Salmon Creek is a Class I-II river with Class III surfing opportunities.
Salmon Creek is usually dry, but about an inch of precipitation within days can bring it up from 20 cfs to 300 cfs, which adds on average about a foot of water to the creek.
Salmon Creek is all about small wave surfing. When it comes to low-key surfing & playing, nothing beat Salmon Creek within an hour of driving from Ithaca. The whitewater features on Salmon Creek come in the form of small waves and holes. Small though they are, they are extremely great for surfing and playing. Plus, all the good features have eddy service.
The first half mile of the river forms a nice loop and is highly continuously with most of the fun features. One can take out after the Ludlowville Road bridge and walk just a quarter mile back to the put in
If you just run down the river with little play, this is an easy 15-30 minutes run. If you take your time and surf, this 1.6 miles run can easily take up to 2-3 hours.
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The waterfall has an extremely shallow (not even waist-deep) landing.
It is not exactly a rapid, but there is some whitewater. You have to dodge rocks and avoid shallow water here.
Two tiny ledges create two shallow retentive holes. They are great for practicing sidesurfing and flat spins.
A small ripple/wave that is almost river wide. It is so wide and holds you nicely that you can have a nice conversation with your all your buddies while everyone is surfing the wave at the same time.
Two to three small waves with eddy service and easy access. This is one of the alternate putins/takeouts. From here to Ludlowville Road bridge are several small waves that need to be surfed on the fly.
It is the second bridge you see if you put in at the foot of the waterfall. At certain levels there can be some fun waves and holes. On river left right after the bridge is another alternate putin/takeout.
This is the biggest feature on the river and probably the reason to run the whole river instead of doing the loop. The hole is big enough to be powerful, but small enough to not overpower you at the same time. The water is too shallow for vertical moves, but you can backsurf and flat spin in the hole nicely! It is called gas saver because if it's running, I ain't gonna drive hours away just to surf on other rivers! Unfortunately, it is located deep in the gorge with no easy hike-in access.
Hey, looks great for local ithaca area, please include me! email@example.com
Best 15 minute run ever. No idea why I almost never see anyone else on this little gem with all the paddlers in this area, must be something better I don't know about?
150-200 cfs : minimum runnable
200-250 cfs : runnable
250+ cfs : ideal
Permits are not required for this reach.
For a full run, park at Ludlowville Falls Park and walk down to the falls, or park at Mill Street roundabout for the park and play putin. Or, if you want mostly Class I water, put in at the fisherman access next to Ludlowville Road bridge.
For a short run or a loop run, you can take out at either the Mill Street roundabout park and play, or the fisherman access next to Ludlowville Road Bridge. For a full run, just paddle all the way down to Cayuga Lake. You can either take out river right (Salt Point, free) or river left (Myers Point, in summer you need to pay ~$2 to get in the park).
Saving some gas
The conversation has been had
Smooth & Easy
Surfing the park and play wave
Ludlowville Road Bridge
Park and play wave
Surfing Gas Saver
Backsurfing Gas Saver
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