|Class: I - III||Length: 4km|
|Location: Nictaux (Torbrook)||Character: Creek|
|Gauge: N/A||Contributor: Lukas Dee, Etienne Lessard|
The Black River is a small creek that flows down from a bog that is fed by Little River and Little River Lake. The section above the marked put-in is of little interest as it is so small and rocky. Although the Black is short, there are multiple drops and slides ranging from 5-10 feet. All are runnable and more or less clean (not the entrances…). Once familiar with this river, it can be an awesome section to do laps on and practice creeking and river running skills.
The Black River is very narrow and shallow leading to sweepers always being an issue somewhere. Bring a saw as often the trees are easy to remove given the low volume of water. Some drops have some pretty manky lines that could be hiding some plastic slicing rocks. Scout and choose your line carefully.
Google Map Link The put-in is located in Bloomington, just off Bloomington Rd. The small bridge here is your starting point. Parking along the side of the road is okay but make sure to leave enough room for a logging truck or machinery to pass.
Google Map Link The take-out on Uhlman Branch Rd.is just down past the steep hill and next to the bridge here. Parking in the corner on river left is best.
Just past the put-in is the first drop of about 10 feet. As the name implies, this one is manky. The ledge itself is a clean drop on the far right, but there is no straightforward path leading to it. Rocks, rocks, and more rocks. Getting a boof stroke off the ledge would be ideal, but in reality that is hard to achieve. The pool is deep enough to plug the drop. Scouting is best on river right, portaging on river left.
The next ledge is the start of the crown jewel of the Black River. Triple combo is a series of three 5-10 foot ledges that are connected by a short class I and small pool. The first ledge is best on the far right, where there is a narrow diagonal slide that can be slightly tricky to hit. Moving from left to right gives you the biggest chance of having a clean line. There are more lines on this drop, but they will hurt the boat more. The second ledge is the definition of a clean boof. Approximately 5 feet tall, some flow to help with speed, a rock in the lip that adds water to pull on, and a flat pool to land in. Start on the left and follow the main current into the middle. Go just left of the big round rock sticking up from the ledge and boof. This is great for practicing. The third ledge is less clean than the first two. Most of the water falls down on the right. Some jagged rocks and a weird boil at the bottom make this ledge more of a ‘huck and hope’ situation. There is a very narrow channel on the far left that ends in a sweet little slide. If you’re not feeling lucky this is your best bet.
After Triple Combo the river goes back to its normal shallow class I rapids and it seems like the fun is over. That is not the case. Seemingly out of nowhere the river hooks to the right and rock walls appear on either side. They close in on the river funneling you into the pool at the end. The more water there is, the rowdier and more intense Funnel Gorge will become. Just before the pool at the end there is a small feature that will grow exponentially in size as the water rises. Take a big stroke and hope there is no one close behind you.
Having almost no drainage means the Black only goes after decent rainfall amounts between Albany Cross and Nictaux Falls. When Manky Drop (just below put-in) is good to go, so are the rest.