Deerfield, Vermont, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-IV (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||15 fpm|
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).