Clear and Branch, Rhode Island, US
|Usual Difficulty||I-II (for normal flows)|
Check the Rhode Island Canoe/Kayak Association for info. They
had a nice description of the Clear and Branch rivers in their description of the RI Whitewater
Championships Race, March 17, 2001 .
Photo: Glendale Rapid, courtesy of the RICKA. Mike Bussell:
This river has a fall drawdown from Pascoag Res. every fall. They open the gates to the dam Monday after Columbus Day weekend, and the river is med-low but passable for about 2 weeks or more, depending on rainfall. This is the best time, I think, to do it--just because the fall colors are at peak and the water is still semi-warm, as opposed to the freezing spring temps.
Putin: Rte. 107 in Harrisville;
Takeout: Old Nasonville Road, behind Gus' Red Tavern, at the entrance to the Slatersville Reservoir. Old Nasonville Road is an old spur road (back alleyway) that runs along Old Victory Highway (Old Rte. 102).
From the RICKA's river description:
The river is mostly quickwater with some deadwater and 4 rapids. None exceed Class II. The first rapid is immediately below the start and is made tricky by several large boulders just below the surface.
The Whipple rapid is 1/2 mile from the start and is a 2 1/2 foot drop with a canoe-busting boulder 25 feet downstream. In high water the current tends to sweep canoes into this rock.
A mandatory 100 foot PORTAGE (ON THE RIGHT) is located at the dam in Oakland, 3 1/3 miles from the start. The MARSHY AREA JUST ABOVE THE PORTAGE MUST BE PADDLED AROUND. Failure to do so will result in immediate disqualification. Do not attempt to run the sluiceway through the demolished factory. It is full of rebar and timbers. Passage is not possible.
The warning signs were put there with good reason.
One mile further downstream (4 1/2 miles from the start) is the Glendale rapid, 1/4 mile of narrow and rocky rapid. In high water large waves present serious problems to less experienced paddlers.
1/2 mile past the end of the Glendale rapid (5 1/4 miles from the start) is the Mohegan Rapid. The rapid is changed somewhat each year by ice floes. In low water this rapid requires superior maneuvering skills but becomes easier as the water level rises.
3/8 mile below the final rapid is a dam, just before the bridge. There is a short MANDATORY PORTAGE ON THE RIGHT, Beware of the dangerous HYDRAULIC below the dam when putting back into the river. The remainder of the course is riffles and flatwater.
For more info, contact Mike Bussell, race director.
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