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Old 10-29-2019, 04:07 PM   #1
Fly Rodder
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Just for Future Reference

Despite what some maps may show as a navigable route, they may really not be navigable. For example, I would not try kayaking the West Branch of the Sacandaga from Shaker Place to Wells without some serious experience and planning.

Always double check before embarking on a trip and be sure to bring safety gear like life jackets, GPS, maps, and compasses.
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:55 PM   #2
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Just curious which maps show that stretch of the West Branch navigable?
The USGS topo clearly shows “rapids” and the cluster of steep slopes within the West Branch Gorge before calmer water again at Big Eddy...

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Old 10-30-2019, 09:41 AM   #3
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I'm not sure what map the guys who tried this were looking at, but I'm pretty sure Eastern New York All-Outdoors Atlas & Field Guide shows it (as well as Dugway and Jimmy Creek) as a canoe route.

I'll have to double check when I get home and I'll post a pic.
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Old 10-30-2019, 10:31 AM   #4
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No doubt much more difficult carrying a canoe or kayak but I’ve done this bushwhack route a couple times... Other than the steep climb to get out of the gorge the woods are mostly pretty open...



There are some pretty impressive waterfalls in that gorge! I couldn’t imagine what would happen if someone tried to run them!
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Old 10-30-2019, 02:38 PM   #5
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Old 10-30-2019, 02:49 PM   #6
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That All Outdoors Atlas... is chock full of errors. I asked for a refund b/c of it. Terrible product.
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Old 10-30-2019, 03:18 PM   #7
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How high are those falls?
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Old 10-30-2019, 03:32 PM   #8
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The biggest one has got to be about a 15-foot drop into steep rapids with boulders.

I found the thwart from an aluminum canoe on the bottom of the river at Big Eddy. It's been lying where I left it on the little beach by Cold Brook for the past couple of years. Gives you an idea of what those falls can do.

There's a good YouTube video out there of some guys kayaking it, and portaging around that last and biggest falls.

My experience with all branches of the Sacandaga is that if the water is high enough to boat on, then many sections are terrifying and deadly to anyone but experienced whitewater paddlers.
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Old 10-30-2019, 03:38 PM   #9
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Speaking of youtube videos... here’s one I made of a day-hike to the West Branch Gorge a few years ago which shows the upper most falls...https://youtu.be/eG_TVLU5klw
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Old 10-30-2019, 03:51 PM   #10
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Speaking of youtube videos... here’s one I made of a day-hike to the West Branch Gorge a few years ago which shows the upper most falls...https://youtu.be/eG_TVLU5klw
I figured the best resource on the area needed no mention
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Old 10-30-2019, 04:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by SacandagaSchout View Post
There's a good YouTube video out there of some guys kayaking it, and portaging around that last and biggest falls.
Is this it?
https://youtu.be/2Tr1q4xCh4U
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Old 10-30-2019, 04:44 PM   #12
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Yup that's the one
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Old 10-30-2019, 06:42 PM   #13
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Thanks for the info and the links.
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Old 10-30-2019, 08:57 PM   #14
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Yeah, this is bad idea. They should change this.

As for the story, our hunting party found a couple of guys on the placid trail trying to figure out which way to go. They had no map, no compass and a couple of paddles. They had let their kayaks go downstream after giving up on dragging them through the woods.


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Old 10-30-2019, 10:24 PM   #15
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I was in the area last weekend and heard the story, was not sure if it had happened on the weekend of the 24/27 Oct
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:04 PM   #16
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That All Outdoors Atlas... is chock full of errors. I asked for a refund b/c of it. Terrible product.
I took a quick look through it the first time I saw it in a gas station. Immediately put it back on the shelf and have given zero consideration towards ever purchasing a copy since. It's horrendously inaccurate, and if I were in any way involved in the creation of it I would be downright embarrassed by the "finished" product.
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:04 AM   #17
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Yeah, this is bad idea. They should change this.

As for the story, our hunting party found a couple of guys on the placid trail trying to figure out which way to go. They had no map, no compass and a couple of paddles. They had let their kayaks go downstream after giving up on dragging them through the woods.


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Jeezum Crow! There are too many people in the woods that have no business being there!
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