Upper Stony Brook adds 3 miles of class IV-V whitewater and 1 mile of class II to the traditional lower Stony Brook Run. There are six class IV-V drops, and another half dozen or more class III or higher rapids. 1200 CFS on the Souhegan at Milford seems to be a rough correlation for a minimum fun level, though the gauge is a bit downstream. At this level, the run is at most class 4+. If the rapid under the bridge at put-in is fluid, the level should be OK. See the pictures of the put-in rapid & takeout dam at minimum flows. This run takes a while. It is long, has a bit of wood, and requires a fair amount of scouting. Plan accordingly.
The major drops are all easily scouted from the banks, and the smaller drops can be boat scouted. This run is narrow and rarely run - be careful for wood.
The three most significant drops are “Rectum,” “Railroad Bridge,”and “Granite Communications.” Other notable drops are "linoleum" and "Backyard Brown".
After a little boogie water will come Rectum, a double drop through a narrow mini-gorge. The first drop can be boat scouted and run down the center, if there are eddies below. At high water, there may not be.
The second drop of Rectum splits around an island then into a small boulder garden. Both sides go, but look out for wood. The whole rapid is class IV+ at low water, and V- at higher levels. The rock is all railroad blast, so be careful.
Soon after Rectum comes Railroad Brigde. Not surprisingly, “Railroad Bridge” is the rapid at the constriction below the overhead railroad bridge. It is worth a scout. Class IV at low water. IV+ at higher levels. Watch for wood in the rapid & in the run out.
After a lot of boogie and class fun comes “Granite Communications,” a left-to-right drop that has a tendency to push boaters into the left wall. Drive through the hole at the bottom and stay off the left wall to avoid “Rand’s Hand” - the bottom of the granite wall that you will have to bow before in order to pass, if you end up against the wall. Class IV+ at low water.
Somehwere in the lower section you will also find "linoleum" - it is an easier version of Granite with the same left to right move.
The last notable rapid of the upper Stony section is “Backyard Brown,” in the backyard of a brown cabin. It is not a big drop, but there is no obvious clean line. Bash down it with your bow up, or scout for a narrow line through the rocky landing. ***CAUTION*** This rapid was the scene of a nasty vertical pin. The center boof line has a rock in the landing that resulted in a vertical pin. The paddler was able to extricate himself without injury, though this rapid should be scouted and serious consideration should be taken before running the rapid. The right line appears to be the safest line.
After this the river will cross back under Route 31, then mellow out into a mile of fast moving water. When the river again crosses under Route 31 and a tributary enters from river right you are at the top of the more commonly run bottom mile of Stony Brook. If you had enough water to run upper Stony, the bottom section will be at a great higher level.
The first full descent in recent years was done by Nathan Warren, Jon Loehrke and James Dusenbury. It was likely explored back in the day, but for some reason remained off the radar...
Upper Stony Brook Put-In:
109 Old Temple Rd
Lyndeborough, NH 03082
Takeout for Upper Stony/Put-In for Lower Stony Brook:
Intersection of Forest Rd (Route 31) and Burton Hwy
304 Forest Rd
Wilton, NH 03086
Takeout for Lower Stony:
Intersection of Forest Rd (Route 31) and Pleasant St
66 Forest Rd
Wilton, NH 03086
Google Map for Stony Brook
3 years ago
by Nathan Warren
The gauge is on another river, farther downstream. This run may go at lower flows, after recent rain events. Upper levels of boatability are still undetermined.
1200 CFS and holding on the Souhegan gauge seems like a minimum.
10/2014 - 1800 and peaking was great 4+ (1@V-). May have been high for a first time.
12/2014 - 1500 was a full level for a first time down.
4/2015 - 1300 and falling was low but fun class 4. Lots of wood.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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Experiencing Granite Com
Put In gauge
Upper Stony Put-In
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Northeast boaters can celebrate that another beloved whitewater gem has been protected. Paddlers on the Winnipeseaukee River are now assured that the put-in on the Lower Winni in Northfield, NH will be forever protected thanks to the donation of a parcel from Gloria Blais in memory of her husband Roger. Gloria donated the land to the Town of Northfield for the purpose of assuring that future generations of boaters will have access to the river. Protecting river access to the Winni is part of an ongoing effort by AW in the northeast region to protect river access.
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.
American Whitewater and Merrimack Valley Paddlers have reached an agreement to purchase a 10-acre parcel fronting on Contoocook River in Henniker, NH. The land serves as an important launch point for whitewater paddlers enjoying the popular section of the river that runs from Hillsborough to Henniker. This section of the Contoocook River contains rapids ranging in difficulty from Class II to Class IV.
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