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Difficulty I-II
Length 1.6 Miles
Flow Range 150 - 1000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 2.08 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 06/07/2016 6:46 pm

River Description

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.

Finger Lakes Area Runs


Bowman Creek                        Cascadilla Creek                  Canandaigua Outlet 

Canaseraga Creek                  Canisteo                               Cayuga Lake Hole 

Cayuta Creek                          Conesus Creek                     Fall Creek (1.) 

Fall Creek (2.)                         Fall Creek (3.)                       Great Gully Creek 

Honeoye Creek                       Irondequoit Creek                 Keshequa Creek 

Keuka Outlet                         Lock 32 Whitewater Course    Owasco River (Outlet) 

Salmon Creek                         Sixmile Creek                         Sugar Creek 

Taughannock Creek (1.)         Taughannock Creek (2.)         Trumansburg Creek 

Vanbuskirk Gulf


Google Map of New York Whitewater

New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group

Rapid Descriptions

Ludlowville Falls

Class - V Mile - 0

The waterfall has an extremely shallow (not even waist-deep) landing.


Class - II Mile - 0.01

It is not exactly a rapid, but there is some whitewater. You have to dodge rocks and avoid shallow water here.

Spin Holes

Class - II Mile - 0.1

Two tiny ledges create two shallow retentive holes. They are great for practicing sidesurfing and flat spins.


Class - I Mile - 0.15

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.

Park and Play

Class - II Mile - 0.4

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.

Ludlowville Road Bridge

Class - II Mile - 0.5

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.

Gas Saver

Class - II Mile - 1.2

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.


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Todd Haner
7 years ago

Hey, looks great for local ithaca area, please include me!

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11 years ago

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?

Gage Descriptions

150-200 cfs : minimum runnable
200-250 cfs : runnable
250+ cfs :  ideal

Directions Description

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).

No Accident Reports



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Moose River Video

Mark Singleton

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.


Skip Morris


Alex Barham


Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1202348 06/28/13 Skip Morris
1202349 06/28/13 Skip Morris
1202350 06/28/13 Skip Morris
1206601 06/07/16 Alex Barham Added local info
1202351 06/28/13 Skip Morris
1192701 07/20/08 n/a n/a