Update: A rock has once again become lodged upstream of the wave. Until further notice the wave is no longer surfable.
This is a popular after-work park-n-playspot for locals who don't have time to run the whole Black. The other great park and play is at Hole Brothers.
This is also the site of a controversial proposal to alter the riverbed in order to provide a hole/wave that'll be attractive to high-level playdogs and international competitions. Some paddlers are concerned that messing with the riverbed might ruin a good thing; others believe that improving the playspot will give a jumpstart to efforts to improve water quality all over this historically abused, urbanized stream.
There are two putins to this p-n-p (the coordinates for which are listed below, as the putin and takeout): either park at Waterworks Park on Huntington St., hike down a longish trail and paddle upstream to the wave, or park off Rte. 3 (off Huntington St., just South of where Rte. 3 crosses the river), walk across the rocky dam runout and paddle downstream a short bit to your play. (See the map.)
Watertown Area Reaches:
Black River (Rt. 3 Wave) Black River (Watertown to Brownville)
Black Creek Deer River (Section 1)
Deer River (Section 2) Roaring Brook (Brokeback Gorge)
Salmon River (Section 1) Salmon River (Section 2)
Sandy Creek South Sandy Creek (Section 1)
South Sandy Creek (Section 2) Mad River
Mill Creek Negro Brook
Google Map of New York Whitewater
New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group
The wave is intact from the spring high water. Though the AW range of good levels is a bit off. I would wait until the river drops below 3000 before you even think about making the drive. Today the river is between 2500-2700 and the crash is just beginning to form. I went out last week at around 2200 and it was near perfect for wave surfing.
Dan's estimate may be a bit high for those looking to throw moves. The wave will begin to hold you at around 2500, but the wave doesn't seem to be retentive enough for freestyle moves until 1800 or so. When you are on the wave there are boils that appear just left of center which seem to be killing the foam pile. Hopefully whatever small rock has washed in upstream will clear back out this fall, till then Hole Brother's is the place to be.
Just an FYI... I was at the route 3 wave yesterday 6/21/08. Apparently a table sized rock has lodged itself just upstream of the wave completely distorting it. The town is apparently trying to remove it but the wave is pretty much un-surfable at this time. Dang floods...
As of 7/4/08 the rock is still there. Can someone in Watertown area give us an update, and pester the town to pull that rock out of there!
I surfed route three last week at 1900 and it was awesome, nice shoulder easy access and a sweet foam pile in the middle the wave is back
The wave is best under 2200 cfs.
Permits are not required for this reach.
There are two putins to this p-n-p (the coordinates for which are listed in the "River Info" tab, as the putin and takeout): either park at Waterworks Park on Huntington St., hike down a longish trail and paddle upstream to the wave, or park off Rte. 3 (off Huntington St., just South of where Rte. 3 crosses the river), walk across the rocky dam runout and paddle downstream a short bit to your play. (See the map.)
Click here for directions from I-81.
Lat/longitude coordinates verified by GPS.
The Usual Suspects
Black, Route 3 wave
Another birds eye
Rte 3 wave Birds eye view
Rte. 3 wave Birds eye view
Bubba Jibbin on the Route 3 Wave
Route 3 Wave
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!