Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Longest Adirondack Rivers

How many times have we seen the Adirondack mountains ranked by height, the tallest 46 separated into a revered category of their own?

There’s a club and way of life dedicated to hiking the 46, and a Lake Placid restaurant offers 46 different sandwiches named for the peaks.

For a change, today we list the largest streams in the Adirondack region.*

Name / Drainage area, sq. mi. / Length in mi.
Hudson River / 4,627 / 156
Mohawk River / 3,462 / 154
Black River / 1,916 / 126
Oswegatchie River / 1,603 / 125

Raquette River / 1,256 / 152
Sacandaga River / 1,058 / 80
St. Regis River / 852 / 84
Hoosic River / 713 / 60
Grasse River / 676 / 109
Saranac River / 614 / 75
Schroon River / 568 / 53
W. Canada Creek / 562 / 69
Indian River (N) / 559 / 112
Ausable River / 518 / 57
Batten Kill / 441 / 42
Moose River / 432 / 52
Salmon River / 410 / 54
Beaver River / 334 / 55
E. Br. Oswegatchie / 331 / 51
Great Chazy River / 300 / 44
W. Br. Oswegatchie / 294 / 26
E. Canada Creek / 291 / 30
Boquet River / 278 / 55
Fish Creek / 252 / 18
W. Br. Sacandaga / 227 / 25
S. Br. Moose / 212 / 35
Indian River (central) / 201 / 15
Kayaderosseras Creek / 196 / 30
Cedar River / 164 / 39
Chateaugay River (NY portion) / 163/ 28
Walloomsac River / 156 / 14
Woodhull Creek / 149/ 16
Oriskany Creek / 146 / 30
E. Br. Sacandaga / 122 / 22
Black Creek / 103 / 24
Trout Brook / 100 / 7

We’re not suggesting anybody get a patch for paddling all of these; long stretches are unnavigable anyway. It’s just that we tend to overlook that the rivers in our towns have lives up- and downstream, and it’s humbling—I guess that’s the word—to be reminded how extensive they are (the Raquette, 152 miles!).

* Source: “The Technical Reports” for the 1971 and 1990 state commissions on the future of the Adirondacks. It’s unclear how they defined “Adirondack region” but many of these waters flow outside of the Blue Line.

Map of the five major Adirondack drainage basins from “The Adirondack Park in the 21st Century: Technical Reports Volume One”

 

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Mary Thill lives in Saranac Lake and has worked alternately in journalism and Adirondack conservation for three decades.




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