Syracuse area


Curious about Wooden Canoes
Can anyone suggest good rivers/streams to take a novice within about 1-2 hrs of Syracuse?
CNY Paddling

look at their "trip page" for ideas.

you can often get a used copy from of:

W Ehling" Canoeing Central New York"

the AMC's "Quiet Water Canoe Guide - New York"

Proskine's "No Two Rivers Alike" the one subtitled
"50 Canoeable Rivers in New York and Pennsylvania"
is great if you can find it.

a new book is:

Take a Paddle: Finger Lakes New York Quiet Water for Canoes & Kayaks (Take a Paddle) (Paperback)
by Rich Freeman (Author), Sue Freeman

keep the open side up
Fish Creek

One of my favorite canoe trips in Centrally isolated New York is on Fish Creek, either from the town of McConnellsville to Oneida Lake (where an excellent end-of-trip dinner can be easily purchased), or a shorter version of the same trip starting downstream from McConnellsville. Driving time from Syracuse about 45 minutes.It might not be for a novice if the water's high i.e. springtime, but it's a beautiful trip with a lot of variation in scenery. The trip is described in the Ehling book mentioned already.
For a real novice, Delta Lake north of Rome is nice (good fishing too - you can visit the fish hatchery on the way to the lake). Delta has a state park with an easy launch, a sandy swimming beach, and a (usually) quieter area in the northeast corner of the lake, that receives the flow from the Lansing Kill (a bit harder to canoe, but fun to run from further upstream past Westernville, down in to the lake). It's also in the Ehling book. Driving time from Syracuse about one hour.

I have always wondered about canoeing the Fish Creek,Where do you put in? I have been studying maps wondering about that area.I live on Oneida Lake and wanted to canoe the Creek right to my house.

Places to put in along Fish Creek

There are a few access points off route 13 - Blakesley Road, Trestle Road, but the easiest/best is at McConnellsville between the Post Office and the furniture factory (easy to find). You can also put in at Herder Road (which I have done) and much further downstream at the route 49 bridge that crosses Fish Creek. Some folks prefer to just canoe McConnellsville to route 49, but I have gone all the way to Oneida Lake - I think it's a fun trip. After the rout 49 bridge, the stream flattens out and you have to paddle a bit. You go past farm fields, a camp ground, a swampy area, boat docks, then you're in the Erie Barge Canal for s short time and then out on Oneida Lake. Don't paddle the Sylvan Beach (east) end of the lake in a canoe unless the wind permits. It's abig lake, but shallow, and raises a good size of wave when the wind is up. I guess the best overall trip would be McConnellsville to Sylvan Beach using two cars to shuttle. I have an acquaintance who claims that there are so many empty pickup trucks going by where he paddles in central New York all he has to do is wave a twenty dollar bill and stick out his thumb while standing next to his canoe and he gets picked up and delivered every time!
What kind of water is the Fish in that area? Fast moving? I know all about paddling Oneida Lake,I live on it.

Fish fast?

The section from McConnellsvile to Herder Road can be moderately fast in high water. The section from Herder Road starts to turn south, and there are some deeper and narrower sections, but my seventeen footer with two novices in it handled that OK. Closer to Sylvan Beach it's practically flat water. If you want an easy trip, start at the route 49 bridge and go downstream past Fish Creek Landing to Oneida Lake.
I and II

When I ran Fish Creek, it was in the II or less category. But, to be clear, I'm not talking about the East or West branches of Fish Creek, which are boulder gardens and best left to kayakers wrapped in three foot layers of nerf material.

Most of the rest of my paddling locally has been on flat water, since I often paddle with my wife. There are reservoirs that feed the Erie Barge Canal (like Lake Delta), the canal itself, the original Erie Canal, the Mohawk River (a nice run from Lake Delta through the city of Rome). There are also a number of other canoe friendly streams, especially in later Spring.

Of course, if you extend the travel time, there's the entire Adirondacks - the Moose River is fun, Nick's Lake, etc.

Mike H.