Raquette - 2) Piercefield to Parmenter Site


Raquette, New York, US

Disclaimer

2) Piercefield to Parmenter Site

Usual Difficulty II-V (for normal flows)
Length 17.5106 Miles

Lower Jamestown


Lower Jamestown
Photo by Ratt Boy (KHCC, FLOW) taken 07/17/09

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
RAQUETTE RIVER AT PIERCEFIELD NY
usgs-04266500 1700 - 8000 cfs II-V 01h43m 563 cfs (too low)


River Description

Assuming Class III is familiar to you, the first challenge is the Upper Sols and Lower Sols (around Sols Island). Go left around the island. Upper Sols increases in difficulty and the final part is class IV and can be scouted and carried on the Left. Then, flatwater and class II rapids alternate. The 5.7-mile Moosehead Stillwater follows, giving a relaxed time to enjoy turtles basking in the sun and other wildlife and flowers. Then Moosehead Rapids (class II-III) are 1.25 miles long with no portage trail. Next up, on a right turn, stay to the right of an island so you are ready to scout or portage Moody Falls, a class IV/V. The lower part is easier than the upper part. After Moody Falls, some carry out (or in and upstream to run Moody Falls) to NY 56. After less than a mile of flatwater, one encounters Jamestown Falls. Both Upper and Lower Jamestown Falls are impressive class V's. The national slalom team used the Falls as a training site in 1988 with flows controlled by the powerhouse.

The Parmenter site is a takeout. You can drive to the water when the campground is open or walk out to NY 56 on an asphalt road in the off season. Be aware that when there is a release at Piercefield, the beginning of the release will take several hours to travel the 14 miles to Moody Falls.

There is one release scheduled each year, as well as natural flow opportunities. The scheduled release is on the last Saturday of June and lasts 5 hours. Information on releases can be found at 800-452-1742, and using the code: 365130.
Submitted by Betty Lou Bailey of the Adirondack Mountain Club

 

Dennis Squires' book lists this as a good (and beautiful) overnighter, which typically runs until early June.

 

Potsdam - Malone Area Reaches

Chateaugay                                                    Deer (Dickinson Center)

Deer (Dickinson Center to Lawrenceville)       Grass (1. Lampsons Falls to Downerville)

Grass (Sec. 3)                                                Grass (Sec. 4)

Jordan                                                             Little Trout

Marble                                                             Meacham Lake Outlet

Raquette Sec. 3) Hannawa Falls                    Raquette 2) Piercefield to Parmenter Site

Raquette Sec. 4) Stone Valley                        Salmon

Salmon (Chasm Falls)                                     St. Regis

St. Regis, E. Branch                                        St. Regis, Middle Branch (Sec. 1)

St. Regis, Middle Branch (Sec. 2)                   St. Regis, Middle Branch (Sec. 3)

St. Regis, Middle Branch (Sec. 4.)                  St. Regis, W. Branch (Sec. 1)

St. Regis, W. Branch (Sec. 2)                          St. Regis, W. Branch (Sec. 3)

Trout Brook

 

Google Map of New York Whitewater

New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2016-04-05 20:55:14

Editors


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.4Public BeachN/APutin
2.7Sol IslandIV
6.2Burnt IslandIIIPhoto
7.2Hedgehog RapidsII
12.1Moosehead RapidsII+Photo
13.8Moody FallsIV+Portage Photo
14.8Upper Jamestown FallsIV+Portage Photo
15.0Lower Jamestown Falls5.0Portage Photo
15.2Alternate takeoutN/ATakeout

Rapid Descriptions

Public Beach (Class N/A, Mile 0.4)

An alternate putin is the town beach on river left.

Note: coordinates and distances are verified by GPS.



Sol Island (Class IV, Mile 2.7)

Go left of the island.



Burnt Island (Class III, Mile 6.2)

Burnt Island

Burnt Island
Photo by Ratt Boy (KHCC, FLOW) taken 07/17/09

A mildly complex and fun ledge drop.



Hedgehog Rapids (Class II, Mile 7.2)

A long rapid with some surfing waves.



Moosehead Rapids (Class II+, Mile 12.1)

Moosehead

Moosehead
Photo by Ratt Boy (KHCC, FLOW) taken 07/17/09

A long rapid with some surfing waves. There's a primitive campsite just upstream, on river right. (I have no idea whether or not it's public property or not; if you choose to camp here, or anywhere along this reach, it's best to keep your presence and footprint small and unnoticeable.)



Moody Falls (Class IV+, Mile 13.8)

Top Part of Moody Falls

Top Part of Moody Falls
Photo by Ratt Boy (KHCC, FLOW) taken 07/17/09

This is a serious drop which you'll want to scout (and maybe portage). According to Squires, the line changes with the water level. At 1700 cfs, there's a sneak along far river right.



Upper Jamestown Falls (Class IV+, Mile 14.8)

The Hole at Upper Jamestown

The Hole at Upper Jamestown
Photo by Ratt Boy (KHCC, FLOW) taken 07/17/09

That hole is munchy. It looks like it might weaken in the middle, but with a loaded boat and no one to save my sorry butt, I walked it at 1700 cfs



Lower Jamestown Falls (Class 5.0, Mile 15.0)

Lower Jamestown

Lower Jamestown
Photo by Ratt Boy (KHCC, FLOW) taken 07/17/09

Squires lists Upper Jamestown as a IV+/5.0, and Lower Jamestown as bigger and badder--likely a portage. At 1700 cfs, I found that I wanted to walk Upper J, but I found a far-right sneak at Lower J.

If you don't want to paddle to the Parmenter Site, you can take out 250 yards below, at a hard-to-find (from the road) dirt road.



Alternate takeout (Class N/A, Mile 15.2)

According to Squires, there's a takeout just downstream of Jamestown, tough to see from Rte. 56. I'm skeptical; I think the dirt road might be private property, but I'm listing this spot in case you can find a way to get to it and save yourself two miles of paddling.




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