Canoeing and Kayaking in St. Lawrence County
At one time the small rivers of the North Country were the focus of commerce. Today, the rivers are quiet; the surviving mills are no longer the center of activity. Few if any other areas can offer so many rivers with such easy and numerous access points. There are more than 200 rivers, ponds and lakes in St. Lawrence County and also part of the Adirondack Park, which boats more than 3,000.
As the rivers finish their rush out of the mountains they begin but never fully settle down. Waterfalls and low water rapids are numerous along all the rivers and dams often block the way. Motorboats play in the longer sections of river but most rivers see light if any traffic.
You hardly need a guide to canoe in the area. Every stretch of river is worth exploring and usually has easy access. A few points to get you started:
Lower Oswegatchie River. Starting near Gouverneur and flowing 65 miles to Ogdensburg this section of the Oswegatchie is a gentle section. The river is wide and slow-moving here as it passes through rolling hills, rock ledges, marshes, and pasture land. There are scenic cliffs along the shore near Oxbow. There are carries at the dams and most of the rapids can be portaged or run by experience paddlers. There are various access points along the route to create varying trip lengths.
South Branch Grasse River
Raquette River, Potsdam
Competitive and Recreational Races