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).
7 years ago
by Mark Lacroix
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The Vermont Superior Court sided with American Whitewater in a long-running dispute with the state over whitewater boating on the Green River in Morrisville. The Court overturned state restrictions that would have eliminated any meaningful opportunity for boaters to enjoy this extraordinary river and required scheduled releases in a ground breaking decision.
In response to of the state’s draft basin plan for southern Vermont, American Whitewater and scores of boaters pressed the state to support the expansion of releases on the West River. Restrictions by the Corps of Engineers and Agency of Natural Resources have led to the elimination of nearly all scheduled boating opportunities on the West River over the past two decades, eliminating recreation opportunity and hurting the local economy. AW and its partners have been working to restore these releases.
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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