Trivia  About and Around Higley  Flow






Loon Trivia - Submitted by Rick Mace
  • Loons have 4 calls:  the Wail (the most common call), the Tremolo (an aggressive call used when disturbed), the Yodel (which only the male does) and the Hoot (a call of curiosity).
  • Names:  Common Loon or Great Northern Loon (Gavia immer);  8-11 lbs; 5 ft wingspan (can fly up to 80 mph during migration); 15-30 yr  lifespan.
  • Both sexes have same markings but the male is usually larger; mates on land; nests near shoreline; female lays 2 olive-green eggs with brown spots (major egg predators are raccoons & crows); 80% mate for life; do not migrate or winter together; male often returns to pond/lake first in the spring; winter in large southern lakes or in Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico.
  • Legs are positioned in back of body for swimming; therefore legs are behind their balance point - thus loons land on their belly on water and are poor at moving on land. Red eyes filter light underwater allowing loons to feed mostly on a wide variety of fish up to 8-9 inches. Loons can hold their breath  1-5 minutes. Loons can dive down up to 200 ft so they can easily dive to the bottom of 90 foot Arbuckle Pond.
  • Loons have solid bones unlike other birds that have hollow bones.
  • Usually  one pair per lake unless it is a large lake (if you see one loon chasing another loon across the water it is more apt to be a male chasing another male trying to establish his territory). Loons run across the water to gain speed to become airborne often requiring a quarter mile to do so.
  • Loons rise up on the water and flap their wings to dispel water and to add air to their feathers to add buoyancy after a dive.
  • In Native American tales the loon was the special messenger of Glooscap, the tribal hero.


Why Is It Called "Higley Flow"?

The hamlet of Colton was originally named "Matildaville" and the town of Colton was called "Springfield", however that was unpopular.  So, the town's name was changed to Colton at the request of one of the town's pioneers, Jesse Colton Higley, honoring his mother's family name.  The name at first met with resistance from some until Mr. Higley finally offered to provide all gunpowder for the July 4th. celebration. 

Mr. Higley held about every town office possible during the early days and this portion of the Racquette River soon bore his name as well.  "Flow" refers to the currents in the river and streams, a term used by loggers who timbered the Racquette.  Many maps refer to Stump Bay as Warm Brook Flow, from the stream that emptied into the Racquette to the north of what is now Higley Flow State Park. 


Raquette River Trivia Test:
(1 point per question; answers on page 2); submitted by Rick Mace (answers derived from DEC booklet and internet sources)

  1. The Raquette is the 2nd, 3rd or 4th longest river in NYS?

  2. The Raquette River is approx. 50, 100, 150, 175 miles long?

  3. The Raquette River starts at which lake in Hamilton County?

  4. Within three, how many hydroelectric plants are on the Raquette River?

  5. Starting at Carry Falls Reservoir and going downriver to the Higley Falls Reservoir, name the other 5 reservoirs (1 point each; 2 bonus points if given in order).

  6. Going downriver from the Higley Falls Reservoir, name the 9 dams encountered before the dam at Raymondville (1 pt. each; anyone who gets them in the correct order automatically wins the trivia contest).

  7. Higley Falls Reservoir is just over 1,000, 2,000 or 3,000 acres in area?

  8. The Raquette River flows primarily in a northerly, easterly, southerly, westerly direction?

  9. The Raquette River’s nickname is the “___?____ River of the North”?

  10. The Raquette River is also seen sometimes by what other spelling?


(page 2 - no peeking!)

Raquette River Trivia Quiz- answers:


  1. 2nd longest

  2. 174 miles

  3. What a surprise! Raquette Lake

  4. 27 (wow!)

  5. In order: Stark Reservoir, Blake, Rainbow Falls, Five Falls and S. Colton Reservoir.

  6. In order: Colton Dam, Hannawa Falls (actually 2 adjacent to each other), Sugar Island, Potsdam, Hewittville, Unionville, Norwood, Yaleville and Norfolk Dam.

  7. 1,115 acres

  8. Northerly - emptying into the St. Lawrence River at Akwesasne Reservation

  9. Workhorse River of the North” because of its many power dams

  10. Racquette River