Falling in between Sterling Brook and Waterman Brook, the Kenfield is the most scenic of the Sterling Range micros, and one of the most scenic runs in a state full of them. Once run frequently by a group of Stowe Ski Patrolers (and likely once or twice back in the day by Moscow residents / whitewater heroes, the Kern brothers) it fell into obscurity until being run by several groups in 2011.
It is formed by the confluence of Meadow Brook from the south and Mud Brook from the north. As it flows down to the Lamoille it cuts behind Terrill Hill froming the Terrill Gorge. Chocked full of class III+ and IV rapids, one big scary class V+ and climaxing with a 10ft ramping falls into a scoured out cathedral pool with some good class IV runout, the white water is sure to please. Levels haven't quite been correlated to a gauge yet, but if you find Sterling or Waterman to have water, this is almost a sure thing.
From the put in you will quickly find a nice long class IV with a couple holes to punch and moves to make. A short bit of boogie and look for an eddy on your right, you are at the falls. Unless you are looking to run a very marginal class V+ with serious consequence shoulder your boat, wade across the outflow of the eddy into the right channel, and make your way down the 'island' in the center. After the falls is a manky bigger drop which we chose to put in below where the river makes a 90 degree turn to the left. Here begins a mile or so of fun boulder and bedrock drops. Try not to touch the rocks, (Hazen's Notch Schist) they are quite sharp, and be wary of strainers as with any gorged in micro the situation changes from storm to storm and it would be easy to stumble into some hidden wood. The final drops you will want to scout, as much to take in the surroundings as to examine the lines. This is a great run to combine with Sterling or Waterman or for a good fun high water day do the Sterling Range trifecta and hit all three.
There are more and supposedly big drops upstream which have not received much attention as of yet, likely a good place to go exploring when the gorge is looking a bit too fluid.
Not correlated to a gauge yet, but most likely look for Ranch Camp in Stowe to be north of 75cfs and Lamoille in Johnson to be either spiking and over 2000 or so, if past peak, Lamoille should probably be better than 2750. There is a visual gauge painted on the put in bridge, upstream side, river right abutment.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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Top of the class V+
The Class V+
Debbink & Dave below the portage
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The Vermont Supreme Court decided today that whitewater boaters have the right to paddle on the Green River. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision by the Environmental Division of the Superior Court that required the hydropower project on the Green River in Morrisville to provide three annual scheduled releases. This is a precedent setting decision because it establishes that whitewater boating is a designated and existing use protected under the Clean Water Act, that scheduled releases are necessary to protect that use, and that Vermont ANR failed to meet its burden to show that providing scheduled release would result in a lowering of water quality.
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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