One of the best, and most fun creeks in the east. The run is fast and shallow with endless slides. The difficulty of this run rises with the water level. At high water there are some bad holes and the chances of being pushed into drops blind (already pretty good)becomes a certainty. At higher water expect partial strainers.
The section under Rte. 12 has a hole that becomes retentive at high water. Swims on this creek do not end well and the rapid will appear without warning so be sure to scout from the bridge on your way to the put in. Same goes for the section in town.
Scouting once you are on the river is often impossible and is usually dangerous. Keep alert for trees. If you can't easily scout a drop it is usually best to charge down the center. This is no place for someone who can't reliably roll and punch big holes. Swimming would be a brutal experience, likely to include lost gear and possibly a trip to the ER in Lowville.
The waterfall in town is run down the center. If there isn't enough water to run the center of the town drop then the run is lower runnable or unrunnable.
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
Tug Hill - Old Forge Area Reaches
Beaver (1. Moshier) Beaver (2. Eagle) Beaver (3. Taylorville)
Black (1.) Black (2.) Black (3.)
Black (4.) Black (5.) Black, S. Branch
Cincinnati Creek Crystal Creek Deer River (Section 1)
Deer River (Section 2) Fish Creek, E. Branch Independence River (1. Upper)
Independence River (2. Main) Indian (S.Br. Moose trib.) Little Black Creek
Little Woodhull Creek Mad River Mill Creek
Mohawk (1.) Moose (1. Middle) Moose (2. Lower)
Moose (3. Bottom) Moose, Middle Branch Moose, S. Branch (1.)
Moose, S. Branch (2.) Negro Brook Otter Creek
Roaring Brook (Brokeback Gorge) West Canada Creek (1.) West Canada Creek (2. Ohio Gorge)
West Canada Creek, S. Branch Woodhull Creek (Upper) Woodhull Creek (Middle)
Woodhull Creek (Miracle Mile)
Google Map of New York Whitewater
New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group
Before you put in, scout the crux rapid from the highway bridge. I would call it solid Class 5, not 4-5, but it has been a while since I was there. Also scout the final waterfall just downstream of the final (State St?) bridge before putting in. You may have to climb up on a wall to see it. It's a double-boof to the right. Once you put in, there's not much point in trying to stop. I remember running an enormous (30-50 feet?) slide without scouting, because stopping was impossible. Fortunately, it was wide and clean. A great, if brief, run!
ran it on 10-18-10... totally clean of wood, which of course can change. great run though
I have painted a line at the Gordan Road put in bridge. At minimum flows, a white line is visible at water level on the downstream river right corner of the bridge. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or for a visual.
team mm ran the falls in town last week.. if u run it left ur getting flipped into the wall..nicest line was center of first boof ledge, then work ur way center left.. if u dont there is a ledge that sticks out about 2 feet. and it will catch ur stern,, have fun
!!! WARNING !!!! The tributary to the south coming down off of tug hill and coming into the main flow after the big drop by the cemetery now has THREE SEPARATE STRANDS of barbed wire crossing it. The first is approximately 15 feet past the second bridge. Another 40-60 past that is the second strand. The third strand is where the 'original' strand (listed below) is: ~50 feet past the old steel bridge (past 2nd bridge). All are roughly at head height at medium flow levels. Be careful so they don't catch you by surprise. Questions, call: 315-767-1628. MH
!!WARNING!! The tributary to the south coming down off of tug hill and coming into the main flow after the big drop by the cemetery has barbed wire strung across it. It is located just after the 2nd bridge. There is an old steel bridge just past the 2nd road bridge and it is ~50 feet past that and 2' above the water at medium to high flow. It can still be run, but caution is required. Call me for more info.
Visual from the State Street Bridge. On river right there is a painted gauge. 7.5 is the bare minimum. High water is marked on the gauge. 8-9ft is reccomended as a first time level if none of the party have run the Mill before.
This page is linked to the Independence River; but Fish Creek, Sandy near Adams, and N. Br. Sandy should all be rising or high for this to be running. Mill Creek does not hold water for long. Plan to run Mill Creek first and have another run to catch after, or if Mill is too low.
Permits are not required for this reach.
The put-in is the second bridge on Gordon Rd off Rt 12 in West Lowville (head out of town towards the huge windmills). You can park anywere near the bridge. The takeout is in Lowville. There are several bridges in town and you can take out at any of the bridges as long as you can find a place to park. We asked some friendly people and they more or less let us take out in there backyard.
Mill Creek Visual Gauge
Fun on Mill Creek
Ron finishing the slide
Ron on the slide
Mill Creek Slide
The Put In
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!