Oswegatchie River in May?

Howdy. My wife and I are looking for a 3-day/2-night paddle in the Adirondacks in early May. We’re pretty familiar with the Adirondacks. We’ve done some primitive camping, and we’ve done a little bit of canoe camping, but more like the kind where you paddle across a pond and set up camp.

We’d like to do some more serious canoe camping and were thinking of starting with the Oswegatchie River (basically this trip). The idea is you paddle upstream for two days (the current isn’t supposed to be bad) and then back downstream on day three.

My only concern is that most reports of that trip are from July/August, and the water looks to be a decent bit higher in early May (and it is a decent bit higher right now). Does anyone have experience with the Oswegatchie River in May? If not, does anyone recommend any alternatives? We were going to go to Moose River Plains, but the road is closed for mud season.

PS We’re located in the Southern Tier and are definitely amenable to closer trips.
PPS We’re also considering a week-ish long trip later in summer if you want to recommend something for that.

The USGS has a gage on the river which gives you current and historical data on volume and river height.

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Sure . Used to do it in May in college every year. We spent two days getting to High Falls and five hours going back down to Inlet. The current in May is quite noticeable but its just more work. The beaver dams ( there will be dams) will require some getting out perhaps in deep water when you drag over though you may be able to step in the perfect place to avoid that.
One of our rituals was the first swim of the year. We were teenagers. We found out teens could walk on water.
The water is cold so Chotas or like in boots is very handy to keep ice cold water off your feet.

I have always counted beaver dams going up stream and going downstream there always seems to be one more. But at high water you have a better chance of running them.

Do not get alarmed in the first part of the trip when it seems you just go back and forth around hairpin bends. DO NOT stand up to see the put in after you have paddled an hour. You will be disheartened.
There is no requirement you go all the way to High Falls anyway. Plenty of nice campsites enroute.
Bring bug spray.

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Thanks, kayametic. That’s exactly the kind of info I was looking for. We’re hoping to beat the black flies, but time will tell.

Check the hydrograph and watch the discharge.
Eddy hopping makes upstream easier.

I don’t like prime insect season. I have taken 50 ticks off of my dogs in the spring.