The Green River is a dam release Class IV and V creek run currently being analyzed through the FERC dam relicensing process. There are two distinct sections. The first is the Upper Class I/II Section from the dam down to just above the putin culvert for the Lower Class IV/V Section.
The Upper Green River (Class I/II):
The river itself, tiny and no more than 30 feet wide, starts directly below the dam in a gorge of sorts where the toes of the valley walls end directly at the water’s edge. They aren’t vertical bedrock but steep enough that you notice how “V” shaped the valley is once you put on the water. Approximately 200 yards down from the foot of the dam is a very nice river wide play wave with decent eddy service on river right. This is far and away the largest whitewater feature on this stretch of the river. Below this play wave the river flattens and becomes moving water down what feels like a hallway, beautiful. After some meanderings and a few riffles, you pop out into the first of three wetland complexes, complete with sedge meadows, beaver lodges, and tannin laden water probably loaded with some big old brown trout. The river meanders through the meadows backing on its self several times before you run into the next pinch in the hillsides, where there is a set of class I/II- riffles leading to the next open sedge-wetland complex. There are three of these open areas and pinches in total before the river necks down and you are channeled in moving water for the final stretch. You will see a VERY low green bridge that is hard to limbo, even in a kayak, so if you are uncomfortable in tight places eddy out on river right and portage or use this as your take out. The actual take out is a short stretch downstream on the road side (river left) of the river across from the stick flow gauge. CAUTION – make sure to take out at this location because just below is a class V rapid into a culvert and 40 foot unrunable falls.
This stretch of river makes for a nice short moving water paddle and is benign enough for even recreational boaters to enjoy the scenery while paddling. Fishermen, birders, and wild life enthusiasts take note – this makes a nice alternative to the reservoir with different geography.
The put in is a slog down to the river (could use some improvement). Instead of driving to the Green River Reservoir access area you stay straight on the road to the dam. You will it a “T” where there should be a cable across the road proper to the dam. Park up at the pull off and carry down to the fence where the power house is. Where the road curves along the fence to the right go left and look for a draw that you can hike/climb down. Put in and enjoy.
The take out is road side on the access road to the reservoir recreational area and directly across from the stick flow gauge (river right). Unless you would rather take out at a green access bridge that you would likely want to portage anyways.
The Lower Section (Class IV/V):
The Green River drops about 400 feet over the 2.75 miles from the Garfield Road to Route 15 and in to the Lamoille River. The river meanders through an uninhabited, deeply wooded area with several exceptional gorges, falls and drops that provide an exceptional opportunity for whitewater boating. The upper part of the river has a gentler slope dropping about 150 feet over the 1.6 miles from the dam to the Garfield Road. The rapids are many and some are pretty stout (3 - Class V's). All are scoutable and easily portaged.
Put In: Below the culvert under Garfield Rd, River left. First place you can. Moonshine (Class V) and Plop Plop Fizz Fizz (Class 4- sneak) both come up quickly (1/4 mile). Scout both.
Take Out: Until further notice: Due to some conflicts with parking at the bridge (the used car/junkyard business and power pole), please continue to the confluence of the Lamoille and paddle an additional mile to the Lamoille Fishing Access area on Rte 15. Any and all new information about the parking at the take out will be posted here as well as the Vermont Paddlers Club message board and the Northeast Paddlers Message Board. Communication channels are open and until a solution has been arrived at and agreed to, please be considerate and on your best behavior!
The river gauge is on downstream river rt. abutment of the bridge.
Nice very short gorge sneak of Moonshine river right
Class V Ledge Falls
Class IV rapid with must make move right to left to avoid undercut boulder.
Class III drop with slide/flake boof on left and boof over hole on right.
Class III drop with sticky hole on first ledge and green tongue on second
Class III drop after downed tree. Great boof or plug into begining of flat water section
Class V multiple stage drop in very tight walled potholed gorge.
Nice Class III+ drop with left curler into giant pillow and boof.
Class V waterfall ledge.
Class III+ continuous ledge features for a good 1/4 mile.
Class IV+ boof on left into runout series of ledges. Beware of wood here!
Class III+ set of ledges with micro eddies on right to catch on the way down.
Class III right hand turn and back left
Class III Tight little drop with boof on left and hole tucked into right
Class IV. Long rapid with lead in on left and slide/boof over hole. Gets busier at higher levels opening up cleaner left line to the boof.
Class IV rapid with a couple of options. Last drop, right hand bend around boulder and over ledge.
6 years ago
by Mark Lacroix
Gauge Location: There are two gauges, one at the takeout for the Upper Section and one at the Take Out for the Lower Section on Rte 15. The Lower Section gauge is the one usually quoted but interestingly enough, both gauges are very closely coorelated.
Right now the Green River hydroproject is undergoing the FERC relicensing process. For the meantime, the power company usually gives us a heads up so we can post the particulars for a upcoming release on the New England Paddlers Message Board and/or the Vermont Paddlers Club website's message board. Keep in touch there or call the locals if you know anyone, for more information (dam spilling, etc..). If you are able to boat this whitewater gem, please post on either of those websites and AW, the day you did the run, the level (which gauge), the type of experience you had and what type of boat. This run will be an excellent resource for paddlers when the FERC relicensing process is complete.
Permits are not required for this reach.
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Tom Gorge Rapid
The first rapid on the Green.
A great boof on the Green.
Plopp Plopp Fizz Fizz
Piton (Left Side)
Doe-Si-Doe (Lower Part)
Class IV/V Lower Section Part 1
Class IV/V Lower Section Part 2
Map of Area
Upper Run From Dam to Above Culvert
Class IV/V Lower Section Part 3
Class IV/V Lower Section Part 4
Doe C Doe Rapid
Put In Below Culvert
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
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American Whitewater and Vermont Paddling Club have filed a Motion to Intervene in hydropower relicensing application filed by Morrisville Water & Light for the Green River dam. We are asking FERC to require the utility to provide 8-10 annual releases on this scenic and challenging run in northern Vermont. While MWL has agreed to provide two scheduled annual releases, we are seeking additional boating opportunities through the relicensing process.
American Whitewater and the Vermont Paddlers Club today filed comments with FERC calling on Morrisville Power & Light (MWL) to schedule releases on the Green River in Vermont. In their comments filed today with FERC, AW & VPC called on the MWL to provide five weekend 2-day releases from the dam in order to provide additional paddling opportunities.
American Whitewater and Vermont Paddlers Club today appealed the decision by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) that limits whitewater boating opportunities on the Green River in Morristown. DEC issued a water quality certification for the Morrisville Hydroelectric Project that reduces opportunities for whitewater kayakers to paddle the Green River compared with natural conditions, and in addition, eliminates all opportunities for scheduled whitewater boating releases that are enjoyed by scores of paddlers from the northeast as well as boaters from Canada under current operations. The Green River is a highly valued whitewater river containing a series of challenging drops and falls as it descends from the Green River Reservoir to the Lamoille River.
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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