Part 11 – Waterfalls on the West and East Canada Creek
Separate coverage for the waterfalls on the West Canada Creek
West Canada Creek
The West Canada Creek is a 76-mile-long river. West Canada Creek is an important waterway in Hamilton, Oneida, and Herkimer counties, draining the south part of the Adirondack Mountains before emptying into the Mohawk River near the Village of Herkimer. The name “Canada” is derived from a Native American word for “village” (Kanata).
Recreation and municipal use
A series of waterfalls in the Prospect Gorge, principally Trenton Falls, was a major tourist attraction in the past. Today, the West Canada is used by public utilities for power generation.
The West Canada Creek got its name from being the western boundary of Sir William Johnson’s Royal Land Grant, and because the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word for village is Kanata or Canada. The name “Canada” may also refer to the creek’s importance as a trail to Canada in colonial times. The creek was also known by Native Americans as Te-ugh-ta-ra-row, meaning “its waters are discolored”; the color of the creek that resulted from its sources in the forest also gave rise to another historical name, “Amber Creek“. The stream was formerly known as the Kuyahoora River, from the Native American term Kuy-a-ho-ra, meaning “slanting waters”, or “leaping waters”. The river’s valley is also known as the Kuyahoora Valley. In 1922 the Adirondack Mountain Club was founded with the purpose of enacting conservation work and maintaining trails. They laid out and maintained the Northville-Placid Trail which runs through the West Canada Lakes area and is now maintained by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). In 1972, the West Canada Lake Wilderness Area was designated by the NYSDEC as “Wilderness”, and as such no motorized vehicles or watercraft are allowed into the area.
Honnedaga Brook, Herkimer County
Big Brook, Oneida County
Mill Creek, Herkimer County
Mad Tom Brook, Concklin Brook,
Cincinnati Creek, Oneida County (Mud Creek/Cincinnati Creek)
Shed Brook, Herkimer County
Left: Indian River, Metcalf Brook, Betty Green Brook, South Branch West Canada Creek, Fourmile Brook,
Cold Brook, Hamilton County
Cold Brook, Falls on Herkimer County
White Creek, Herkimer County
City Brook, Herkimer County
Maltanner Creek, Herkimer County
Stony Creek, Herkimer County
North Creek, Fulton County
North Creek, Fulton County
The West Canada Lakes (West Lake, Mud Lake, and South Lake) are the source of the West Canada Creek. Nearby Brook Trout Lake and Northrup Lake are the source of the Indian River which empties into the Moose River country.
South Branch of the West Canada Creek
The West Canada Creek’s south branch gets its start at T-lake, northwest of
It travels southwest, through the town of Morehouse, and joins the main branch of the West Canada at Nobleboro. North of Route 8 on Mountain Home Road is a man-made lake called The Floe on the maps, but to the locals it is called Mountain Home Pond.
The South Branch West Canada Creek empties into the West Canada Creek by Nobleboro.
Tributaries • left
T Lake Outlet, Hamilton County
Twin Lakes Outlet, Hamilton County
Hole-in-the-Wall Falls Herkimer County
G Lake Outlet, Alder Brook, Vly Brook
Beaudry Brook, Wagoner Brook, Roaring Brook, Mad Tom Brook, Wilmurt Lake Outlet
Nobleboro is located at the confluence of the north and south branches of the West Canada Creek. The watershed at Nobleboro covers some 240 square miles of the southwestern Adirondack Park. The West Canada Lakes Wilderness Area has been expanded to include Fort Noble Mountain, which was the site of a fire tower that was erected in 1916 until it was deactivated and removed in 1985. A kiosk next to the stream at Nobleboro, spells it “Nobleborough”, however virtually every map and book refer to it as “Nobleboro.”
Wilmurt Falls and the Ohio Gorge
Wilmurt Falls, is downstream from Nobleboro in the town of Ohio, The falls is also the top end of the Ohio gorge. Herkimer County
Hinckley Reservoir, named after a community at its western end, is a man-made lake on the West Canada Creek just upstream from the Prospect Gorge. In 1928 the reservoir’s name was changed to Kuyahoora Lake after campers encouraged the State committee on Geographic Names to alter the name, however the United States Board on Geographic Names continues to list “Hinckley Reservoir” as the waterbody’s official name as of 2016.
The entire Prospect Gorge in the town of Trenton is inaccessible to the public. It is privately owned by Brookfield Asset Management, who administer power generation on the creek. Access is restricted due to the dangers presented by water releases from the dam, which occur at irregular intervals and can feature swiftly rising water levels. Prior to the late 1970s, restrictions were not as strictly enforced as they are today, and the water releases in the past were more predictable. The property was previously owned by the Niagara Mohawk Power Co.. Prospect Falls Trenton Twn
East Canada Creek is a 34.6-mile-long river in upstate New York, United States. It is a tributary of the Mohawk River and flows southward from New York’s Adirondack Park. The name “Canada” may be derived from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word Kanata, meaning “village”; the name may also refer to the creek’s importance as a trail to Canada in colonial times.
The creek is formed northeast of Powley Place in the Town of Arietta in Hamilton County, where it is created by the confluence of smaller streams. It goes on to form part of the boundary between Herkimer, Fulton, and Montgomery counties. It also flows through the Village of Dolgeville, after passing Dolgeville it enters into Kyser Lake.
• left Sprite Creek
Spruce Creek Herkimer county, Salisbury to Dolgeville section of Spruce Creek is 6.5 miles long and it is classified as a class II-V+ section by American Whitewater.
East Canada Creek Hamilton Herkimer Fulton county, Powley Place to Stratford section of East Canada Creek is 12 miles long and is a class II-IV section of whitewater according to American Whitewater.
Black River – South Branch Herkimer county, South Lake to Black River section is 8 miles long and is rated by American Whitewater as a class II-IV section.
West Canada Creek – South Branch Hamilton county, Fayle Road to Nobleboro section is 5 miles long and is rated by American Whitewater as a class II(IV) section.
West Canada Creek Herkimer county, Ohio Gorge section is 1.5 miles long and has been determined by American Whitewater to be a class III section.
West Canada Creek Oneida Herkimer county, Big Brook to Route 8 section is 3.5 miles long and is a class III section of whitewater according to American Whitewater.