Labor Day weekend is a special time in the Adirondack foothills. The summer's oppressive heat has been cut by crisp nights, the leaves sport the first tinges of their autumn splendor, and hundreds of whitewater paddlers complete their first pilgrimage of the fall dam release circuit, flocking to the banks of the Beaver River.
Much has been said about the unofficial festival known to most as #Beaverfest or the Beaver River Rendezvous. Common exclamations include:
"It's the most fun you can have while keeping your pants on!"
"It's like Christmas, but better!"
"We planned our child's conception around this event!"
Racing down the Raquette.
OK that last one's not true, but I know of at least two infants that have unwittingly spent the first weeks of their life making up for the fact that their birth prevented one or both of their parents from going to the Rendezvous.
With all this in mind, it may seem impossible for any single event to live up to the hype. Yet, each year, the event continues to prove that it's deserving of a place in every whitewater enthusiast's heart. Two races from the King of New York points series take place over the weekend, a hard-core Class V blitz down the Raquette River in Colton on Saturday, and a marginally easier sprint down the short-but-steep Eagle section of the Beaver River near Croghan on Sunday. Sunday also allows four hours of bliss on the Class IV+ Moshier section, widely regarded as the crown jewel of the Beaver River, and home to one of the best single rapids in New York State. The Taylorville section appeals to aspiring Class IV paddlers, or those looking for a lower consequence day. Releases on the Black River in Watertown and on the Salmon River in Pulaski round out the weekend, providing whitewater opportunities for every ability.
A crowd of paddlers rendezvousing.
For the third year in a row, the Beaver River Rendezvous will be hosted just off Long Pond Road on the banks of the Taylorville Reservoir. The lakeside site will provide plenty of tent or car space, a bonfire, and SUP demos and clinics. A rescue mini clinic, women's paddle, and beach ball race will provide additional engagement for visitors. Be sure to take advantage of the pre-event savings for race registration and festival admission by registering at beaverriverrendezvous.com. It's a great resource for any other information you might need.