The West Canada below Trenton Falls becomes a docile swift water to Class II river where one often sees fishermen (great fishing by the way), boaters in canoes and recreational kayaks, tubing and even an occassional motorboat. From the Dover Road Bridge in Trenton Falls (just below the release dam) to Herkimer is about 28 miles of paddling, although most whitewater boaters put-in further downstream near Middleville, NY.
A Note on the West Canada: River levels will generally be high enough for paddling year round, water is released both from the Hinckley Resevoir and at the Power Company at the Trenton Falls Gorge. (Speaking of which, the section of river from Prospect to Trenton Falls is home to some seriously big waterfalls, now open at times throughout the year for tourists, but likely never to be open to kayakers.) The West Canada is known to rise and drop rapidly due to the upstream power operations.
Check the flow graph to get a sense of what the power station has been doing. Expect the summer flows to stay at a baseline flow then surge for a few hours so the dam can make power at the daily power rate peak. Use this -Waterline Link- to keep an eye on expected flows.
There are several man-made features along the way from Trenton Falls to Herkimer, a couple dams including the low-head type that would best be avoided, and bridges that at high, fast water levels can create broaching scenarios.
Additional Info from Mike Webster:
Section 1: Dover Road to Route 28 Class (1 - 2)
Description: A pleasant moving water cruise to the whitewater put-in above Middleville. No real whitewater, but moves right along with frequent public access points to NT 28. One mandatory portage at Newport dam.
Section 2: Route 29 in Middleville to Route 7/Kast bridge above Herkimer (Class 2 - 2+)
Description: This is a classic class II-II+ teaching section from above Middleville to Kast Bridge. Begin either river left at DEC access above Middleville off NY 28, or use the slightly lower otter slide put-in on river right on Fishing Rock Road. Shortly after launching find Fishing Rock. At the NY28 bridge you can get out for a break at Stewart’s on river left. Look for the KOA campground on river right, they have sights right on the water. After the KOA is a small paved parking area that offers an alternate access river right. Light rapids and flat sections continue to Kast Bridge. Take-out above on river left.
Mohawk Valley Area Reaches
Canajoharie Creek Caroga Creek Cincinnati Creek
East Canada Creek Fish Creek, E. Branch Ninemile Creek
North Chuctanunda Creek Nowadaga Creek Mohawk (1.)
Oriskany Creek (Clinton) Oriskany Creek (Oriskany Falls) Schoharie Creek
Sprite Creek (Upper) Sprite Creek (Lower) Spruce Creek
Timmerman Creek West Canada Creek
Google Map of New York Whitewater
New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group
Gauge at Kast Bridge (1-800-452-1742 code 365124)
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Sign prohibiting hiking bypass reach.
Dewatered section above Prospect hydro site.
Top of the bypass reach.
Pond above the Trenton Falls dam.
Play spot above Kast Bridge.
Trenton Falls Dam.
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Paddlers on the Lehigh River below the Francis E. Walter Dam and Reservoir are concerned that a planned study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its partners, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection will lead to a reduction in whitewater boating opportunities on the Lehigh. The study will evaluate the feasibility of various alternatives to optimize project operation. Aside from the project's authorized primary missions of flood risk management and recreation, the study will also consider water supply and water quality, to identify possible improvements to the existing structure, infrastructure, and operations that will support current and future demands within the region. The Army Corps is holding a public meeting on January 9, 2020 at the Mountain Laurel Resort in White Haven, PA from 6-8 p.m. to explain the study and hear public comments. American Whitewater, Appalachian Mountain Club, and other organizations are expected to file comments with the Army Corps prior to the September 29th deadline in order to share our concerns about the study and potential impacts on boating, the outdoor recreation economy, and the Delaware RIver Basin. We encourage our members to attend the public meeting to voice their concerns.
For decades, West Canada Creek from Middleville to Herkimer, N.Y., proved a reliable beginner/intermediate run with consistent water released from Hinckley Reservoir upstream. After a number of high water events a play spot formed near the end of the run above Kast Bridge.
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.
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