Next to the Hudson, the Raquette River is the second longest river in New York State. The river offers an incredible range of paddling opportunities from long distance tripping on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail (Raquette Lake, NY to Port Kent ME) www.northernforestcanoetrail.org. The Adirondack Canoe Classic, is an annual 90-mile race from Old Forge to Saranac Lake that invites competitive and recreational paddlers to test their skill and endurance has taken place on the Raquette every September since 1983. For more information visit: www.saranaclake.com.
Canoe and kayak launch sites are widely available along the Raquette River at most town and village parks and recreation areas. From Piercefield to Raymondville, the Raquette has been impounded to generate renewable hydro-electric power. The power projects operated by Brookfield Renewable Energy, the Village of Potsdam and Boralex-Sissonville create reservoirs that provide unparalleled recreational opportunities including power boating, paddling, fishing and swimming.
Between Piercefield and Potsdam, the Raquette River drops over 1,000 feet in elevation. This elevation drop is most significant between the hamlets of Colton and Hannawa Falls. This drop creates one of the East Coast’s top whitewater paddling experiences as the river drops nearly 200 feet. A video produced by “Canoe and Kayak” can be viewed at: www.canoekayak.com.
Popular canoe/kayak routes include:
- Long Lake to Tupper Lake which includes portions of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and the 90-Miler.
- The Raquette River Reservoirs, including Piercefield Flow, Carry Falls, Stark, Blake, Five Falls, South Colton, Higley, Colton, Hannawa Falls, Sugar Island and the “Log Driver’s Trail” from Potsdam to Akwesasne, including reservoirs in Hewittville, Unionville,and Norwood Lake.
Many of these water bodies are served by state or municipal canoe/kayak launch sites or Brookfield Renewable Energy.
A link to the Department of Environmental Conservation’s website on fishing and canoeing on the Raquette River north of Piercefield can be viewed at: www.dec.ny.gov.
Photos of flat water, white water and racers
Canoe camping is also a popular activity all along the Raquette River; consult the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Guide to “North Flow Rivers” or the Department of Environmental Conservation’s website.