This is a very pretty run on the Deerfield where you put in just below the #4 Dam and take out just above the intersection of Rt 112 and North River Road. At 2800 CFS (see Waterline, #4 Dam) this is a brisk Class 3 with plenty of nice features. Feels quite secluded on the way down. It is not long, and the shuttle is very short, so you can easily do it two or three times in a day. I'm told that it is runnable down to about 1500 cfs. You can scout it from the take out and see whether there is enough water. You can't really see the first rapid from the dam at the put in, but if there is water running over the top of the dam there should be enough. The put in is tough. You have to drag from Rt 2 (dirt road with a gate on Rt 2 westbound just east of the Big Indian, and you can park across Rt 2 in a big lot). Then you get to the dam and you have to get the boat down a big hill to the water. It is worth it, in my opinion, but it ain't easy. The take out is not too bad, up a hill to North River Road just before the bridge. You'll know you are there because it is the confluence with the North River and there is a very nice lagoon sort of area with big rocks on the left; a great place to hang out, practice rolling or work on your ferries. Careful where you park, though.
Thanks to Ken Glusman and Mike Wevrick for providing info about this little gem.
This section of river is controlled by Number Four Dam. Call 888-356-3663 for release information. It is runnable down to about 1500 cfs. At 2800 CFS (see Waterline, #4 Dam) this is a brisk Class 3 with plenty of nice features. You can scout it from the take out and see whether there is enough water. You can't really see the first rapid from the dam at the put in, but if there is water running over the top of the dam there should be enough.
Permits are not required for this reach.
Park in the public lot along Route 2.
Deerfield Above Shelburne Falls
Deerfield at Shelburne Falls
The main rapid
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
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Whitewater boaters from Maine to Pennsylvania gather each June in Charlemont, MA to celebrate whitewater boating and American Whitewater's river advocacy to protect, restore, and enjoy our northeast rivers. While we can't gather in-person this year, we'll be having a virtual Deerfield Fest Membership Event this Friday, June 26th at 7 pm (EST) . We'll be giving away some fun AW merchandise and other prizes for those who JOIN or RENEW their AW Membership and join us on Friday, so REGISTER for the virtual Deerfield River Membership Event today and join us for this fun event in support of AW. (Photo by Alan MacRae)
In response to requests by American Whitewater, several affiliates, and other stakeholders, FERC directed Brookfield Renewable to study the impact of its hydropower operations on whitewater boating on the Deerfield River in western Massachusetts. Boating groups and our supporters are seeking to determine optimal whitewater boating flows from the Fife Brook Dam and whether changes in hydropower operations would enhance boating opportunities, access and navigation.
American Whitewater, along with other paddling groups and outfitters, filed comments with FERC responding to the Whitewater Boating Evaluation at Turners Falls on the Connecticut River. The study showed that there is strong demand for boating on this section of the Connecticut River if sufficient flows, scheduled releases, better access, and real-time information are provided. The groups filed the comments in order to provide additional information for the environmental review and to respond to the unsupported statements by FirstLight, the utility performing the study, claiming that there is little demand for boating at Turners Falls.
A hardy group of northeast boaters climbed into the natural river channel below a hydropower dam to participate in a flow study designed to assess whether whitewater flows should be restored to this dewatered river reach on the Connecticut River. While significant obstacles remain, this site has the potential for providing instruction, playboating, and a big water feature that that could be run throughout much of the year and provide a much needed boost to the local economy.
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