Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Moose River Convergence with Black River, part one

Well, I'm a bit behind on my blogging this week.  But, I didn't have a trip to blog about because the weather was downright nasty last weekend.  High winds, rain, even snow... not what this kayaker wants to see, especially on the weekends.  Anyway, we were able to get a quick paddle in mid-week of last week before the weather took its turn for the worst. It was a gorgeous afternoon:

We went on a short paddle here but this trip can be extended up the Black River toward Port Leyden.  (Also, below the falls at Lyons Falls begins a flat water paddle that is over 30 miles-- all the way to the dam at Carthage.)

The put in at Lyons Falls where the Moose and Black Rivers meet is exactly the type of put in we prefer:  sandy with a gradual entrance into the water.  Please note that this is an area that I would not recommend in the early spring with run-off or after a very heavy rain.  I might give you a scare in a minute with a photo of this area during flood stage.  But, this time of year and especially in the summer, its a nice place to paddle.  One more word of "caution"-- this is NOT our favorite type of paddle.  It is hemmed in by roads on each side, bridges, and houses, so it is not as peaceful and serene as our favorite places to paddle.  That being said, you'll see by some of the photos, that the wooded areas along the river are still pretty to look at.

Here are two shots of the put in at Lyons Falls.  The DEC website shows boat launches for the Black River, but this one is not listed.  I'm guessing that's because it is not maintained by the DEC.  Here is the link if you're looking for boat launches on the Black River north (downstream) of Lyons Falls:

We headed right from the put in, which is the Moose River.  Heading left would have kept us on the Black River (and almost straight ahead is a huge waterfall/dam, so don't go that way!)  Going left on the Black,upstream, you can paddle about 3 or 4 miles until you reach another dam in Port Leyden.  We chose to paddle up the Moose since we didn't have a lot of time.  It's less than 2 miles upstream before you reach rocks and/or swift water from the dam.

And here is a photo of what the Black River looks like in the spring during the rains and heavy snowmelt.  This is a now abandoned paper mill, with water going over the falls/dam.  This photo was taken about a football field length from the put in area (and from a different direction.)

Here are a couple photos of the river bank on the southern side:

We heard blue jays as we paddled and later saw some type of hawk above us.  The photo is very far away, but shows his shape.  We think he is a Cooper's hawk, based on what we saw of him as he flew over us.  Naturally, I did not have the camera on him when he was the closest to us!  (Happens to me all the time.)

We paddled to a shallow area on the south side of the river and explored for a few minutes.

Remember in my post about Francis Lake, I mentioned we saw a spotted sandpiper but had never seen one before?  They are a stream/lakeside waterbird, so once we knew this, I was sure we had the right bird.  It just seemed odd that we never noticed the bird before.  Well, it must be a "good year" for spotted sandpipers because we saw another in a shallow, sheltered area of the Moose River on this trip.  I took his photo, but he's hard to see and was too far away.  These little guys are slender and they are about half the size of a robin.

Up near the end of our short paddle upstream, there is a creek on the southern side.  It is narrow and shallow, but I was able to navigate about 30 feet of it before a downed tree barred my way.

Here is a shot looking back out at the river from the creek:

I'll finish up the description of this short trip next time, and leave you with one of my favorite photos from our paddle that day:

Happy kayaking!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds nice, that picture of the falls brings back scary memories though!