This section of the Suncook is mostly swift water, a couple easy class I rapids begin just above the larger rapid and the takeout at Websters Mills. Due to the easy nature of the river it makes a good learning and teaching ground for beginning kayakers and un-seasoned canoeists who can opt to takeout and easily portage the final drop. There are two or so destinct class I rapids just above the larger rapid at the takeout. The biggest challenge here is manuvering your boat arround a few rocks in the current. Novice paddlers can easily take out on river left just above the final rapid - from here it is just a short cary to the parking on the road. This portage makes for a great vantage point to watch experienced class II paddlers run the final drops before and under the bridge.
Seasoned paddlers looking for a thrill will be dissapointed by this run, although the takeout and \"websters mills\" rapid make for a centrally located play spot up to class II+ in high water.
Paddled this today - June 30, 2013 - at 7.2 feet, which was a decent water level. The listed length is wrong - we GPS'ed it and the trip is a solid nine miles, not six. The description and comment below are also misleading. This is a challenging, ~3hr paddle with plenty of I-II whitewater as well as two short class III rapids which should both be scouted. The first one is a couple miles in at a sharp right turn in the river and can be scouted from the right.
The put in is on Joy St in Pittsfield. There's a path to the left of a submarine-sized propane tank. The take out on the map is on a residential road and we could not find a put in there. Instead, the take out that we used is in Epsom on a dirt road in a trailer park immediately downriver of the Dover Rd bridge (to drive there, pass the McDonalds on your right then take a right before the bridge). This is where the second class III rapid is.
Beautiful scenery, friendly locals, multiple strainers.
I think the intended takeout is Webster Mills because it is quickwater all the way to Dover Rd. You went quite a bit further. I also ran the river all the way down to Rt 4 (Dover Rd) 2 years ago, but found MAJOR trees (like full sized oak and pine) across the river about a mile from the Epsom Circle. A debris field left over from hurricanes. It was an area of the river that had steep sandy walls, so portage was nasty. Looked like a death trap at high water. Did you come across this major blockade? Is it still there?
Note: The gauge refered to in this section is a virtual "regional" gauge. It is in a nearby watershed but the proximity of the gauge and the river characteristics are similar. These gauges work best in the spring or wide area rain events. Do not rely on this gauge for localized rain events such as summertime thunderstorm activity. Current minimum run level for this stretch is still to be verified.
Permits are not required for this reach.
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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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