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Difficulty III
Length 7.2 Miles
Flow Range CFS
Flow Rate as of: 29 minutes ago 280 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 06/15/2018 6:33 pm

River Description

The lower section of the Wild Ammonoosuc generally runs when everything else is too high. This upper stretch of this section requires slightly more water then the lower section. This is a long stretch of river, seven miles long, with a number of access points allowing you to tailor your trip for length and difficulity.

Put on at the Wildwood Water Supply [small] Dam (44.1058N/71.88679W). A put-in slightly upstream might be easier as there is limited parking here.  Below the put-in the river is continuous class III. The next good access point is at a small road-side turn off with plenty of parking approximately 1.2 miles down the road from the dam (44.1069N/71.8913W).

The river slackens its Class III pace, traveling somewhat close to the road and passing by the Wild Ammonoosuc Fish & Game Club. The club is posted private, but you may be allowed access if you ask nicely. Below the club the river picks up the pace until it reaches a short trail leading from the road down to the river. This access point is located 0.8 miles west of the club (44.1218N/71.9303W). There is very limited parking here.

From there the river travels off into the woods until it appears again in the town of Swiftwater near the covered bridge. The features of this section are unknown since it has not been boated recently nor is it easily visible from the road. The gradient of this last stretch additionally is the highest on all of the boatable sections of the river.

Portage at the covered bridge in the town of Swiftwater where the lower section starts. There is a class V waterfall here with a large public parking area near the covered bridge in the town of Swiftwater.

Below the waterfall the river is mostly continuous class III down to the take-out. The biggest drop is approximately one quarter of the way down river and slightly above a small road-side pull-off. It is easily scoutable during your shuttle. If there is enough water in this drop this entire section of the river will be boatable.

Take out at a small parking lot where the river runs under Route 302.

Details of each possible put-in/take-out are:

Access Point and Section Woodstock      
Wildwood Water Supply Dam    13.01 0.0
Dam to Pull Off/Parking 14.22 1.26 1.26 92 73.0 III
Pull Off to Fish & Game Club 15.79 2.81 1.55 85 54.8 III
Club to Trail-to-River 16.56 3.60 0.79 69 87.3 III
Trail to Covered Bridge 18.3 5.26 1.66 164 98.8 III
Covered Bridge to Rt 302 20.5 7.3 2 182 91 III

If you boat any section of this river, please send feedback to the Streemkeeper with comments and river level information.


Besides an occasional fisherman along the banks of the Wild Ammonoosuc you could find several more people panning for gold. This section of river is known to be the best location in New England to find gold. It is not abundant and will not make you rich but it adds a little to the trip. Amateur gold seekers from all over the northeast come to the Wild Ammo in the late spring and summer after the spring freshets have redistributed the gold through the riverbed. Gold panning equipment can be purchased at the Swiftwater General store close to the put in. Boaters have an advantage since they can easily access the opposite river bank away from the crowded roadside riverbank. Look on the inside corners of a turn in the river behind boulders. You should dig down through the lighter gravel above to the bedrock or clay river bottom for best results. Unless your in an open boat panning equipment is not easy to bring along. A small dinner plate would probably suffice. Ask one of the other panners on the river about how to use it. Most all we met on our recent trip were very friendly and were thrilled to show us what they found.
addl info: Mark Lacroix,5/3/03


Please leave a comment if you run this section and report how the flows related to runnability.


Rapid Descriptions


Gage Descriptions

There is a painted paddler's gauge on the abutment of the covered bridge at the put in.

2.5 = medium high
2.0 = medium (enjoyable)
1.75 = low
1.5 = minimum

Note that at higher levels a wave forms around the gauge. Read it as an average level, ignoring the peak of the wave. The correlation gauges are similar drainage to the east, north, and south.

Gage Coorelation Obserations for Wild Ammonoosuc River

Date          Wild Ammo
Bridge Gage   
USGS Baker         
River near
Rumney, NH
Woodstock, NH      
Branch Pemi,      
Lincoln, NH
Ammonoosuc at
Bethlehem Junction   
4/30/11 0.5 2.77'
843cfs FS
2530cfs FR
1540cfs FR
1010cfs FR
Not worth it
5/03/18 1.5 2.83'
906cfs FR
4040cfs FR
2880cfs FR
1570cfs FR
Low runnable.
4/27/18 1.75 3.57'
1390cfs FR
2950cfs FR
1660cfs FR
1340cfs FR
Low runnable.
5/17/14 2.0 5.5'
3000cfs FR
7300cfs FR
3650cfs FR
2700cfs FR
A fun run.




Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports




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article main photo

Bellows Falls (VT) Flow Study Reveals Hidden Whitewater

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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. 

article main photo

AW, MVP Protect Land and Access on the Contoocook River (NH)

Robert Nasdor

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.


Skip Morris


Alex Barham


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1200033 05/09/11 Skip Morris
1200034 05/09/11 Skip Morris
1200037 05/09/11 Skip Morris
1200038 05/09/11 Skip Morris
1200039 05/09/11 Skip Morris
1200035 05/09/11 Skip Morris
1200036 05/09/11 Skip Morris
1203380 05/18/14 Skip Morris
1203396 05/21/14 Skip Morris
1209460 05/02/18 Alex Barham
1209470 05/03/18 Alex Barham flows updates
1209631 05/19/18 Skip Morris
1209850 06/15/18 Skip Morris
1209588 05/16/18 Skip Morris
1209590 05/16/18 Skip Morris
1209589 05/16/18 Skip Morris
1209591 05/16/18 Skip Morris
1209615 05/17/18 Skip Morris
1209855 06/15/18 Skip Morris
1200030 05/09/11 Skip Morris
1200028 05/09/11 Skip Morris
1200031 05/09/11 Skip Morris
1190987 05/04/03 Skip Morris n/a
1200027 05/09/11 Skip Morris
1200029 05/09/11 Skip Morris