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:
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.
8 years ago
by Mark Lacroix
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.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Wild Ammo put in
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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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