Run: Fall Branch      
Section: (Into Inland Lake)       
Class: IV   Put-In: Owen Rd    
Gradient: 190, 125 (0.8)   Take-Out: Inland Lake, Boat Landing Road    
Length: 1.8   Precip. Gages: Remlap Springville Oneonta    
Shuttle: Owen / CR27 / Smith / Boat Landing   Delorme Gazeteer: P. 25 H9    
Water Q: Primary Gage: None    
Links: TOPO MAP Required Level: Visual    
  PICTURES Indicator Gage:      
  TRIP REPORT Required Level:      
Falls Branch is a very small scenic creek that flows into the southeast end of Inland Lake near Oneonta. It is a special place for me because I tried for years to get on it. It's the only run I cut out twice before I ran it. The first rapid, a 20' falls, is no more than 40 feet downstream of the put-in bridge. Nice warmup indeed. The river left cliffs below the falls harbor many small caves and interesting eroded nooks and holes. After some potentially very bony III+, there is a long pool. During this stretch, you will encounter a 1960's style fiberglass fishing boat on river right. You may ask yourself "how did this get here?". Essentially at the same place as a balance rock high above on the river left bank, a strand of barbed wire may still cross the creek. If it is still there, it is high enough to avoid easily. The flatwater comes to an end shortly thereafter.

After a brief lead-in rapid, you will encounter the biggest rapid. BFI is named for the blue trash bin that was lodged in it on our first run. The best line is right into an eddy, then left, sliding on the slanted rock. Right after this is the first rock house on the right. The cliff is undercut so exercise caution. The next big one is a fun multi-part twisting slide located at a tributary junction on the right. The trick here is to avoid an undercut finger or a skin deleting flip in the diagonal ledge. The second rock house on the left is not as bad as the first but must still be treated with respect. This marks the end of the class IV rapids. A somewhat flat stretch follows. The second half of the run is a series of III and III+ rapids that are either rock infested or continuous depending on water level.

The run is pretty clean of logs as of early 2009. You may have to walk a couple times. Be careful since it does like to collect trees. Towards the end a bigger tributary comes in from the left and a short slide section leads to the lake. The paddle across to the ramp is short.

This is a tiny stream, with a tiny watershed, but it does run. It has the smallest watershed in this guide with the possible exception of Fagan Creek in Huntsville. Timing is everything, you have a pretty short window after a significant rain. The flow just past the falls may be 40-50 cfs but the tribs do help. I would not run it lower than what you see in the pictures.

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