Androscoggin - 3. Pontook

Androscoggin, New Hampshire, US


3. Pontook

Usual Difficulty II (for normal flows)
Length 2.4 Miles
Avg. Gradient 23 fpm
Max Gradient 35 fpm

Surfing on the Pontook

Surfing on the Pontook
Photo by Mark Lacroix taken 07/20/02 @ 1400 cfs

River Description

A nice class II in the north woods of NH. Good place to see moose.

Technical info

Put in elevation........1154'
Take out elevation......1100'
Total drop..............54'
Average drop/mile.......23'
Distance................2.4 miles
River width average.....75'
River geology...........Small to medium granite boulders
River water quality.....Good, clarity fair to good.
Scenery.................Good mountain and forest scenery.
Wildlife................Deer, Moose, Merganzers, Blue herons, Bald eagles. 

Check out the Androscoggin River Watershed Council for more information on this river.


Erroll NH...Gateway town

Errol NH located in northern NH close to the Maine border offers a wide range boating opportunities all summer long. This area offers some of the most remote regions in the eastern US. Wildlife is plentiful and may include Moose, bear, Loons, Bald Eagles etc. In addition Lake Umbagog located just north of Errol is a federally protected National Wildlife Refuge .
The Errol rapid located on the east side of Errol is a short class II section good for training and novices. Saco Bound (Northern Waters) has set up a small outfit here on the western shore with a campground, paddling school, and small boating shop. Water is controlled by a hydro dam just upstream from the campground and runs through this section every summer day. This section is onlabout 1/3 of a mile long and boaters usually carry back upstream and run it several times a day.
The Pontook section of the Androscoggin is about 15 miles south of Errol on route 16. This section offers a longer and more interesting class II run. Pontook dam releases most weekends.
Starting in late June and ending in late August, the Magalloway and Rapid rivers offer more challenging boating.
The Magalloway located 20 miles north of Errol in Wilson Mills Maine, offers class III and V boating on the upper stretch. Releases are on weekends starting in late June through the second week in July. The Rapid then has four release weekends until the middle of August then once again the Magalloway finishes up the month of August with weekend releases.
The Rapid River offers class IV boating in a remote setting. The Rapid can only be reached via a maze of logging roads just outside of Upton Maine about 10 miles east of Errol.

Campgrounds / Lodging /Rafting

· Errol Motel, Main St, Errol, NH 03579, (603-482-3256)
· Northern Waters (Saco Bound), Kayaking school, camping, excursions, paddling shop.
Phone: 603.447.2177
· Magalloway River Inn, Route 16, Errol, NH 03579, (603-482-9883)
· Aziscohos Valley Camping Area, Route 16 Wilson Mills Maine (207-486-3271)
· Mollidgewock State Park Campground , Route 16 Errol, NH Phone: 603-482-3373 Reservations: 603-271-3628
· Lakewood Camps: 207.243.2959
· Log Haven Campground: 603.482.3294
· Umbagog Outfitters P.O. Box 268 Errol, NH 03579 phone: 603-356-3292

· The Northern Exposure: Main St Errol, NH, 03579, (603) 482-3852
· Errol Cream Barrel & Chuck Wagon 482-3258 Main Street, Errol NH 03579
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-05-31 11:22:41

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.2Dam View rapidsIIPutin
1.0Road View rapidsIIPhoto

Rapid Descriptions

Dam View rapids (Class II, Mile 0.2)
The put in is located at Pontook dam. There is good access here with parking, picnic tables and bathrooms. Carry down just below the dam and put in here. During a release the tailrace from the dam can create some very large and powerfull waves. Downstream from here class I and II rapids over a very wide river bed are the norm.

Road View rapids (Class II, Mile 1.0)

Jeff at Road View

Jeff at Road View
Photo of Jeff Lamping by Mark Lacroix taken 05/27/07 @ 2300 cfs

Just as the road comes into view are the most difficult rapids on this river segment. Very large waves and some holes on river left. At the end of this segment the river slacks off a bit until you reach Powerline.

Powerline (Class II, Mile 1.3)
Easy class II rapid with some play on the waves.

Boffinger (Class II, Mile 1.9)
The last rapid on the Pontook. Good waves and holes sprinkled about. River left provides the most sport. River right tends to be shallow. Once you reach Wheeler pool just below the bypass dam the rapids are over for this section. Paddle downstream around a small island then take out on river right at the Bowfinger public canoe access.

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