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Difficulty IV-V
Length 2 Miles
Gauge ~ Wild River at Gilead, Maine
Flow Range 650 - 6000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 month ago 154 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 01/31/2019 2:44 pm

River Description


The Bull Branch is easily accessed by driving northwest up the Sunday River Rd. from Rt. 26 in Newry, Maine. After the road turns to dirt and crosses the Bull Branch (there is a cool falls near the bridge), bear right up Bull Branch Road.

There is a parking lot towards the top of the Bull Branch Road. If the water is high, you can start your run on either the upper Bull Branch (on the right as you hike upstream) or Goose Eye Brook (on the left as you hike upstream). From there, either hike ~100 feet left into Goose Eye Brook and run the slides, or hike up the Bull Branch Road and cut right into the woods to find the Bull Branch. If you hike in to the Bull Branch from here, be aware of a short but rowdy looking gorge with some nasty holes and difficult safety. If the water is low, put in below the confluence of the Bull Branch and Goose Eye Brook.

The Bull Branch has beautiful, clean pool-drop class IV rapids with a few rowdier and less-clean rapids mixed in. There are great ledge boofs and boulder garden rapids. The hardest regularly run drop (V-) is a narrow nearly vertical 8' drop with an undercut on the right and a large swirling eddy on the right that is VERY DIFFICULT TO GET A SWIMMER OUT OF, which is especially dangerous when the water is frigid in the early Spring.

The class V drops (one in the middle of the run and the others on either side of the island at takeout) tend to be manky and pitony.  All have been run, I believe first by Chris Hull and Anna Staehli (sp?), even the monstrous slide above the put-in on Goose Eye Brook.

An additional historical note:  This is one of the best runs in Maine! I ran into a guy who ran it in the late 80's ( a Sunday River employee) and he peaked my interest. We started to run this river top to bottom, all of the drops, around 1990, including Goose Eye. But our runs didn't start from where the put in parking lot is described here but by walking up a additional mile upstream on an old road to where there is a junction to an old snowmobile bridge and put in there. This a great start, narrow, tight, excellent drops and well worth the effort. It is actually on Pond Brook that you start and the Bull Branch comes in river left just a little ways down. We also used the same correlation with the Wild as an indicator.  --Bill Hidreth .

There is no good gauge in the area, but I've been told that the Wild in Gilead is a rough correlation. Look for a reading of 4' (~650 CFS) for the Bull Branch to be running.

Rapid Descriptions

Comments

Summary of Gauge Readings

The gauge is far away and a very rough correlation.

Gauge NameReadingTimeComment
Wild River at Gilead, Maine
AW Gauge Info
154 cfs ℹ️ 56d16h33m A very rough & distant correlation
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Directions Description


The Bull Branch is easily accessed by driving northwest up the Sunday River Rd. from Rt. 26 in Newry, Maine. After the road turns to dirt and crosses the Bull Branch (there is a cool falls near the bridge), bear right up Bull Branch Road.

There is a parking lot towards the top of the Bull Branch Road. If the water is high, you can start your run on either the upper Bull Branch (on the right as you hike upstream) or Goose Eye Brook (on the left as you hike upstream). From there, either hike ~100 feet left into Goose Eye Brook and run the slides, or hike up the Bull Branch Road and cut right into the woods to find the Bull Branch. If you hike in to the Bull Branch from here, be aware of a short but rowdy looking gorge with some nasty holes and difficult safety. If the water is low, put in below the confluence of the Bull Branch and Goose Eye Brook.

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