This photo needs editing.
Difficulty III-IV(V) at this flow (III-IV(V) normally)
Length 2.4 Miles
Gauge RANCH BROOK AT RANCH CAMP, NEAR STOWE, VT
Flow Range 75 - 300 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 57 minutes ago 4.35 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 07/13/2015 2:03 am

River Description


Sterling Brook drains Madonna peak, just north of Stowe, VT.  It is a fun creek comprised mainly of class III boogie with a few class IV rapids and two bigger falls at the end, both with lines but consequences, putting the drops in Class V territory.

The takeout is at the first bridge crossing the creek on Sterling Valley road.

You can start all the way up just BELOW the gorge (follow Sterling Valley road up until you see signs for the gorge trails), but generally folks put in about 1/4 mile above the bridge from Moren Loop.  You will see a small pull-off and an abandoned old road on the left with a wood fence across it.  We have had no issues parking and putting in here.

For good levels the Ranch Camp gauge should be 80 or better when rising, and 100 or better if falling.  Remember these recommended levels are for the gauge readings of when you are on the creek so account for travel time if it is falling.  This run rises and drops about as quickly as anything in the state.

There is a visual gauge painted on the RL abutment of the bridge below Turtle Back Falls.  This bridge is located 1/2 mile up Sterling Valley Road on a side road (labeled Dr Neal road on google maps) coming in on the right.  

On this guage:

1 or less is low

2 is medium

3 is medium high

4 and above is high

The great thing about this run is that it can handle a lot of water and actually gets better as it gets higher, but it becomes more continuous.

The nearby runs of the Kenfield and Waterman are quality additions to a day if you have the water and time.

Watch for wood and enjoy!

Rapid Descriptions

Comments

Gage Descriptions

   There are several nearby gauges on streams of very similar nature.  The West Branch of the Little River and Ranch Brook are literally both in the next drainage south and thus are very reliable.  The current correlation is based on the Ranch Brook gauge, although the West Branch is actually the closer of the two streams.  In the future I hope to build a correlation to this gauge instead.

Permits

NA

Directions Description


From I-89/Stowe:

Take Rt 100 north through Stowe, a few miles north from town Rt 100 will curve to the right, at the Firefox restaurant.  You want to be on Stagecoach Road which veers off on the left.  Follow this up to Sterling Valley Road on your left.

From Rt 15/Morrisville:
Take Rt 100 south, a few miles out of town look for Morristown Corners Road on the right.  Take this to Stagecoach Road.  Turn left on Stagecoach and follow south to Sterling Valley Road on the right 

No Accident Reports

Alerts

 

News

article main photo

AW Wins Court Battle Protecting Green River (VT) Boating

9/21/2018
Robert Nasdor

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.

article main photo

Northeast Boaters Seek To Expand West River (VT) Boating

12/6/2015
Robert Nasdor

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.

article main photo

Bellows Falls (VT) Flow Study Reveals Hidden Whitewater

6/2/2015
Robert Nasdor

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. 

user-avatar

Scott Gilbert

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1200403 07/12/11 Scott Gilbert
1200402 07/12/11 Scott Gilbert n/a
1200404 07/12/11 Scott Gilbert
1200405 07/12/11 Scott Gilbert
1200449 07/25/11 Scott Gilbert
1205035 07/13/15 Scott Gilbert