Mascoma - 1. Mascoma Lake to Route 4, Lebanon

Mascoma, New Hampshire, US


1. Mascoma Lake to Route 4, Lebanon

Usual Difficulty II-III(IV) (for normal flows)
Length 3.9 Miles

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01150500 350 - 1500 cfs II-III(IV) cfs

River Description

This section is listed in Let it Rain.


Drawdowns of Mascoma Lake likely make this section runnable in the fall. For some hairy stuff, check out the Downtown section.


The United State Geologic Survey discontinued reporting flow and stage levels at their gage station located at the Mascoma Lake out flow.  The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services took over the gage shortly thereafter and started posting information at their site.  Click Here.

The only reason for a maximum level in is because of strainers on the banks. The actual difficulty of the whitewater does not change much (just a little pushier and fewer rocks).


There is a gauge located in another branch of this system which could be used for correlation. However, there is no 75th percentile or paddler observations to base any correlation off of. If you run this section please check the online gauge and leave a comment with the flow and a description of the run.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-05-04 16:30:00

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
August 12 2018 (92 days ago)
BradNJAKMA (157451)
Paddled 8/7/2018 not sure level, the 2 gauges I saw were toppled in the water. See photo of dam to
see what the overflow looked like. At this point the area had gotten several inches of rain, but
things had already peaked a good 24 hours before I got the chance to get on. Only did 1/2 the
listed run - from the lake down to where Rte 4 and the Rail Trail intersect just a bit past the I89
overpass. BONY run, minimal features to surf at. You can see plenty of potential when there is good
flow... as it was, it was merely a nice break from flatwater lake paddling while shadowing family
walking the Rail Trail. If you are camping in the area with non-paddlers, this is great - they can
do the trail and with loads of bridge crossings, you can chat with each other as you go. The
section I did was free of wood. No portages needed (I started at Mascoma Lake Campground beach and
did portage the dam onto river left). Though bony, all passable. Nice deeply wooded run giving a
good sense of seclusion. Rubber at high levels beware, decent amount of metal objects scattered
throughout the run, not bad, but aside from the cart wheels and the giant safe, I did notice some
rebar-like rusty posts and such here and there. I'll upload photos looking up at some areas that
very likely become fun rapids at higher levels. I stopped where I did due to my family on the trail
petering out. It was shallow enough I wasn't terribly sad to get off the run and besides, being
alone, I didn't want to accidentally encounter the Cl V drop that I couldn't remember exactly where
it was supposed to be :)
March 17 2016 (970 days ago)
olaf37 (147567)
Jimmy and I paddled yesterday. Strainers are everywhere, but all passable. However, the long left
channel that starts just above the beaver pond is hopelessly blocked. Takeout, now upstream of the
water works on left, has a rather steep climb-out. One must hike across a river bridge on the rail
trail to exit. Alden Bird, in Let it Rain, says there is no permission to park alongside the rail
trail below the old mill, but his description of a portage river left of the dam is invalid, for
the takeout is now fenced off by the water works. If you positioned a cart, you could walk, carry
or drag 1/2 mile back to the covered bridge parking area., I have run the dam off a jump platform
far right, just left of a barrier rock below, but a friend's paddling hobby ended when he got
carried along the boil line until he was spit out at the far left end.

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