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Black River Map
The Black River flows north from its source at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, from places like North Lake and Little Back Creek. The river then turns east at the border of Jefferson and Lewis Counties, emptying into the eastern shore of Lake Ontario west of Watertown. Early settlers of Jefferson County settled along the Black River, its rapids and falls being a great source of hydro power for mills and factories. The name may come from the tannic acid which darkens the river in some places and may have been noticed by early settlers.

By the 20th century, factories crowded the river in Brownville, Dexter and, especially Watertown. The river today is no longer used in industry but it remains an excellent source of hydro electric power as well as fishing.

In recent years its rapids have become a favorite site for rafting and kayaking, specifically the Black River Canyon which is located from Watertown to Brownville and is one of the few whitewater rivers with reliable flows throughout the entire summer.
The Great Falls, Watertown
The Great Falls, Watertown


On August 10, 2005 the Marks Dairy Farm near Lowville had a manure lagoon spill, which resulted after a retaining wall gave way. This heavily contaminated the Black River, killing thousands of fish. The farm was fined.











If you are looking for the Village of Black River entry click here.