Section 4 of the Middle Branch of the Oswegatchie is often referred to as the Sluice Falls Section. This section is pool drop with both large drops and large pools. When running Section 4 it seems as though you are either rambling down some easy moving water or staring down a large and difficult drop. The scenery in this section is very nice but it is in prime hunting areas so be aware of the hunters. This section feels very remote until the flatwater at the end. You also do not cross any roads while running this section. Section 4 can be combined with Section 3 as the put-in for section 4 is the take-out for section 3. Section 4 can be run at lower water levels than the other sections (or so I am told). With the exception of Sluice Falls all of the drops in this section are easily portaged (Sluice Falls is slightly more difficult to portage but not really that hard either).
The put-in is where Bryant Bridge Road crosses the river (there is a bridge) and the take-out is on Jerden Falls Rd near Middle Branch Corners. This is a very easy shuttle (10 minutes or so) and close to the town of Harrisville (food and gas).
If anyone knows of different names for these rapids (I have never heard of the names) please let me know and I will adjust them on the AW website.
There are several good runs in the area including: Middle Branch of the Oswegatchie Section 4, Middle Branch of the Oswegatchie Section 3, West Branch of the Oswegatchie, South Branch of the Grass, Brown's Bridge Section of the East Branch of the Oswegatchie, and several others.
Governour - Cranberry Lake Area Reaches:
Black Creek Boland Creek
Indian (Oswegatchi Tributary) Island Branch
Jenny Creek Little
Oswegatchi (Owbow to Elmdale) Oswegatchi East Branch Sect. 1
Oswegatchi East Branch Sect. 2 Oswegatchi East Branch Sect. 3
Oswegatchi East Branch Sect. 4 Oswegatchi Middle Branch Sect. 1
Oswegatchi Middle Branch Sect. 2 Oswegatchi Middle Branch Sect. 4 (Sluice Falls)
Oswegatchi West Branch (Bisha to Jerden) Oswegatchi West Branch (Fullerville to Oswegatchi)
Google Map of New York Whitewater
New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group
Trash Can Falls is the first major drop you come to on Section 4 and you will recognize it as the first horizon line you come to. The main line (right side of the island) has some pin potential. Scout right or from the island.
If you would like to stay out of the Trash Can you can run "Take out the Trash" which is left of the island. You will find a near vertical slide that is fairly smooth (at least @ 1200 cfs) with a bumpy runout. Scout from the island.
Named for obvious reasons. You will see cables from an old bridge above the river. Fun boof in the middle but there are several lines.
The river narrows and drops quickly into a big hole. There is a nasty recirculating eddy on river left and a wall on river right. Scout from river right. This rapid is named in honor of a friend who left part of his tooth in this rapid. The "Tooth Ferry" took the tooth but I don't think my friend found a quarter under his pillow!
A low angle slide on a rock into a hole. Work left or right around the hole.
When you see a big horizon line you know you have reached Panther Falls (aka "The Juice"). This is a big 40-45ft slide/falls drop. There is a shelf/ledge thing about 3/4 of the way down. Scout and/or carry on the left.
Video link to Panther Falls: Video!
Really cool mini-gorge like rapid. The river takes a 90 degree turn to the left and significantly narrows. The river looses some vertical fairly quickly through this rapid in the form of several drops including 2 fairly large drops. It also takes another 90 degree turn to the right and one more turn to the left. Very impressive rapid. Definitely scout and/or carry right.
This is the last rapid on the river. Run left of the island and it is fairly easy boof over a hole. The hole looks fairly harmless but if you end up in the hole it can be bad. I saw a swimmer recirculated in the hole 4 times before we could rope him out.
FYI shortly after the Sluice Falls rapid there is about 4 miles of FLAT water
befor the Jerden Falls Rd take out, just thought ide let u know
Heads up: There is wood in the entrance to the Sluice falls section, right at the top of the rapid, at the first drop against the right wall. The wood/tree is in a bad spot and would cause major issues if a boat and boater got in there. On 11/3/2009 instead of running the rapid top to bottom, we seal launched into Sluice from river left after the first 20 feet of the rapid. Great rapid though, be ready to go deep!
River right of Tooth Ferry is a nasty recirculating eddy that has a rock just below water level that you can't see (but trust me it's there). It is tough to see where you may end up from above so I would recommend walking to the bottom and taking a peek before firing this one up. (Unless you need the money like I did!)
The gauge is actually on the West Branch of the Oswegatchie in Harrisville so the gauge should be used only as a guide.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Running "the Juice"
Cable Rapid Boof
Looking down Panther Falls
Sneak the Trash
Trash Can Falls
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