SACANDAGA RIVER whitewater paddling

June 22, 2014 - SACANDAGA RIVER from Wells to Hope. Class II whitewater. Hope gage at 2.88' - hit many rocks, some really nice fun sections but one probably does not want to do this at lower levels. River L has some light development, river R mostly wild. Stopped for lunch at the Sacandaga State Campground. The 2 kayaks in our group ran the dam at the campground with some bumping, the 2 canoes carried around the dam. The W Branch enters below the campground & the added water helped. Some longer class II/II+ stretches after the confluence. Nice playspot on R ~7 miles in. Merganser family, vultures. No bad bugs. 8.6 miles, 4 hours. Dagger Katana kayak. Much daylight so drove over to Benson Rd & bushwhacked S lookout for any trace of new Northville-Placid Trail, no markers or flagging found after an hour, some mosquitoes.
Jul 27, 2007 - SACANDAGA RIVER from Wells to Hope (DOT). Class 1 & 2 whitewater; not usually runnable in summer except after heavy rains. Runnable if gauge at Hope reads over 3' - 3.4' today. Very nice scenery, just wish the road was farther away. Met another small group in rec kayaks - one had capsized, lost the boat, paddler ok - floatation bags & spray skirt would have helped, not to mention helmets & other safety items. Lunch break at state campground then paddled over a small dam (hit bottom of canoe but just keep paddling) then long stretch of class 2 rapids with waves & rocks to dodge. Things get easier as one gets closer to Hope; there is a play spot on river R where a ledge comes 20' out into the river & another play spot to the L of an island where the L channel drops over a ledge with standing waves below (after surfing the waves we got the gunwale in the water but avoided a capsize). 8.6 miles, 4 hours. Afterwards, swam from village beach on Lake Algonquin & picked blueberries by the E Br Sacandaga River. Dagger Legend 16, a 16' tandem river-running canoe (this model is now being made by Mad River) - with center & end floatation bags, thigh braces for better control.

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