Salmon (Lake Champlain) - Military Turnpike below Schuyler Falls to Lake Champlain

Salmon (Lake Champlain), New York, US


Military Turnpike below Schuyler Falls to Lake Champlain

Usual Difficulty IV (for normal flows)
Length 6.5 Miles
Max Gradient 30 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-04271500 1500 - 5000 cfs IV 5d19h00m 327 cfs (too low)
usgs-04275500 1800 - 5000 cfs IV 42h45m 484 cfs (too low)

River Description

This is an odd section of river. It is mostly very easy, with one short (1/2 mile) section that is totally out of character. Always be on the lookout for trees in the river.

From the put-in on the Military Turnpike, the first mile is easy paddling - mostly quick-water with a few rapids - certainly nothing harder than I/II.

After you go under the Salmon River Road bridge, the river picks up to Class II. Soon after this there is a 7-foot drop into a slide (class III) that is worth a look. This can be seen from the route 22 bridge (downstream), but not well enough to pick a line. Just below the drop/slide, there may be some trees down so be careful. Soon after the drop, you go under the route 22 bridge. Just below the bridge is a class IV rapid consisting of a slide, followed quickly by a second rapid that pushes up against the river-right wall. The water in here, at least at the level we ran, was surprisingly pushy.

Below this rapid, you go under the Adirondack Northway (Interstate 87). The rapids ease back to class II for the next 0.2 miles to a railroad bridge. Below this, the rapids soon stop completely. The next 3 miles is complete flat-water, with logjams and possibly beaver activity blocking your way. After 3 miles you go by the end of the runway from the old Air Force base, then under another railroad bridge. From here to the lake (1 mile), the water picks up again to class I-II, finishing with a nice little class II slide as you go under route 9 to Lake Champlain.

Be aware that all the land around here is privately owned. As this is not classified as a navigable river, I am not sure paddlers have much in the way of rights to scout and portage. The landowners near the two drops were very accommodating to us, but be warned they may not always be so understanding.

First (known) descent: Craig Allison, Steve Bailey, Andy Johnson, Rob Anderson, John Mulholland 4/3/2004.

There is another section of river upstream from Davis Lake (in Macomb Park), through Schuyler Falls to our put-in that has not been run to my knowlege. This is the section generally referred to in Dennis Squires book - although Dennis's book also references the Class IV rapid we ran near the Adirondack Northway.


Plattsburgh Area Reaches

Ausable (Ausable Chasm)                                       Ausable, E. Branch

Ausable, W. Branch (4. High Falls Gorge)               Ausable, W. Branch (5. The Flume)

Ausable, W. Branch (Section 6)                               Black Brook

Boquet, S. Branch                                                Boquet, N. Branch

Chateaugay                                                             Great Chazy (Chazy Lake to Miner Lake)

Great Chazy (Miner Lake to Mooers)                      Great Chazy, North Branch

Little Black Brook                                                     Little Trout

Marble                                                                    Salmon

Salmon (Lake Champlain)                                        Saranac (Permanent Rapids)

Saranac (1. Union Falls to Silver Lake Road)          Saranac (2. Silver Lake Road to Redford)

Saranac (3. High Falls Gorge)                                 Saranac (Sec. 4)

Styles Brook 

Google Map of New York Whitewater

New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2016-04-05 22:09:14

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.

No Comments

Do more than just check gauges; join over 5,000 AW members today.

Or, consider donating