Mohawk - 2. Cohoes Wave

Mohawk, New York, US


2. Cohoes Wave

Usual Difficulty II (for normal flows)


Photo taken 03/01/03 @ 18+

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01357500 10.50 - 26.00 ft II 01h08m 12.18 ft (running)
The upper limit is a rough estimate. If you have better beta on this reach, please add a comment.

River Description

The wave (which is actually, in Waterford) is located on the first outlet on river left below the RT. 32 dam. Heading north on Saratoga Ave, take a right across from McDonald's onto Fulton St and take the road to the end; it's less than 1/8 mile. The wave is at a little park there.

The wave (or waves) are created by a shale shelf located in the park at the end of Fulton St. Sandwhiched between a power dam and the Mohaxk Paper Company dam, the features are consantly shifting.  While the gauge is an indicator of the amount of flow over the shelf, the pool height is constantly changing as it is filled and drained by the Paper Company dam.  Because of the changing levels and vegitation there is often no way to predict the exact shape of the features except from the eddy.  At times what appears to be a perfect wave from the parking lot will be a retentive hole, and vis-versa.  

The wave seems to be best at normal levels when it is filling, this can be becuase of rising upstream levels, or due to the daily increase in power production and closing of the Paper Company dam around 5-6pm. At high water this wave is excellent.  14.5-15.5 ft seems to be a sweetspot, 15.5-17 tends to be a meaty hole, and at 19 and up the wave can form a massive shelf-wave.


This wave can be considered a big water feature by some at normal levels and should be treated with caution. Swimmers should move quickly to river left and head for the boat launch. Swimming for river right or swimming too slowly can result in being pushed to the dam.  Swims are most often caused by sticky features and the crashing waves which form in the run-out. (This has led to some debate about the safety of bringing beginners here. Personally I mainly learned to paddle here and have swam countless times without incident or close call.)


Other local attrations:

A fun slide can be reached by paddling around Goat Island on the downstream side and then portaging around the next island.  Beware of the hole on the extreme river right.

The power dam upstream can be run at low water when the slot on river left is opened to clear out wood. I have only ever seen this a few times around at 6ft on the guage. Bring a fullface to catch your paddle, it is quite a fast ride.

The paper dam is runnable.  Paddle to the island in the center to scout. a boof-slide line at 11+ ft

If there is med-low flow and the main waves aren't doing much you can explore downstream and see if the lower waves are in on the left channel by the power dam.  At times the outlet tube for the plant makes a nice hole for advanced moves.



Capital Region Area Reaches

Basic Creek                                    Batten Kill                                         Claverack Creek 

Cobleskill Creek                             Fox Creek                                         Hannacrois Creek 

Hoosic                                            Hudson (Lock 2)                               Kinderhook Creek  (1.) 

Kinderhook Creek  (2.)                   Kinderhook Creek  (3.)                      Kline Kill 

Normans Kill (1.)                            Normans Kill (2.)                                North Chuctanunda Creek 

Mohawk (Upper Cohoes Wave)     Mohawk (Cohoes Wave)                   Poesten Kill (0.) 

Poesten Kill (1.)                             Poesten Kill (2.)                                 Quacken Kill  

Schoharie Creek                            Stony Kill                                           Wyant's Kill 


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StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2016-04-21 15:35:21


Rapid Descriptions

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