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Difficulty III-IV(V+)
Length 9.2 Miles
Flow Range 4.00 - 8.00 FT
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 2.2 [FT] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 02/16/2018 4:21 pm

River Description

This section of Canadaway has at least 3 waterfalls on it, two of which are Class V's.  I got this information from Google Earth and also from the videos linked below where you can see Arkwright and Laona being run.  
The Canoeing Guide to Western Pennsylvania and Northern West Virginia also has information about this reach.  The book says you need ropes for the Arkwright Falls portage.  I will update this reach once I get to run it by November 2008 when lake effect rain will make it available frequently.  This run is at the top of my list for this Fall.  It contains some the most intense whitewater in the region (only Little Chautauqua may be tougher.)  I speculate that the Catteraugus gauge must need to be 4 ft or higher.  You may be able to run it at lower Catt readings if the Catt is very low water before it rains (the Catt takes huge amounts of rain to bring it up where as Canadaway quickly rises and falls in it's narrow gorge.)  If anyone has information, pictures, or videos of Canadaway Creek please post them or leave a comment!
The put in is probably Bard Road.  This seems to be the closest access to the gorge.  Take out anywhere on Porter Road after Laona Falls.
NOTE:  The area surrounding Arkwright Falls is private property.  Please respect the landowners and get their written permission before embarking on this one.  Again, Arkwright is very dangerous and a kid almost died there this past spring, breaking his jaw in two places.  Use good judgement.


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 

Twentymile Creek


Google Map of New York Whitewater

New York Whitewater Paddlers Facebook Group


Rapid Descriptions

Bard Road

Class - Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

I'm guessing this is probably the closest access to the top of the gorge?

Arkwright Falls

Class - 5.1 Mile - 3.35
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

This is a nasty one!  From looking at it on youtube, this eroded out V shaped falls seems to be a Class V+.  I think I would portage this one if I were you!  The falls appears to be maybe 15 to 20 or so?

Shumla Falls

Class - IV Mile - 5.94
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

I have located Shumla Falls on Google Earth.  According to the elevation tools, it appears to be about 9 feet.  That's about all I know for sure right now.

Laona Falls

Class - 5.0 Mile - 9.14
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

This looks to be a Class V based on the youtube video.  It looks like a lot of fun.  There may be a few drops strarting at the bridge based on Google Earth.


Class - Mile - 9.2
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

There should be a place to take out just below the falls.  Route 60 parallels this part of the creek.  Look for pull offs just below the falls.  The creek seems to flatten out at this point, but there seems to be some nice ledges down in Freedonia just above I-90.  I will likely add a milder surf section reach at a later time as I get more information.


Gage Descriptions

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Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports



article main photo

Moose River Video

Mark Singleton

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.


Alex Barham


Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1206611 06/08/16 Alex Barham Added local info
1208926 02/16/18 Alex Barham updated
1194870 09/22/08 n/a n/a
1205711 12/28/15 Alex Barham