Three Flatwater Adventures on the St. Regis River

by Jeff Nadler | October 2021, Recreation

Photograph by Jeff Nadler

16-Mile Level on the Middle Branch
This stretch has remote boreal habitat where endangered spruce grouse were recently reintroduced and, if you’re up for a short hike, rewarding views from the top of Azure Mountain. Meander downstream through Meno Bog for scenery that includes black spruce and tamarack in an extensive peat wetland. From there, rapids about six miles downstream become a proper turnaround.

If You Go
From Route 30 near Paul Smith’s College, turn west onto Keese Mill Road. At 7.4 miles, after a right bend, the road crosses the Middle Branch on a steel-deck bridge. Continue 5 miles to a parking area on the left. The carry trail begins at a vehicle barrier.


9-Mile Level on the East Branch
This wild stretch of flatwater begins near Everton Falls on property owned by The Nature Conservancy. If the water is high enough, paddle upriver about nine miles before reaching rapids and private property. Joe Pye weed and other wildflowers decorate the riverbank as you weave through stands of conifers.

If You Go
From the intersection of Routes 30 and 86 in Paul Smiths, drive north on Route 30 for 17.5 miles and turn left onto Red Tavern Road. Go 8.1 miles to a parking area on the right. The put-in is on the opposite side of the road.


The Middle Branch via Santa Clara Flow
Another way to explore the Middle Branch is to put in on the 248-acre Santa Clara Flow, and paddle upstream to the St. Regis River. This is home to moose, great blue herons, bald eagles and many other picturesque species.

If You Go
From Route 458 in Santa Clara, turn onto Dexter Road and follow the boat launch signs that lead to a parking area.

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