The “Upper Queensborough” section of the Black River is popular with spring time for both kayak and canoe enthusiasts. The Upper Black is Class III/CIV with Class III Canyon runs and two Class IV drops, interspersed with a handful of smaller Class II rapids and flat water.
Some of the longer canyon runs are hard to scout, so you’ll have to eddy-out along the way to scout from the boat.
During the first part of the run, the rapids come fairly quickly and after the second drop they are more spaced out.
Although most of the rapids are named, most people only agree or know the 3 Drops. Bare Bottom Beach Falls (3 “B” Falls), Particle Accelerator and Mill Drop.
The current level for this river can be found through the Environment Canada Real-Time Hydrometric Data site, gauge 02HL003 Black River Near Actinolite.
Low flow is at 12.c and high flow is at 12.9 although there is no maximum level for this river.
Black River Put-in North of Queensborough
From highway 7, turn north onto Queensborough road about 1 km East of the bridge over the Black. Follow this into Queensborough, then continue out of Queensborough going North on Barry road. This ends after 7 km at Cooper road; turn right. After a further 1.5 km turn right onto Lingham Lake road and follow this for 6 km to the bridge over the Black.
The first rapid is just down stream of the put-in. One of the canyon run’s and the rapid can be viewed if you take the short walk down the trail on the East side of the river at the put-in. Run centre and work left on the way down.
Watch for the farm house on the right and a horizon line, which is the beginning of the Bare Bottom Beach Falls (3 “B” falls). You can scout either side here, and there is a portage on the right. The easiest run down is on the left, there’s a hole in the centre.
The rapids after 3B can be boat scouted until you get to Particle Accelerator.
The Particle Accelerator is a 50m long 30 degree slide. The best run is usually run right of centre. Inspec the rapid from the portage on teh right. In high water there is a big rock in the run-out that forms a good boof.
The run ends with a small drop over the Old Mill Dam in Queensborough.
Take-Out in Queensborough
More fun rapids follow, easing off towards the takeout in Queensborough. Either take out on the right above the dam, or this can be run on the right side. Take a good look, as there are rocks in the pool below.
To get to the take out by car:
From highway 7, turn north onto Queensborough road about 1 km East of the bridge over the Black. Follow this into Queensborough, the take out is in the centre of town.
Black River Put-In and Take-Out Map