Whitewater Parks: WW Parks; thinking outside the box
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WW Parks; thinking outside the box

Printed From: ProfessorPaddle.com
Category: General
Forum Name: Whitewater Parks
Forum Discription: Chat about different parks that we wish we had.
URL: http://www.professorpaddle.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=5436
Printed Date: 23 Oct 2019 at 4:32am

Topic: WW Parks; thinking outside the box
Posted By: Rich
Subject: WW Parks; thinking outside the box
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2007 at 2:12pm


I live in Moses Lake and feel that there would be some potential for a whitewater park here.  I know, it sounds crazy given how flat it is, but plenty of water is brought in for irrigation and from what I understand, it only takes a couple feet of drop to create a feature.  Since the water is part of the irrigation infrastructure, permiting should be relatively simple and renovations could be made outside of the irrigation season (Sep-Mar) when the canals are dry.  Much of the canals were created by blasting channels in basalt, so the rock is easily accessible.  I've discussed this briefly with a parks and rec fellow from the area and he tells me that this kind of thing might have a good chance if it had enough backers.   Here's the tricky part, it would need to occur on public land and it would have to have enough gradient, so this would severly limit the possibilities, but I think there's a chance.  If need be, private land could be purchased in the appropriate areas.  Is there a precedent for creating a whitewater park from irrigation infrastructure anywhere?  Any thoughts? 
Also, at this time, the Bureau of Reclamation and Dept of Ecology are considering expanding the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project, which might result in the creation of an 'East High Canal'.  This would add some additional opportunites, but might not happen for years to come.  And there is a high probability that the Crab Creek north of Moses Lake and the Frenchmen Hills Wasteway will be receiving additional feed water (500-600 cfs) for irrigation during spring, which could also open up some possibilities.  The Frenchmen Hills Wasteway actually has a bit of gradient to it and I'm certain there would be no fish issues to contend with. 
More information here:
Potential for East High Canal and additonal irrigation infrastructure:
Frenchmen Wasteway and Crab Creek feeder routes:

Rich Finger

Posted By: Wiggins
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2007 at 10:06pm
I don't know about a park, but I have always wanted to run Sand Hollow Creek, The spillways that pour into the Winchester Wasteway off of the Frenchman Hills between J Rd and Dobson Rd. There are ww runs on the Winchester Wasteway as well.
I think the problem would be location on a regional scale. There is just not a lot to attract boaters to the area in Grant County.

I smell bacon

Posted By: Heather
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2007 at 7:23am
I've been to park and plays that were built in irrigation ditches in Idaho.  If there was a decent park and play I would definately use it. 

Posted By: The OAC
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2007 at 11:05am
Colorado's famous "M Wave" is in an irrgation ditch so there is precedent.  That was not a planned whitewater park but it might be interesting to see how the locals have contended with the increased traffic and liability issues as you research the opportunities here.  If you call one of the shops in the Buena Vista or Grand Junction area and explain what kind of info you're after they might be able to point you to someone with some knowledge of that site.  Alternatively you could try to get a hold of Alex Holtze through Team Dagger, he should have the goods.

Posted By: The OAC
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2007 at 11:09am
PS... I wouldn't underestimate the boater population for Grant County.  There's a lot of cross state kayaker traffic on I-90, and a lot of boaters in Wenatchee/Leavenworth with nothing to do all summer but run Tumwater down to the bone. 

Posted By: James
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2007 at 11:11am
Also remember that if it was active around the right time of year it would really only need to be located close to the wenatchee or another similar high traffic drainage. After all if you have a nice drainage close by every weekend you would most likely find crowds on those rivers and I am sure if there were an epic park nearby within an hour or so people would be there. I would if it were good.



Posted By: Rich
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2007 at 2:04pm
Haven't tried Winchester yet, too long of a paddle over the reservoir!  I'll have to do it some day though....
Sand Hollow could be interesting.  Get in touch in early spring and lets check it out! 
Frenchmen Wasteway, from Rd C to Potholes State Park is a class II maybe II+ run.  Lot's a flat water and extremely shallow.  However, in the future, there may be considerably more water running down it that is fed into the wasteway from the West Canal.

I would agree, there is currently nothing to attract boaters to the area except the fact that I-90 runs straight through.  So I believe there's potential to attract folks heading to Idaho or Spokane for a quick stopover. 

Rich Finger

Posted By: Rich
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2007 at 2:19pm
I believe there is a recreation liability act that would cover liability issues provided that the location occurs on public land.  This is where things would be tricky because most of the public land that intersects the irrigation infrastructure is either Washington Dept. Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) or Bureau of Reclamation (which WDFW probably manages).  WDFW would likely only agree to this is there was a lot of public pull for it and there were no negative impacts to wildlife (which would depend entirely on the location).  I doubt the increased traffic would be an issue out here because paddlers are generally clean and considerate people by my experience. 

Rich Finger

Posted By: saw425
Date Posted: 16 Aug 2007 at 8:17pm
I live in Nc. two hours from the whitewater park and there have been tremendous problems with the increased traffic from the locals there. But they also put in bike trails as well which contributes more traffic than whitewater, plus there are tourists who go there to walk and watch the kayakers and point and take your picture and cheer and whatnot (its kind of weird). I also have heard that the park is losing money but I am not positive about that. One thing I do not like about the parks is how much electricity they use which in the case of Nc is  68% coal, plus you feel like a tourist attraction. Nothing like the wilderness kayaking experience I like to enjoy. I have only been down there 3x since it opened and most of my friends are the same way. One other option I prefer for times of drought is dam releases, (which are free, no $15 for 90min) there are even places where people go in and build park and play features on class II rivers while the water is off, they will get washed away in a flood however (at the ocoee on the upper they cemented them in place). There are some good playwaves in the whitewater park though so you can get some good practice in during a short amount of time.Thats my two cents on my experience with whitewater parks.

Posted By: justin
Date Posted: 17 Aug 2007 at 12:12am
I don't think that you should have to pay to play.  I am all for outdoor park and play.  I also think that if you find the right canal you can have great playboating.  I learned to kayak in canals in Idaho.  Pretty much the only thing I miss in my home town is that wave.  Sounds to me like some of those parks out east sound creepy. 

Posted By: Chuck e fresh
Date Posted: 23 Aug 2007 at 12:46am
If I had a bout  2 - 4 million bones for pump's equipment and water I'd make one. I was joking that Tao has one in his house the other day. He wake's up,  throws the pump switches. The water start's to flow, Just jumps in his boat run's his waterfall (The stair's) in his house then grab's a red bull as he cartwheels through the kitchen and out the door into a giant hole or wave!!! I think that's how my house would be, If I wasn't a poor bastered! Either that or it would be all skatable !! Sick trannie wall's,grind's and gap's till the eye could see. Awe what dream's are made of !!

There's no such word as can't!so stop making excuses!!!!

Posted By: Yotes
Date Posted: 23 Aug 2007 at 8:17am
Sand hollow is definately on my to do list, since it's pretty much local (hour and fifteen minute drive). Looked like it had enough water last weekend, too. Too bad my boating gear is in the dalles with my car.

Posted By: Kiwi
Date Posted: 23 Aug 2007 at 10:44am
Has anyone run the lower falls/only falls on the winchester wasteway?
the upper one has dissappeared.

Posted By: oukr9965
Date Posted: 23 Aug 2007 at 10:51am

Another alternative for a park (close(r) to Moses Lake) would be the Horn Rapids Dam on the Yakima River, 10 miles west of Richland, WA.  Not only would it mitigate the risk associated with the low-head dam, but it would also provide a recreational/access area for all river users.

Posted By: jtemus
Date Posted: 19 Oct 2010 at 3:45pm
Just a question: What makes the perfect play wave? Does anyone have some designs or pictures of a dry man made wave? I've been looking into making my own wave and I want to do it right the first time. Any information will help.

Posted By: Jed Hawkes
Date Posted: 19 Oct 2010 at 5:13pm
Well that depends on what sort of feature you are looking for.  I imagine a ledge hole would be simpler to design than a wave, also a singular feature will be easier than a wave/hole/ledge/wavehole combo.  Waves in parks are created with constrictions, where ledges are created by placing something on the river bed for something to pour over. 

I would recommend trying to find pictures of the Charlotte (NC) whitewater park http://www.usnwc.org/ and see if they have any of the course without any water in it.  Also you could make a post on Boatertalk and see if anyone has pics of the course.  There is also a course in Maryland but I don't know it's name.

The line will become apparent

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