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Oswegatchie River - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Extended Trip Report
Trip Dates: July 2002
Nearest City: Tupper Lake, NY
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Submitted by: Richard Koch

Description:

Living on the banks of the Oswegatchie River I have often paddled short sections of the river, but this year I decided to run the full river in one continous trip. The East Branch of the Oswegatchie, also known as the Main Branch, rises in Hamilton County at a remote little sheet of water known as Partlow Mill Pond. From here it runs a 130-mile course mostly through St. Lawrence County before emptying into the Saint Lawrence River at Ogdensburg. Its upper reaches are as remote and wild as any in New York State, and are a well-known wilderness canoe route.

Many people put in at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation [DEC] parking lot at Inlet, near Star Lake, and make the 20 mile paddle up river to reach the headwaters. I chose instead to make the portage from Lows Lake into the headwater area, about an 18 mile trip in itself.

On Friday, June 21, 2002 I put in at the Lower Dam on Bog River, leaving my car in the DEC parking lot at the end of NYS Route 421, near Tupper Lake. I carried all my camping equipment plus about 5 days worth of food in three dry bags. I signed the Trip Register located there and picked up a DEC pamphlet entitled "Bog River Flow" which showed on a map all the camp sites available on Bog River and Lows Lake.

The flat water paddling upstream initially took me past rocky banks covered in old growth pine forest. After a bit the water widened into a shallow flow with edges matted in green reeds and water plants. It continued on beneath a low trestle that once carried trains up from Utica, and then it proceeded through Hitchins Pond to the Upper Dam. Here I had to portage a few hundred yards along an old truck road. Here also are the stone foundations of a building erected by Augustus Low, early owner of this vast tract of land, and the builder of the two dams which are now maintained by NYS to regulate the water levels.

Above the second dam the Bog River is situated between hard wood covered ridges. In a mile or two one comes across an unusual floating vegetation mat that plugs a narrow gap in the river. Pitcher plants and sundews are among the exotic bog vegetation I saw. I passed easily on the right side where canoe traffic has kept open a narrow channel. After this the river open out and one begans to pass through private lands on both shores, as well as some islands belonging to the Boy Scout camp nearby. These are clearly posted as are a couple of open public campsites.

Beyond the islands lays Lows Lake, a large body of water with hills to the north and west, and low boggy lands to the south. Most campsites are located on the north shore in a mixed hardwood forest, many with nice sandy beaches. Although I noticed bear tracks on the beach near my site, I was not bothered. What did bother me though was preparing for supper and finding out I'd left my matches at home. With a 10 day trip ahead of me I faced some hungry times.

Day 2: Early the next day I continued westerly down Lows Lake. I passed another camp, and the folks there were kind enough to give me a lighter. What distressed me was looking down in the clear water and seeing a string of dead fish and discarded fish heads and guts laying on the sandy bottom of the lake next to their camp. Also empty beer bottles bobbed against the shore or lay discarded in the underbrush. They said they came in by float plane, and although I'm sure not all fly in campers are so callous about the environment, I'd bet that if they had to paddle 15 miles to get there they would have a different attitude.

Another hour or so brought me to the end of Lows Lake and the carry trail to the Oswegatchie headwaters. A check of the DEC register there told me only one other person had crossed in the past week. The carry itself is 3.5 miles with a pond part way through it. However since I do a double carry, first the kayak for awhile and then return for the pack, it quickly becomes a 10.5 mile portage. The previous year I'd struggled across with a portage wheel set attatched to the kayak, but the trail twists and turns so to avoid blowdown that this year I simply brought a yoke to carry the boat. About half through the carry trail someone has placed a mailbox on a log. In checking the informal register inside I noticed my June 2001 entry on the previous page. Only about 10 parties had signed in as they passed through in the past year. Although the bugs were bad [deer fly, mosquitoes, black fly, no-see-ums, horse fly] were voracious, but my full body bug suit made it bareable. The only problem was the yoke pads rubbed the fine netting into my bare shoulders and created a open sore. I wouldn't need the yoke for a few days so antibiotic ointment and bandages would take care of that, I hoped.

I completed the crossing and established camp on the Oswegatchie in 8 hours. I located a cold spring hole on the river bank near where the trail meets the water. After cleaning it out I used my kayak pump to fill my water bucket with cold water, about 53 degrees. It was great on this hot muggy afternoon. dinner that night, thanks to the lighter I'd scrounged, was noodles romanoff and a cup of red wine. Delicious!

Day 3: I began ascending the river, headed as far upstream as possible towards the source of the Oswegatchie. Partlow Millpond itself is a remnant of the logging days of the late 1800's when the huge White Pines were cut for market. Partlow was a logger, and near High Falls is a mountain also bearing his name. Using my GPS and compass, as well as topographic maps, I followed the narrowing channel a few miles upstream. It became increasingly difficult the further upriver I went as the alder thickets and narrow banks closed in on the channel, at times leaving only a few feet on either side of the boat. Beaver flows and dams further blocked and complicated the route finding, masking the main channel and the flow of current which normally would indicate the route.

I believe I got to about a half-mile north of the milldam before the channel petered out in some alder thickets. My GPS read N 44 degrees, 01.954' by HO 74 degrees, 51.484', with an elevation of 1782 feet. I climbed a steep pine ridge on my right, but decided not to forage upriver on foot because I was by myself and I doubted anyone would ever find me if an accident happened. I snapped a couple of pictures and turned downriver and headed for the Saint Lawrence River, about 130 miles away.

Once I passed the point where the Lows Lake carry trail hit the river I began to again encounter the devistation along both banks from the '95 windstorm which left the woods looking like the aftermath of a WWI artillery duel. Although in the past years young trees have sprung up to fill the gaps, huge trees still lay jack-strawed across the hillsides. A few mature white pines stand here and there, giving the terrain a ragged look. In places downed trees lay across the river itself like bridges, forcing the paddler to duck to get under.

High Falls, the dominant physical feature of the upper Oswegatchie, has a 15' drop. A mandatory carry along a 150-yard path brought me to the pool below the falls. I met the only two people I'd seen on the upper Oswegatchie here. One Canadian as he carried his kayak around the falls. The other person from Syracuse was camped neary, and walked over for a short visit and to see if I had any cigarettes, but I was a non-smoker and a poor conversationalist. He said he'd been "upriver" for nearly month and was soon going to have to go out for supplies. I headed downriver about 3 p.m. From here on down I'd see no more beaver dams, for the river had too much volume and width, about 30 feet.

I camped that night above Round Hill Rapids, next to the footbridge leading into the Five-Ponds Wilderness area. This section was untouched by the '95 windstorm, and magnificant virgin white pine tower over the river. I had just finished cleaning up after supper when a powerful thunderstorm blasted through the area. There was no counting the seconds between those flashes and cracking booms; they were right on top of each other. About 20 years ago I'd spent a similiar night in a tent just across the river with my wife and two young children, huddled together in our tent and telling stories to keep them distracted from the violent storm around us.

Day 4: Today I paddled on down the river passing some sections which were devistated with blowdown and other sections still pristine. The few named rapids down to Inlet are class two or less, and present no problem. But below Inlet there is a mile and a half of rapids. Most of this is easy class II, but one drop is rated class IV. This I lined. With a load of camping gear [maybe 40 lbs], and myself at 200+, my open cockpit kayak rides a little low for technical white water, so I lined some sections that looked risky. Besides I was doing this solo, and it pays to be prudent when alone. Below this more difficult section the river widens out and becomes a class II, mostly a route finding problem of shallow water. I frequently had to get out and float the boat to a deeper channel. A trail lays along the left bank if one should need to carry this section. In a mile or so one comes out into deep flat water at the village of Wanakena, a former lumber town, where a general store could supply provisions. I had now left the wilderness section of my trip. The next few miles was flat water paddling down the narrow arm at Wanakena, past the NYS Ranger School, and out onto Cranberry Lake. I camped that evening on a peninsula on Joe Indian Island.

Day 5: I skirted the shore of this large lake where winds can quickly build to white caps. But today it remained calm. Near the foot of the lake, about 9 a.m. I took out at the DEC boat launch near the dam. A few days before I had cashed my portage wheels in the woods nearby, and I retrieved them and attatched them to the boat. I now wheeled up the paved access road to an abandoned roadway on the right which led back down to the river below the dam, about 3/4 of mile. Here I reentered the river without having to unpack and reload the kayak. The two easy riffles below a pedestrian bridge brought me to a rapid just under and below the Route 3 highway bridge which required a little more attention. Below this was a beautiful flatwater stretch, broken only by a couple of easy rapids, which carried one all the way to Newton Falls Flow about 7 miles downriver.

Route finding was a bit unobvious in the lower part of Caumont Swamp, a wide open but marshy section. I kept to the right hand shore near the Cooks Corners Road and found the narrower passage into Newton Flow. After passing under the Cooks Corners Road bridge, I crossed the open waters to the right hand bank above the dam and paper mill at Newton Falls.

Here I located a dirt road a few yards from the water which I hoped to use to portage around the mill to the second dam below the mill. Using my wheel system I hauled my boat using a webbing strap over my shoulder. The road took me to the power house at the second dam, and I was able to wheel the loaded boat right down a gentle hill to the mill race below it. A 10 rock wall forced me however to lower gear and boat down to a rock ledge at water level by rope before I could reload and launch the kayak back in the river.

I was now on the middle river section, from Newton Falls to Gouverneur. Heavily wooded, it is technically more difficult, having numerous waterfalls, rapids, and hydroelectric dams. Still relatively primitive, the river in this section drops over the next 35 miles nearly a thousand feet in elevation. In 1892 Frederic Remington ran it from Cranberry down to Gouverneur which he describes in his book "Pony Tracks". In 1983 Eileen Stegemann made a through trip from Newton Falls to Ogdensburg, as described in the July-August NYS Conservationist for 1983.

A couple of miles downriver took me out onto the Browns Falls impoundment through a section of water which is quiet and very pretty. No sign of buildings or man made structures is to be seen except for the dam itself at the foot of the lake. I pulled out on the left, and followed a rather long dirt access road about a mile or so downhill to its junction with a paved public highway. Here I turned left and followed the paved road another few hundred yards to a dirt access road on the right leading to the powerhouse at the bottom end of the penstock. I put in below the brick building and was back on the water by 5 p.m., again without having to unload the boat. The portage wheels certainly speed the process up since I can haul a fully loaded boat in one trip, easily halving the time it takes to make a double carry.

Shortly below this point the confluence with Little River is met, coming down from near Star Lake. This swells the volume of the river somewhat as one passes on into the Flat Rock Impoundment. Like most lands owned by power companies, development is limited. A solitary camp and a public boat launch ramp are the sole signs of human structures, although Route 3 which is visible on the left hill side. I found the easiest carry route was to take out on the left of the dam proper, just beyond the orange warning floats, and up a steep rocky embankment, across a open flat shoulder, and down through the forest beyond to a gaging station below the dam. I was back on the water at 6:45 p.m.

An easy rapid below the dam is easily run, but the next one is more difficult. I would hear its roar several hundred yards upstream. Broken and convoluted terrain and thick vegitation hampered a good scout of this class III rapid. However it swings left before hooking back to the right through several bolders. I ran it without getting a real good look, and took in quite a bit of water which forced me to pull out in an eddy on the right to bail. Because it was late, after 7 p.m., I decided to call it a day, and set up camp on the flat bank of the right shore.

While unposted in this section, I presume it was privately owned. However necessity forced me to stop anyway.

Day 6: I continued down the now broad and rather shallow river, looking occasionally for channels to avoid being grounded. After a few miles, I came to the long continous rapid above the village of Fine. This begins as a class II or III, sweeps left around a large bend, and then ramps down toward a old concrete bridge where the channel is constricted and it builds to a class IV before sweeping left and through some more class IV rapids into a pool below the newer Route 58 bridge. I ran the upper part but exited the river just before the class IV in an eddy pool on the left. A short carry along a power line corridor took me to a road. I was able to attatch the wheels and reload the kayak for a walk of about a half mile through Fine. I did stop at the store there to buy some Spam and NYS Extra-Sharp Chedder Cheese, in case my stove gave me any more problems. A soda and an icecream bar were consumed on the spot.

From below the Route 58 bridge, the river is wide but deep enough to not worry about grounding. About a half-mile downriver the current splits around an island, the left channel running an easy rapid, while the right channel appears to take a 2' drop over a ledge. A mile or so further on I came to my first waterfall. Jamison in his book describes this as a class IV or V rapid, but I've heard local people refer to it as a "falls". It has three channels which drops 13 feet or so into a big pool. I carried past an abandoned cabin on the left bank.

From here the river makes broad sweeps around a couple of bends before rapids begin again. This is a class II or III, and ends at a large eddy pool on the left before continuing in fast water aound a right hand bend and into a narrow gorge. This gorge of steep rock walls with no eddies continues for several hundred feet before squirting out in a 15' drop into a pool, which Jamison rates as a class V. Since I'd scouted this section a few months prior from the banks, I knew I needed to exit at the eddy pool upstream, which I did. I wheeled the boat along a jeep access road, which runs along the south shore from South Edwards to Route 3 near Fine, to a camp just below the falls. Here I put back into the river and ran the easy rapids below.

The river continues for a quarter mile before it splits around another island, the main current flowing left. In a few hundred feet it drops 20' over a set of two ledges in what Jamison refers to as a class VI rapid. A very nice sandy beach lay on the right hand shore of the pool below it. In a few hundred yards the river again plunges over a waterfall with a sheer drop of about 25', and a nice set of standing wave rapids carries the river to flat water below. I choose to make the half mile carry to below the island. The right hand channel around the island is a low volume water course that drops over several ledges and squeezes through a couple of tight flumes. Not a possible route.

A few hundred feet downriver from the base of the island is another class IV rapid with a 5' drop. I pull out on the left bank and set up my tent at an informal camp site. It has rained off and on this afternoon, and I am wet from the rapids. I set up a clothes line to try to dry out some of my equipment. A long natural rock jetty sticks out into the river for about 40' just below the rapid, and here I set up my cooking gear and pump some fresh drinking water through my PUR filter. The stove gives me just enough service to get a cup of lukewarm tomato soup. My backup meal of Spam and cheese is delicious so I don't really care. I've only come about 10 miles today, but I am exhausted anyway. The late afternoon sun illuminates the water foaming over the unnamed rapid next to my camp, and the forest here seems as remote and isolated as any I have seen. In reality Route 58 is only a couple of miles north east of here. The sad part is that a power complany plans to dam the section of the river just upstream, and all the falls I've described will be buried under a reservoir lake. I saw the survey markers when I scouted the river a month ago.

Day 7: The flat water below this camp runs out onto a reservoir impoundment just above South Edwards. A couple of miles of paddling bring me to the obvious take out point on the left shore at a gravel boat launch. I follow the rough access road a few hundred yards, past the dam itself, and then roll along on a better gravel road for about a mile past a power house and eventually to a cable gate. Here a paved public road runs straight ahead. At some point I have left the Adirondack Park proper, and am now outside the Blue Line. Following the paved road to a T junction with County Route 46, I turn right and walk down hill to the South Edwards Bridge. But just before it I turned left and followed a paved road for a few hundred yards, past a couple of houses to am abandoned dirt road on the right. Now a ATV path, it will take me to just below the Class V or VI rapid below the bridge. I was able to attatch the wheel system, make the couple of mile protage, and reenter the water without unloading the boat. It took an hour and 20 minutes.

Below South Edwards the river drops about 40 feet in the next mile, most of this is in mile long Cotton Rapids, about half a mile down river from the bridge. This begins as a class II, builds to a class III or IV, and then subsided to a class I or II, depending on water volume. I ran the upper and lower sections, and lined the short difficult portion.

The river is flat water for the next 8 miles to Edwards. A DEC access is located next to the Route 58 bridge. At Edwards the next difficult rapid is located. It begins just before the abutments of the abandoned bridge, and then sweeps left up against a rock wall before ending in a pool below. The abutments make it impossible to line here, and private land and houses make it hard to carry without intruding. I choose to take the old mill stream, which exits the river on the left side a few feet before the rapids begin. It used to power the old mill in Edwards, which burned a few years ago. It goes through a large sluce pipe under a road and then over some rocks before before entering the pool below it. There is also a slightly smaller sluice pipe under the road which is dry, and a carry could be made through it. Both pipes are over 8' tall. I choose the lazy method to line my boat through the wet one, and then lower it to the rocks below. However the water poured over the stern and filled the cockpit. I had to empty it out and pump it dry anyway, about a half-hours chore. I could have used the time later that day, a tactical error.

The Oswegatchie makes a broad loop through Edwards to the north then back south where the river cuts through a rock mountain before tumbling down into the Talcville

Flow. The rapid above Talcville is rocky, but not too difficult. The Talcville Flow is attractive, with the small village on the right shore. Just beyond the bridge is the carry path on the right shore [unmarked] of a hundred yards which will bring one to below the dam.

A couple of moderate rapids are passed before the confluence with the West Branch of the Oswegatchie is met coming down from Harrisville. About a half mile beyond this the river splits around a rather large island. The right channel is convoluted, filled with rocks and boulders, and I believe is unrunnable. The main current is the left hand one, which runs at a rather fast current without eddies before going over a low 4' header dam and then finishing in a nice set of standing rapids ending in the Emeryville Impoundment. Although I opted to carry this section, I have heard that canoes have successfully run it. The island is privately owned and permission should be obtained if one were to camp there.

It is a couple of miles to the Emeryville Dam, with a marked portage path on the left side at a boat ramp. Below the dam I had flatwater paddling for about 5 or 6 miles to the next dam above Hailesboro. A class III rapid is located about half way between. Because it was late, almost dusk by now, I lined the rapid on the left side. I didn't want to chance dumping the kayak. I wanted to get below Hailesboro if possible. A couple of more miles brought me to the dam, and I pulled out on the left hand side.

Attatching the portage wheels I hauled the loaded boat along a gravel access road for a mile out to the paved Route 58, and then along the side of the highway. There are four dams at Hailesboro, two above, and two inside the village. A hydro supervisor had warned me that most of this was not runnable, a fact confirmed by the DEC publication "Fishing and Canoeing the Oswegtchie River, Newton Falls to Ogdensburg". Since I lived just below the village, I planned on "camping" at my home tonight. A cold rain was pouring down on me as I hauled my boat behind me sown the road, using my headlamp. I had not eaten anything since lunch on the river around noon, it was now about 10 p.m. and I was exhausted when Iwalked my kayak into my driveway. The upper and middle sections of the river were completed.

Day 9: The lower river, from Gouverneur on down to Ogdensburg is a wider, milder and slower moving river. Passing through several towns and villages, pastoral lands are more frequent. It drops over the next 67 miles only 200'. Once the boundary between the Mohawks and Oneida tribes of the Iraquois confederacy it was a frequently used route for war parties traveling north to attack French settlements during the French Indian Wars.

Because it was not working I left my stove and all the cooking gear at my house, and anything else I hadn't used or didn't need. I stocked up on precooked foods like Spam, canned beef and pop-tarts which I could eat cold. I planned on using my spray skirt on the larger rapids in this next section down to Elmdale.

Clearing the dam at Gouverneur on the left, just before the Route 11 bridge, I climbed the embankment on its upstream side. The only danger here was not to be hit by a car on the four lane road over the bridge. Flat water paddling for a couple of miles below Gouverneur brought me to Natural Dam, just beyond the railroad trestle. Taking out on a rock rip-rap bank on the left, just before the dam, I was able to carry across the shoulder of land and then follow bull dozed paths down to the pool next to the rapids below the paper mill. Here I attatched the spray skirt and ran the lower rapids with its large standing waves.

It is about 5 miles to the village of Wegatchie, with a number of rapids inbetween. The first is a easy rapid next to a camp on the right shore about a mile down from the mill. Then in another couple of miles comes a set of four rapids, the third being the difficult one. Two young men were drowned trying to run this rapid in the spring of this year. It divides into three channels around two islands. I choose the left hand one, which while lower in volume was a straighter run. A moderate rapid appears at Kearney Road Bridge. About half-mile further on down the river divides around an island. The left-hand channel if artificial I believe. The main flow turns right and sweeps along a large cliff called Bulkhead. A class III, the main difficulty is keeping off the rocky cliff that the current rakes in a sweep to the left. I backpaddled to avoid hitting the rock wall.

Below this is the hamlet of Wegatchie, a tavern being the only service available there. It is now flatwater paddling for the next couple of miles to Ox Bow. A store there is a potential restocking point. Below Ox Bow the river leaves pastorial lands and cuts into steeper hills and woods again. In a few more miles of flat water paddling I passed under the old Chisholm Road Bridge, and within a few hundred feet came to the first of five rapids I would encounter on my way to Elmdale. The first is a moderate class II, and the second in another half mile which is a little more tricky. A nice sandy beach appears on the left on state land, and therefore open for camping. I stayed here, at probably the nicest primative camp spot on the trip. Because it is accessable by 4-wheeler, I spent about 10 minutes bagging up numerous empty beer cans before it was clean and attractive.

I noticed that there were no bugs below Fine. I had not had to wear by bug gear, nor use any repellant. I had portaged two dams, ran 9 rapids, and come about 15 miles from below Hailesboro. Clearing the Gouverneur dam at noon, it was now 7:30. I was ravenously hungry, and my supper of cheese-wiz and crackers, with Spam and cheese tasted just fine. The sound of the rapids roar, the late evening light radiating of the high cliff cross the pool, and the isolation of this spot gave me a long moment of tranquility.

Day 9: June 29. My left arm is aching, tingling, despite the two Aleve tablets I take morning and evening each day. I think the long paddle I put in coming from below Fine to Hailesboro, about 25 miles in 14 hours, may have caused some inflammation. Today I plan to take it easy, not pushing so hard, resting my arms and wrists. I have some sores on my legs which I treated with antibiotics. They seem to be healing. I don't dare to look at the raw sore under the bandage on my shoulder caused by the yoke pads on the long Lows Lake portage. My GPS says I've come 76.8 miles so far. The weather is very warm, I'd guess in the high 80's at mid day.

At 10:42 I run the "Long Sioux" rapid, the third one in this portion. It is a half-mile in length, probably a class III, depending on water level. I used my spray skirt and took in less than a sponge full of water in running it. The next rapid was only a II, with a nice camp located on the right shore below it. Several miles of flatwater paddling bring one past a high ridge on the left and lowerer terrain on the right shore, eventually to the route 58 bridge at Elmdale. Just beyond the old abandoned bridge, the river takes a sharp left and tumbles over a broad drop for a few feet. Best taken on the left, it is scratchy. I manage for the first time to get through it without getting hung up.

No significant rapids occur until one gets to Coopers Falls another 21 miles downriver, where I plan to camp tonight. The river is relatively undeveloped in this section. A few camps can be seen but long stretches of wooded land with an occasional pasture are encountered. At Old Dekalb a walk of a few hundred yards will get one to a small country store for provisions if needed.

I continued another mile or so to Coopers Falls, where I set up my camp on an island. I washed out my clothes and took a swim, looked at the old ruins of the foundry, then ate in my tent. Canned beef stew I believe. The nice thing about not cooking, eating cold, is you can paddle right up to dusk, set up your tent, then crawl inside and eat. More paddle time, lest time spent with the bugs outside your tent. I figure I'd come 27 miles today, running 3 rapids in the process. I have about 30 miles to go.

Day 10: Sunday, June 30th, 2002. My left arm ached again last night and I am afraid I might not be able to finish the trip. I want very much to do so since the goal is so close. If I say I've run part of the Oswegatchie, it will mean quite a bit different to someone than if I say I ran the whole thing.

I run the right hand channel around the island, but decide I could have run the falls itself, which didn't look too hard from below. There is now a long flat water paddle to Rensselear Falls. The long straight sections of river seem to take forever to paddle down, and each bend reveals another just like it. Numerous camps line both shores. It is very hot today. The small rapid above Rensselear and the falls itself, only a 24" drop off a ledge, I run with only the briefest look from upstream. Here in Rensselear village is located the Oswegatchie River House Museum, an eclectic collection owned by Kyle Hartmen, [www.northnet.org/orhmas], located on the right shore just below the falls.

It is another 7 miles to the dam at Heuvelton, where more stores are located for provisions if needed. Two moderate rapids intervene. The first at a gaging station is straightforward, the second called Remington Rapids is a little more difficult. I arrived at the second set of rapids to find swimmers below the nice tongue on the right, and was forced farther left where a standing wave waits just below a ledge. Since I didn't have my sprayskirt on I took in a bit of water, which I had to pump out as I drifted down toward Heuvelton flow. The flow itself is attractive. A DEC access point on the left bank just before the dam gives one a take-out place. A carry of a few hundred feet around the power house will put one back into the river.

From Heuvelton the river flows past pasture lands and some wooded sections for about 5.5 miles to Eel Weir State Park. The last riffle on the river is at Eel Weir as one runs under the bridge. It is another couple of miles to Eel Weir Dam, where a marked portage path on the right brought me back to the river below the dam.

It is about 5 miles down to the last dam, at Ogdensburg. The cement ramp on the right marks the carry of a few hundred yards around the old power house to the mill race below it. Another eighth mile and I spot the marina of the Ramada Inn, and beyond it the Saint Lawrence River. I paddle out to Light House Point, and I have finished my trip. It is about 6 p.m.

Directions:

From Tupper Lake head south towards Long Lake. Take NY State Route 421 westward to the marked dirt access road to Lower Dam, Bog River and the DEC parking lot.

Resources:

"Adirondack Canoe Waters, North Flow", by Paul F. Jamison's, ADK Mountain Club publication.

DEC Pamphlet; "Fishing and Canoeing the Oswegatcie River, Newton Falls to Ogdensburg", FW P227 (3/96) 22a.

DEC pamphlet; "Bog River Flow, Adirondack Forest Preserve Map and Guide", (1/00).

USGS Topograpical maps: Newton Falls, Oswegatchie, South Edwards, Gouverneur, Natural Dam, Muskellunge Lake, Richville, Bigelo, Rensselaer Falls, Heuvelton, and Ogdensburg East.

Web sites; WWW.stlawrencecounty.org/luvsADK/page6.html, and www.northcountryguide.com/activities/canoeing.html.


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