Mad, Vermont, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III+(IV) (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||30 fpm|
|Max Gradient||49 fpm|
|MAD RIVER NEAR MORETOWN, VT|
|usgs-04288000||300 - 1700 cfs||II-III+(IV)||01h09m||47.9 cfs (too low)|
The most common class III run is the lower Mad. This is the last 2 miles, from the hydro dam to
the confluence of the Winnoski river. There is one possible portage at Horseshoe falls. This is a
class IV+ drop with a technical entrance and sticky recirculating hole at the bottom.
The run parallels Vermont Route 100B providing ample oppertunities to scout and access the river. Take out is 1/3 mile below the confluence of with the Winooski river on river left just downstream from Vermont Route 2. Please note the new take out, parking area, and pull-through for trailers: It is just DOWNSTREAM of the Route 2 bridge on river left of the Winooski (just across the road from what it says above). You will still want to watch for poison ivy, though. Thank you Vermont River Conservancy for such great river access!
To find the put in travel south on Vermont Route 100B from Vermont Route 2 approximatel 1.5 miles. Just before the road crosses over the Mad River take a left on a dirt road. About a 1/4 mile park on the right then hike a short distance down to the river put in just below the dam.
Put in elevation......485'
Take out elevation....426'
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.2||Lower Put in||II+|
|0.4||Route 100B Rapid||II+|
|1.2||Old Bridge Rapid||II+|
Shaped like a horseshoe, the right side is steeper and can result in some long downtime once you launch over the 6' ledge. There is a maw in the middle where the right side and left sides meet. This could easily flip a boat. River left has a two-step drop with a rather sticky hole at the bottom. The first step tends to slow the boater's momentum just enough to cause trouble for the second step. Rescue boaters and equipment quickly since the Washing Machine is only a short distance downstream. The Horseshoe is easily portaged on river left.
At levels below 400 cfs, it seems that the two stage river left drop is too shallow to run, and the ledges are mostly out of the water. River right is flows at <400 cfs, and is a solid 6 foot boof over a hole with a tricky entrance - still class IV.
A short distance below "Old Bridge" the river splits around a ledge island. The river right route provides more sport. Run the left side first then carry back up the ledge island to try the right side. Shortly below the Final drop the Mad converges with the Winooski.