Bouquet River - North Fork & Gorge

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Bouquet River - North Fork & Gorge

Postby L_G_D » Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:17 pm

We have a running joke about how the Bouquet River is pronounced - or spelled. The USGS 1:25 000 maps have it spelled Bouquet, the 1:100 000 maps spell it Boquet - I've heard it pronounced bo-kay, boo-kay, bo-kwet & bo-ket, so you have your choices, just don't pronounce it "wrong" when speaking to certain locals who "know" they are pronouncing it right. LOL

Another interesting factoid, the Bouquet is the steepest river in New York State, being just about 45 miles long, it drops something like 3,000 feet. So, you think there'd be some waterfalls on it? Well, of course there are. One set is the famous & spectacular Split Rock. That has it's own thread and I'll post some pics to it when I get them together. Being the easiest ones to get to, I have taken a lot of pictures there over the years. But, this post is about the much lesser known gorge on the upper reaches of the north fork of the river, above where it crosses route 73.

The first falls on what I call the upper north fork are right next to the road. Generally just called the Route 73 Flume, it's a great place to go swimming in the summer, and jump off the cliffs. You can get pictures from the shoulder of the road with a longish lens, or, you can scramble down to the top of the retaining wall and get shots from closer to the water. With more effort, you can scramble down further and get shots from stream level. With even more effort, a lot more scrambling and low water, you can get a shot from the rock that is stuck between the cliff walls and get up close & personal:

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That's about my favorite shot of these I've ever taken. This was in 1999 when it was a dry summer and water was very low. Usually, the rock I'm standing on is under fast moving water and is a little waterfall itself.

Heading upstream from the road, the next waterfall is another favorite summertime swimming, picnicing & camping spot. The river flows into a crack in the bedrock that is so narrow the waterfall might as well be in a cave. One of these days I'll get there with the right light & be able to get a shot (see post below). Until then, we move onto the next waterfall, the last one on the lower portion of the river, until it enters the gorge. This one has no name as far as I know:

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After that, the river flattens out and becomes your average mountain stream with nice pools to fish in shaded by the forest. Once you start climbing, it becomes more active and eventually you approach the gorge and start to see waterfall after waterfall:

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Once you get into the gorge itself, the walls rise about 100 feet from the river and you are committed to hiking through, there's no way to climb out and bushwack over to the trail:

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There were actually one or two falls below this that we just didn't have time to take pictures of, we needed to make some time and I knew there were more & bigger falls ahead.

This is an overall shot of what I call the staircase. Four or five falls, one after the other with a nice pool at the bottom

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First one, number two in background

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Closer shot

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Second one

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From the side

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Three & Four

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Above the staircase, the gorge starts to close in & narrow, and gets steeper just before it ends, the waterfalls are close together separated by pools

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Here's a google map of the area

Edit: Fixed broken links
Last edited by L_G_D on Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:25 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Bouquet River & Gorge

Postby cbobcat49 » Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:49 pm

Great pictures! I'm always amazed how crystal clear the water is up there.
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Re: Bouquet River & Gorge

Postby Matt » Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:43 am

Excellent photos. Looks very refreshing.
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Re: Bouquet River & Gorge

Postby L_G_D » Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:17 pm

Thank you all. It is a lovely place, and I always have a hard time deciding whether to go swimming or bring camera gear. The hike through the gorge is fairly difficult and requires quite a bit of bushwhack. Up until you enter the gorge, you can always bail and hike over to the trail that leads out to Round Pond. Once you're in the gorge, like I said, there's no way out but through. Once you get to the top, it's a fairly easy bushwhack over to the trail, and you can hike out from there. If you do the whole trip, with two cars, you need to expect it to take up to ten hours, depending on how much time you spend taking pictures. Starting any later than 9:30 in the morning is not a good idea.

There's also a nice beaver pond a little ways upstream from the gorge where you can get a nice view of Noonmark. I'll have to look up those pictures and post them.

Later, that same evening....

OK, dug up a few more pics of either end. Here's a shot of the flume, from water level. I had the camera in an underwater housing and swam across the pool to just under the falls and snapped some pics mostly just to test out the housing.

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Here's the beaver pond at the end of the trip, with Noonmark in the distance. This was taken in 2001 when the water levels were still pretty low. I also think the beavers had left and the dam was broken.

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A more recent shot, with more water, the beavers were back and had fixed the dam.

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Re: Bouquet River & Gorge

Postby Matt » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:42 pm

That first pic is amazing. Great angle and the depth of field makes is seem like the camera is about to go under.
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Re: Bouquet River & Gorge

Postby cbobcat49 » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:48 pm

wow. yeah! Were you standing in the water or swimming toward the falls when you took that?
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Re: Bouquet River & Gorge

Postby Bill_K » Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:50 pm

Great shots...looks like a nice place to visit.
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Re: Bouquet River & Gorge

Postby L_G_D » Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:41 am

Thanks everyone. The first pic of the second set with the water very close was taken while I was standing in the water. It's about 4-5 feet deep there, depending on recent rain, and I held the camera housing partly in the water. I have a couple of shots like that where the surface of the water splits the frame and you can see partially under water as well, but they didn't come out very good due to the low light level under the water. That was mostly just a grab shot, like I said, testing the housing. I've since coated the housing window the lens looks through with rainex to keep water drops from forming on the outside, otherwise you get all sorts of spots in the frame from drops clinging to the outside.
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Re: Bouquet River & Gorge

Postby L_G_D » Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:37 pm

Hi, it's me again. Got some shots this last trip of the first waterfall above the bridge. I've heard this called "The Flume" as well, I just call it Bouquet #1 to keep it separate from the flume below the bridge.

First shot, a wide view of the pool, rocks, & almost hidden waterfall. The pool is about 20-25 feet deep.

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A telephoto shot across the pool of the waterfall in the crevice. The pool extends under the rocks & into the crevice a fair distance. Oh yeah, and some lens flare. Had a lot of problems with that this trip for some reason.

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A shot from closer in, I was perched on the rocks with my tripod blancing on small crevices in the rock wall to the right. A precarious situation for me & my camera gear. An HDR that didn't turn out too bad, I really need to read those books on HDR a friend gave me, maybe I'll start getting results I don't mind as much.

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Re: Bouquet River - North Fork & Gorge

Postby L_G_D » Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:21 pm

Making great progress in my film scanning project and ran into this shot of the falls below the route 73 bridge, a nice shot showing the large pool, which is about 30 feet deep. On a hot summer day, especially on the weekend, you are likely to run into several people relaxing on the rocks and jumping off into the pool below.

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... and a wider shot showing more of the pool, and some vignetting from the filters I was using back then.

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Re: Bouquet River - North Fork & Gorge

Postby cbobcat49 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:48 pm

Beautiful! I've got to stop there whenever I get up to the Adirondacks again.
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Re: Bouquet River - North Fork & Gorge

Postby Matt » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:44 pm

Yes, Beautiful!!!
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