Whitewater kayaking at Stone Valley is a highlight of Labor Day weekend activities in the Town of Colton. The last two water releases of the summer by Brookfield Renewable Energy for expert-level whitewater kayakers to paddle the Stone Valley section of the Raquette River are scheduled for Saturday, September 3 and Monday, September 5. The largest turnout is expected Saturday when paddlers will be doing timed runs in the afternoon on the Class 5 section of the river which begins just below the dam in the hamlet of Colton.
Spectators can expect to see expert kayakers who come from places within the eastern United States and Canada for the predictable and challenging conditions at Stone Valley on release days. They paddle the river at their own risk and on release days they usually get going by 10 am when the water is at the full release level. Beforehand paddlers will hike the trails to check conditions of the river.
The town’s Tourism & Beautification Committee will have an information tent set up and staffed by volunteers at the main trailhead at the end of Riverside Drive just past the Fire Station. A variety of free information including brochures with maps of the Raquette River and Stone Valley published by Brookfield will be available. Also a number of products will be available to purchase including the new triple pack DVD for $15 of three documentaries about the Raquette River produced by WPBS from 2012 to 2016. They include people, places, and events in Colton including paddling the Stone Valley section of the river.
On Saturday, the Colt’s Pride Booster Club will be selling hot dogs and hamburgers at the old Fire Station on Riverside Drive from 11 am to 3 pm. During the weekend there are other nearby food options including the Hide Away Café on Gulf Road which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And food-to-go can be purchased at Kunoco Food Mart at the corner of State Highways 56 and 68.
Also the Raquette River Pub, located on the island along Main Street which serves as a Whitewater Welcome Center, will be open on Friday from 2 pm to 2 am and on Saturday from noon to 2 am. On Saturday there will be live music with Michael Frohm entertaining folks from 9 pm to 1 am. The owners invite paddlers, spectators, and others in for food, drinks, entertainment and information about Stone Valley. Call the Pub (315) 261-4161 for more details.
Other things to do in town during the weekend include the 21st Annual Antique Car & Truck Show scheduled for Saturday at Amvets Post 262 on State Highway 56 just north of the school. Registration begins at 10 am with prizes awarded at 2:30 pm. Also there will be a craft fair / flea market plus food and drinks. During the awards there will be a raffle of a wolf created by chainsaw artist Terry McKendree.
Photo: Kayaker on the Stone Valley section of the Raquette River by Barbara Decker.