Northern New York Waterfalls 

Big Eddy


This area is accessible by a two mile hike down an unmarked trail at the end of an eight mile dirt road.  We are researching this to get more specific directions.

County: Hamilton
Town: Wells
USGS Map: Wells
Waterway: Sacandaga River West Branch
Latitude: N 43° 22' 41"
Longitude: W 74° 27' 32"
Drop: NA
Type: Rapids
Region: West of Wells
Parking: NA
Trail type: NA
Length of hike: NA
Difficulty: NA
Accessibility: Public
Name: Official

Wells Quadrangle

This is an officially named stretch of rapids on the West Branch of the Sacandaga River.  According to a hiking blog post we were made aware of, Big Eddy is a wide calm spot on the Sacandaga River's West Branch.  It is a popular swimming spot.  You do have to wade across the Hamilton Lake Stream to get to this location.

According to a source, this is a series of pools below a gorge with a number of non-navigable chutes in it

If anyone has pictures or information on this area, please contact us.

The two branches of the Sacandaga join forces just south of the village of Wells to form the Sacandaga River.  This flows through a number of lakes as it makes its way to the Hudson River whose final destination is the Atlantic Ocean.

Note:  To avoid confusion ... there is also a stretch of rapids in Essex County called Big Eddy.

Another note:  The GNIS data base has a category "Map" which usually indicates the topographical quadrangle containing the site.  Big Eddy is listed as being in Lake Pleasant.  We originally posted that there is no quadrangle named Lake Pleasant, but it is possible that the quadrangle name has been changed since this was added to the data base.  A viewer has clarified that this is the case. 

According to the website,, original topographical maps were "created at scales of 1:250,000 for 1-degree areas and 1:125,000 for 30-minute areas.  The scales were increased with time and by 1894, most of the maps were 15-minute areas and produced at a scale of 1:62,500."  Sometime after 1942, due to the "demand for more detail on the topographic maps", a 1:24,000-scale, 7.5 minute mapping program was developed.  This larger scale resulted in more detail and accuracy and greatly improved the features.  A web search does indicate a 7.5 minute topographic maps for "Lake Pleasant" but a collection of all quads in New York State does not contain this.  Big Eddy is now located on the Wells quadrangle.

Last update:  February 4, 2017

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