Saranac River: Permanent Rapids

Permanent Rapids is the first significant stretch of whitewater on the Saranac River. This 1.2-mile portion of class II-III rapids is located in Bloomingdale, about 10 miles outside the village of Saranac Lake. This stretch has an obvious portage along the road that is used by many paddlers who are not familiar with running whitewater. However, if you have the proper skills, boat, and equipment, these rapids are certainly fun to paddle.

Generally, this stretch is paddled by experienced local kayakers in April and May after the spring freshet when the water is highest and often at a Class III level. Once the water starts going down – toward the end of May and into June – this section becomes Class II water that is attempted by a wider range of paddlers, including some thru-paddlers. The most challenging portion of this section is “The Narrows,” a brief narrowing of the river with a sheer rock wall on river left and a steep embankment on river right. In water levels above 2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), you’ll experience an exciting wave train in this location.

Trip Details

  • Miles: 1
  • Services:
    • Saranac River: Permanent Rapids
  • Trail Features