The Black River rises in the southwestern Adirondack Mountains and drains a large area of the western Adirondacks. Little Black Creek and North Lake, at the foothills of the Adirondacks in northern New York, are a couple of the Black River's sources. Black River empties into the eastern end of Lake Ontario at Black River Bay. There are numerous falls and rapids along the Black River. The Black river is different from most of the other northeastern rivers in that you will not see many of the glacier-worn boulders that are common in the other northeastern rivers. The Black River has a higher volume and ledges and undercut walls are all along the Black River. Fishing for trout , salmon, bass, walleye, pike and bullheads are popular in the Black River. Whitewater rafting, kayaking, and canoeing are also popular along many stretches of the Black River.
The Black River is known as a black water river versus a white water river. The black color of the Black River is believed to be due to the decaying leaves and other vegetation. The black waters are more acidic than the white waters and thus the black waters have a higher concentration of aluminum. The black waters have a much lower concentration of sodium, magnesium, calcium, and potassium than the white waters. Therefor, some animal groups needing these elements are found in much smaller numbers in the black waters than the white waters. One such animal group would be the snails that need calcium to build their shells.
The Black River flows through miles of low flat land that floods most every fall and spring. This flat land area acts as a water wild life refuge during the wet times of the year, while hay is havested during the dry summers.