Deerfield - 2) Harriman Reservoir to Sherman Reservoir (Upper Dryway)

Deerfield, Vermont, US


2) Harriman Reservoir to Sherman Reservoir (Upper Dryway)

Usual Difficulty III-IV (for normal flows)
Length 3.7 Miles
Avg. Gradient 15 fpm

River Description

This section starts with a long carry down from the parking area at the outflow from Harriman Dam.


This section is also called the "Upper Dryway" since water from the reservoir flows through a bypass pipe approximately four miles downstream. (The tall surge tank can be seen from the road, protruding like a tall silo up the side of the hill.)


Unfortunately, the dam gates themselves do not allow enough flow to make the river boatable so the river rarely runs. The reservoir must be full with water flowing over the spillway to bring the river up.


This is considered a novelty run since it is so different from the regular (ie, lower) Dryway and other similar New England rivers. It is flushier than the Lower Dryway, with fewer features (rocks, drops, etc.). It has additional hazards in that there are many trees growing up in the middle of the channel. Since the river runs so rarely the forest has started to grow in the riverbed. There is a nice drop, the remains of a small dam near the end in Readsboro where the river narrows. There is also a nice III+ rapid near the end after the merge with the West Branch.


Take out just below the town of Readsboro at the head of Sherman Reservoir (below the last house in Readsboro on river right).

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2010-07-22 18:49:16


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
September 5 2011 (2357 days ago)
Mark LacroixDetails
On August 28th, 2011 Hurricane Irene struck New England. The resulting floods caused extensive
damage throughout the region, the worst in over 100 years. More than half the rivers in Vermont and
northern New Hampshire recorded their highest flow levels ever. Many roads, guardrails, power
lines, bridges, trees and other debris now litter several rivers throughout the region. River beds
have been scoured and changed course, many new strainers make navigation problematic at best and
downright dangerous at worse. Please realize that the river description you see here may not match
current situation after the floods. Use common sense and when in doubt scout especially on blind
drops. Also, if you run this river in the next year or so please comment on its navigability, even
if there are no problems this will be very helpful. Please report any new strainers or changes to
the rapids that will impact future boating. Thank you,

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