Black River Whitewater

River Levels

Recorded level gauges: Call an outfitter to find the current level.
On-line level gauges: Black River at Watertown, NY (put-in).


The whitewater section of the Black is located in central upstate NY, about 7 hours from NYC and 5 hours from Philadelphia.
Click for an overview map, or a detailed map.

Water Levels

The river is runnable all summer and is usually too high in the early spring. 1500 to 4000 cfs is usually the runnable range.

River Description

The put-in is in downtown Watertown, and the take-out is just before Lake Ontario. After you get out of town the scenery is acceptable, but the water quality is questionable (the rapid called poop chute gives you a clue). The river is a class IV in sections. There is a waterfall half way down which is de-watered by a new power station. There is an arrangement with the operators of the station to bring up the water providing a short window when the falls are runnable.

Good description by Chris Koll at GORP

This information is my opinion only
and may not reflect actual conditions.
It is based on my usually hazy memory,
and should not be used to decide whether
you or your guides are qualified to run the river.
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rafting page put-in.