South Branch Eighteenmile Creek, NY
12/16/02 Craig Mavis
The entire South Branch and Eighteenmile creek in itself can be run when snowmelt or heavy rains come up, but the best section and the most scenic for whitewater kayaking is a select portion of the South Branch as described below. The Run - After you put in on New Oregon Rd., you paddle a few oxbow bends and then go down a 12' slide type falls located on a 90-deg bend. You now enter the "Gorge Section" for some fun on twister-type waves. After another 1/2 mile, you encounter the remains of a concrete low-head dam next to a ranch house overlooking the creek. Look for strainers on this and run the chute that is most open. (Can be scouted on your shuttle from the road). Continuing along, you will encounter several 6-9' slides and a larger 25' slide prior to coming to "Clarksburg Falls." Scout Clarksburg Falls on your shuttle, as it is located at the intersection of Clarksburg Rd. and New Oregon. Clarksburg is about a 16' drop you run 5' off the left shore. Do not run river right! Watch for the Toilet Bowl on far river right after your landing.
Several more 5-7' drops (Dave's Hole) and slides are encountered prior to getting to the last big drop, Kromer's Falls. Kromer's can be scouted on the right bank by walking along the edge up to the brink. It should be run about 10' off the right bank under the grapevines. Kromer's consists of a 6' initial drop, followed by a long slide that tends to push you to the center and then a big 16-20' drop. Make sure to surf the bottom of the falls as this is the best surf wave on the river. Proceed another 300 yards and take out on river right at the bridge and hike up the right bank. The total time for the run is about 1 1/2 hours including shuttle unless you spend a lot of time scouting.
Levels are sometimes posted on www.zoarvalley.com.
Jaybird posted, on the FLOW Massage Board:
So after the monsoon on Sunday me and my buddy Max fired up 18 Mile Creek, which is about 30 minutes south of Buffalo. Not sure what to expect, we drove down a super steep hill into the bottom of the drainage and were happy to find an awesome 20' sliding falls. We put on about a mile upstream of the falls (known as Clarksburg Falls.) The run started with some class I-II boogie until the first horizon which was about a ten foot falls, runnable from any angle. Next up was an awesome 50-foot slide that you boofed onto and then out of over an eight-foot pourover. A bunch of boogie lead up to Clarksburg Falls, the highlight of the run. Like I said it was about 20 feet tall. The line was straight down the middle, over a roll in, onto a slate plate, and then off the last ledge--super fun. The creek now widened up and led over a 7-foot ledge that was pretty scrapy but boofable on the left as this level. A couple small slides, and the world's smallest surf wave and we got to the car, which some friendly locals had offered to shuttle for us. All in all, if the water in this 2.5-mile length of creek is very fun. The water held pretty well from the rain; the gauge correlation was 3,000 cfs on the Cazenovia creek site.
August creeking? Near Buffalo? You bet your boots!
Western New York Area Reaches
Beaver Meadow Creek Canadaway Creek (1.) Canadaway Creek (2.)
Canaseraga Creek Cattaraugus Creek Cattaraugus Creek, S. Branch
Cazenovia Creek, W. Branch (1.) Cazenovia Creek, W. Branch (2.) Chautauqua Creek
Clear Creek, N. Br. Conesus Creek Eighteenmile Creek
Eighteenmile Creek, S. Br. Ellicott Creek Genesee (Letchworth)
Honeoye Creek Keshequa Creek Little Chautauqua Creek
Murder Creek Niagara Oak Orchard Creek
Oatka Creek Rushford Lake Outlet Sugar Creek
Google Map of New York Whitewater
New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group
Scout Clarksburg Falls on your shuttle, as it is located at the intersection of Clarksburg Rd. and New Oregon. Clarksburg is about a 16' drop you run 5' off the left shore. Do not run river right! Watch for the Toilet Bowl on far river right after your landing. 42.619434,-78.831239
Kromer's can be scouted on the right bank by walking along the edge up to the brink. It should be run about 10' off the right bank under the grapevines. Kromer's consists of a 6' initial drop, followed by a long slide that tends to push you to the center and then a big 16-20' drop. Make sure to surf the bottom of the falls as this is the best surf wave on the river.
The put-in shown on the map tab is incorrectly placed. It should be a bit farther upstream, where New Oregon meets Belcher (where Jaybird and I put in), Boston or Langford Rd. As we put in by Belcher I don't know about Boston or Langford rd putins, but there is some good action upstream of the put-in shown on the map tab here (including Clarksburg falls and a number of other good drops). - Max
Gauge - There is a visual gauge on the left concrete wing of the first bridge upstream from the Rte. 75 bridge. 18" is considered a minimum level. 20-22" is a typical nice run. Any level over 22" just gets better.
Permits are not required for this reach.
The South Branch run follows New Oregon Road in the Towns of North Collins and Eden for most of its journey.
The put-in is 1.3 miles north on New Oregon Rd from the intersection of Langford Road (Rt 249) and New Oregon Rd. (Uncle Franks Bar on the corner of the intersection). 1.3 miles up is where the creek does a big Oxbow and comes close to the road.
To go to the takeout, proceed North on New Oregon Rd till it hits Sisson Highway (Rte. 75). Turn right on Sisson and go a mile or so and turn left on East Church Rd. Go over the bridge and park on the far side of the creek. The creek has been run further upstream in past years, however now there are a lot of strainers and large trees down to prevent this now.
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Paddlers on the Lehigh River below the Francis E. Walter Dam and Reservoir are concerned that a planned study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its partners, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection will lead to a reduction in whitewater boating opportunities on the Lehigh. The study will evaluate the feasibility of various alternatives to optimize project operation. Aside from the project's authorized primary missions of flood risk management and recreation, the study will also consider water supply and water quality, to identify possible improvements to the existing structure, infrastructure, and operations that will support current and future demands within the region. The Army Corps is holding a public meeting on January 9, 2020 at the Mountain Laurel Resort in White Haven, PA from 6-8 p.m. to explain the study and hear public comments. American Whitewater, Appalachian Mountain Club, and other organizations are expected to file comments with the Army Corps prior to the September 29th deadline in order to share our concerns about the study and potential impacts on boating, the outdoor recreation economy, and the Delaware RIver Basin. We encourage our members to attend the public meeting to voice their concerns.
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