a decent shallow starter wave with cushe eddies to either side that are easy to catch and get back on the wave. At 9.5(~550CFS -10'+, it gets lively! There are two surfable waves in a series here with the second wave being bigger and deeper. There are no real dangers to point out as we have pulled all the larger rocks from the pool at low levels so there is a mostly smooth clay bottom though not very deep.
If you go down stream, the dam splits the river 3 ways which is near the parking area. Left has potential but is a shallow bony boat beater. The river right two openings lead to the same two ledge drops maybe 2-3' each. Again, here there is potential depending on levels. On the river left side of these two drops it can get a little sticky and there are some trees roots and sometimes trash to be aware of. There are a few more drops continuing down river with each consecutive crossroad bridge. Each are bridge/road scoutable. Shortly after Center St. bridge is a tunnel under the Erie Canal then almost immediately following is the already posted 30'+ Medina falls dropping into the Glenwood Lake Reservoir.
Glenwood Slide and Play Wave
Medina Falls dumps into the Glenwood Lake Reservoir. There is a power boat launch and parking lot just north of Medina on Rte 63. As you pull into the drive turn Left at the lake and unload near the gate. Parking here seems to be OK so far but a better bigger lot is in the opposite direction back near the boat launch. Proceed through the gate and head for the dam. There are trails (sort of) on either side to scout. It only flows at at a high enough level during spring high water flows and during hydro shut downs. Its a bit elusive to catch but its a grinnin' blast!
I'd advise putting in just AFTER the first drop after the dam at the large deep pool. The first drop is a very shallow plastic munching concrete slide with a nasty hole in the old concrete on river right. Most likely it wouldn't be a problem unless one were to get a bow paddle or body part in there. There might be some good play at the pool but currently the trees and broken concrete are less than desirable. Immediately after, the creek divides then reconvenes shortly. Left is bigger and maybe shorter but no matter. Right tends to be more strainer prone. Soon the pace picks up and there will be a definitive horizon line. Prepare your grin and run it middle right at especially at higher levels. Punch the V wave (sometimes a double) at the bottom.
Now it will be very tempting to catch the big eddy there to get back for some surf but know what you are in for! The V shaped wave looks great but it is severely undercut and cave like just after it. As of last summer, there was a ledge that ran the sides just after the wave coming to an under water pocket with room for a person and their boat within. I know of at least one person the smacked their face on said ledge after flipping running the drop left. Your call. Hopefully, with all the ice this year it might be eroded more and better.
Just after that there is one final small drop that makes a nice wave/hole for play. It can get sticky river left.
You can make a loop of the paddle if you continue downstream making 2 rights at the river forks. At the second one you'll be headed against slow current upstream toward the hydro plant. Take out near the poison ivy choked drainage pipe. You can then climb the hill and cross the reservoir to the lot or head to the right to hit it up again.
In Waterport there is a long falls/slide with maybe one eddy that only flows high enough during spring high water and during hydro plant shut downs. Its a class V long series of drops with a 15-20'er and another 10+ that twists down to a deep pool. Once you are committed, you won't stop until the bottom! It should be known that there is a submerged concrete wall in the pool but its deep enough and far enough back to probably not be a problem. This past year however, warning signs have be posted to keep off falls and surrounding areas. With the legality of running this in question, I am sadly not sure if this is a viable run any longer.
Oak Orchard has a 30 or so ft. waterfall on it called Medina Falls. View videos here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0KqCfA8h0A
This waterfall runs almost year round. Be careful of auto-boofing and landing flat at low flows (and cracking your ribs).
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Oak Orchard ~9.5'
Oak Orchard 10'
Oak Orchard 9.5' 550CFS
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