THE BEAVER RIVER
Once used to float logs downstream to lumberyards, the river is now home to a variety of wildlife and to a very scenic atmosphere, including the Beaver River Canoe Route.
Hundreds of canoeists travel each year to the Beaver River to follow this 12-mile route. The Beaver River begins at Beaver Lake, which is filled from the Moshier Reservoir, and filled by the Stillwater Reservoir – where water from several western Adirondack streams converge. Canoeing is also very popular along Orion’s Power Beaver River Canoe Route. This offers a 14-mile venture from Moshier Impoundment put-in to High Falls Impoundment take-out. Camping opportunities exist enroute and the trip includes six portages, totaling just over two miles. Hand launches are also located on most of the impoundments, for shorter canoe trips.
Most of the area around the river is undeveloped and camping is available throughout the area. Terrific campsites are located at the Stillwater Reservoir and at the Soft Maple Campgrounds.
THE BLACK RIVER
Flowing northeasterly the river covers parts of five counties before it drains into Lake Ontario in Dexter. The Black River has a watershed of approximately 1,916 square miles. The river is economically important for both agricultural and recreational reasons; it was one of the main contributors to the economic growth of Lewis County in its early years.
The Black River is home to a variety of bird life. Canada geese, snow geese, mallard ducks, black ducks, canvasbacks, buffleheads, and other waterfowl make up the Black River bird life. Many of these, including mallards and woodies, nest along the river and in wetlands. Shorebirds, including the killdeer and spotted sandpiper, can also be spotted along the riverbank or in marsh areas. Red-winged blackbirds, cedar waxwings, northern orioles, bob-o-links, tree swallows, kingfishers, ravens, mourning doves, flycatchers, warblers, wrens, sparrows, purple grackles, crows, and cowbirds can all be seen along the river.
Many of the plant species framing the Black River are found almost nowhere else in Lewis County. Silver maple, green ash, black willow, basswood, and box elder are found here, along with species more common to the area like red maple, white American elm, cottonwood, and ironwood.
During the summer and fall months, the Black River is full of canoes and kayaks. The annual RiverFest, designed as a comfortable paddle, is held on the Black River the first Saturday in August.