Black - 6. Route 3 Wave

Black, New York, US


6. Route 3 Wave

Usual Difficulty II (for normal flows)

Route 3 Wave

Route 3 Wave
Photo of Kathy Rombach, Sharon Heller, Bubba and DJ O'Neill

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-04260500 1400 - 2100 cfs II 01h39m 1030 cfs (too low)

River Description

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

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2016-03-28 21:05:37


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
September 29 2009 (3278 days ago)
x (1)
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.
June 17 2009 (3382 days ago)
Dan CashDetails
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.
October 8 2008 (3634 days ago)
x (1)
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
July 9 2008 (3725 days ago)
x (1)
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!
June 22 2008 (3742 days ago)
x (1)
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...

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