Ashuelot, New Hampshire, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-IV (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||55 fpm|
|Max Gradient||80 fpm|
|ASHUELOT RIVER AT HINSDALE, NH|
|usgs-01161000||4.50 - 7.00 ft||II-IV||01h08m||3.56 ft (too low)|
Put in elevation........430' Take out elevation......239' Total drop..............191' Average drop/mile.......55' Distance................3.5 miles River width average.....85' River water quality.....Poor to fair, water clarity fair. Scenery.................poor in spots, a few factories along the way.
From Keene NH take NH route 10 south for approximately 13 miles. Take a right onto NH route 119.
About 2 miles to the put in just upstream and river right from the Ashuelot covered bridge.
From Interstate 91 in Vermont take exit 2 onto route 9 into downtown Brattleboro. Take a right then follow the signs to NH 119. Follow NH 119 approximately 8 miles to the put in.
From the put in take NH 119 west 3.5 miles into downtown Hinsdale. Look for a small dirt parking area next to the river. The new owner of the warehouse at the take-out in Hinsdale is friendly to paddlers, but requests that we park head-in by the picknick table, so as not to block a truck backing into a dock at the rear of the building.
The river is broken up into three sections. Each section is seperated by a dam which must be
portaged. The upper section is a nice warmup class II. The second gets a little more difficult...
up to class III. The last section is the toughest...class III-IV depending on water level. The
McGoldrick Dam was removed by the NH Department of Environmental Services in 2002 thereby
eliminating one portage on the lower section.
Only two portages left since the other dams have either been washed out or removed. The first portage is between the Class II and III section. The second between the III and IV.
This river holds water very well since it is at the bottom of a huge watershed, it is usually one of the last rivers in New England to be running during the spring.
Video of the Ash at 5.3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsZIArarLlo&feature=colike
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
This is the toughest section of river on this trip. Just below the dam you will be passing a paper mill. There is a lot of trash in this area from that mill. Just below the factory bridge is the toughest rapid on the lower Ash. This is Papermill rapid. There is a rather clean straight line through this rapid just right of center. To the left is a series of holes that can swallow an open boat. The rest of this section is continuous class III+ water with little let up.
This section of the river can be easily scouted from the road on river right that you can pick up a mile or a mile and a half downriver from the put in, off of 119.
At 700 CFS (about 4.5 feet), this section is a 2+; at 1000 (4.9 feet), it is a good beginner's class 3. At 1500 cfs (5.35 ft), the river becomes much pushier. At this level, Paper Mill Rapid becomes a big water class 3+ to 4, depending on your rating system.