This section of the West Canada is generally run from the bridge over Big Brook on Haskell Road to the Scenic Lookout at the Route 8 Bridge in Nobleboro. Haskell Road has a few gates which are closed in the spring and fall, but you can generally get to pothole falls (about .5 mile from Big Brook put-in) without hiking.
This is a solid Class III run with a class IV (pothole falls) near the beginning. Haskell Road (a seasonal dirt road) runs parallel to the river and can be used as an escape route if needed. Most of this land is private hunting camps however, so use discretion.
The put-in at Big Brook is also home to a couple Class IV creeking drops upstream from the bridge if you want to bushwhack up to them. Paddle a half mile of II-III water to pothole falls. Eddy out for this one to take a look, and notice the second hole after the falls. If the falls dont get you that hole can. The rest of the river is II-III to the confluence with the South Branch near Nobleboro Bridge on Route 8.
Comments from Rob Yager: North Branch of the West Canada
Good intermediate run with outstanding scenery. Early spring the gate may be closed, so you\'re looking at a mile plus of prepaddle portage. Hopefully you can drive right up just past the ledges you can see from the dirt road and put in.
Starting at the pothole falls when hiking, may seem more appealing than starting above where you can get a 3+ ledge to warmup on before the class 4 falls. At about 3000+ cfs the falls has an \'easier\' line to the right, punch the 2 holes and do not boof too far right, look out for the stomping hole that can be easily avoided to either side.
Class 2 leads into some beautiful class 3, lots of eddies and even a real good wave on river left next to a small eddy and a big boulder.
If you have a full day, mix this one in with the South Branch first, then the North Branch and lastly the Ohio Gorge. I imagine the N. Branch would be a blast at 5000+ cfs or even up around 10,000 cfs (not unheard of). Everything would get much harder though, and the Ohio Gorge...yikes!
See you on the water...
Tug Hill - Old Forge Area Reaches
Beaver (1. Moshier) Beaver (2. Eagle) Beaver (3. Taylorville)
Black (1.) Black (2.) Black (3.)
Black (4.) Black (5.) Black, S. Branch
Cincinnati Creek Crystal Creek Deer River (Section 1)
Deer River (Section 2) Fish Creek, E. Branch Independence River (1. Upper)
Independence River (2. Main) Indian (S.Br. Moose trib.) Little Black Creek
Little Woodhull Creek Mad River Mill Creek
Mohawk (1.) Moose (1. Middle) Moose (2. Lower)
Moose (3. Bottom) Moose, Middle Branch Moose, S. Branch (1.)
Moose, S. Branch (2.) Negro Brook Otter Creek
Roaring Brook (Brokeback Gorge) West Canada Creek (1.) West Canada Creek (2. Ohio Gorge)
West Canada Creek, S. Branch Woodhull Creek (Upper) Woodhull Creek (Middle)
Woodhull Creek (Miracle Mile)
Google Map of New York Whitewater
New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group
This gauge is on the West Canada near Wilmurt, NY and can be used as a reliable rough guide.
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.
Hans tries to sneak up on a big hole
small break to warm up
Hans catches an eddy
WCC in April
First class III section
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.
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.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!