All rapids are an easy boat-scout except for "Well Enough". "Well Enough" is visible downstream from the Rte. 4 bridge. Make sure you get out and scout because you'd better leave "Well Enough" alone.
Check out the description in New England Nuggets from the AW Journal archives. From this description:
New England Nuggets
One Car Wonders
By Nathan Lewis
Quechee Gorge, Ottaquechee River, Quechee, Vermont"A calculated risk adventure for experts"--Appalachian Whitewater Volume III Quechee Gorge, the stunningly deep but fairly short canyon formed by the Ottaquechee river in Quechee, Vermont, has been a small tourist attraction for about a century. Originally a major impediment to east-west traffic, it is now the site of Route 4's sturdy concrete span. For some time as we passed through on our way to Killington or the Hudson River Gorge, we would pull over and ignore the frozen yogurt and T-shirt vendors and peer over the railing at the whitewater far below.
From that dizzying perspective, the river was indecipherable. What was it like? How do you get down there?
The Quechee Gorge run starts at Dewey's Mills dam, about a quarter mile upstream of the bridge, and finishes at a picnic area about a quarter mile downstream. It's beautiful class III at the medium-low levels, except for one congested Class V just downstream of the bridge.
You'll find some classic creeky whitewater and nifty little play holes, but running the Gorge is as much about finding oneself within a beautiful spot, the gray walls sailing hundreds of feet up to meet the forest's edge, and the bridge leaping from rim to rim. If it's sunny you can expect a few surprised New Yorkers videoing you from far above.
The difficult spot, regretfully named "Washermachine", drops 6 feet through a four foot wide slot. It's an easy portage or scout on the right. It also defines the lower limit of navigability--a nasty rock appears in the middle of this slot when water levels drop. It's been run with the rock visible, but anxious pins have resulted. At higher levels some greedy holes appear against an alcove in the left wall just below the slot -- so use your best judgment.
This slot is also a favorite place for wood to lodge, so check it out beforehand. Back in the 70's, when the Gorge was getting its first regular descents, a local veteran of many descents decided he was in too much of a hurry to scout for strainers. The first plastic Hollowforms had arrived in town, and our eager paddler rushed straight to the put in to test the newfangled wonder. After bouncing through the upper stretch he confidently powered into the slot. Unfortunately, a good size log had wedged there; miraculously, the paddler swam free as his boat pinned, folded, and ripped in two.
DETAILS: Dewey's Mills dam is a flow-through dam, so the water in the Gorge approximates natural flow. Quechee Gorge is a high-to medium- water run, runnable in the spring and after rains. If the portage ledge at Washermachine is underwater, you may want to think twice about making the run. The put in is accessed by driving North from the Rte. 4 bridge along a short road. Picnic benches on the left, where the river makes a small left turn, signal the take out.
Lat/longitude coords are approximate, from online maps.GAUGE NOTE: The old Army Corps link is dead. I'll leave it in place in case it ever comes online again, but the newest flow info can be found here:http://nae-rrs2.usace.army.mil:7777/pls/cwmsweb/apitable.table_display_menu?gagecode=NHDIt's not as friendly as a histogram, but you can tinker with the interval and range parameters to get something useful.
I've created a google doc of the last 365 days of data for inflow, outflow and precipitation. Those interested can see correlation trends between inflow from Dewey Mill Dam and the outflow at Hartford. For what it's worth: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12hdtKIJmjXkCShL0qL_Noosf8dLHYpnY6_GH9gtk0hw/edit?usp=sharing (Updated by Clinton Begley 10/06/2014)
ran the gorge from Dewie's down to the picnic area at the end of the gorge with no portage on 5-2-09 couldnt believe how much fun the run was and how many people walked right up to us and asked us how it was and we were getting good lucks and great jobs all the way from and back to the car if you like pretty rivers and like a class V creek drop in the middle of your III+'s then this short run will appeal to you.....as far as the flow goes i heard from a person on NPMB that the gage for this river thats on this page is for tyhe damn down stream anyone know this to be 100% true?
8 years ago
by Mark Lacroix
The portage route for "Well Enough" becomes the sneak route at higher water.
The listed online gauge is actually the outflow from a reservoir below this reach, so it's a very rough approximation of the level in the Gorge. here is a new link to the modeled inflow data from for the Queechee (courtesy of Greg Hanlon): http://rsgisias.crrel.usace.army.mil/nae/cwms_realtime.ProjectPage?gagecode=NHD. (Thanks to Ed Meyer for alerting us to this resource.)
NOTE: The above Army Corps link is dead. I'll leave it in place in case it ever comes online again, but the newest flow info can be found here: http://nae-rrs2.usace.army.mil:7777/pls/cwmsweb/apitable.table_display_menu?gagecode=NHD
It's not as friendly as a histogram, but you can tinker with the interval and range parameters to get something useful.
(Updated by Clinton Begley 10/06/2014)
Eric Klem contributed:
Above 1500cfs, you can no longer portage Well Enough and you must run the sneak because the water is flowing over the portage rocks. The sneak is very high consequence and surprisingly hard. There is a hidden guardian rock at the entrance to the sneak which tends to push people away from the wall where it must be run. Unfortunately, the entire sneak is sloped towards the hole in Well Enough, which at these levels becomes a keeper. Above 2000 or so, the water actually slopes uphill for a ways after the hole and I am pretty confident that a swimmer would be unable to get out of there on their own and it would be extremely difficult to quickly get a rope to someone. Above 2000cfs, the rest of the river gets pretty pushy and tends to flip people a lot. My own feeling would be that the upper limit should be no higher than 2000 and maybe even 1500 because of the inability to portage well enough at higher levels. It is hard to say because we regularly run it at much higher levels but there have also been some relatively tense moments. At 2000cfs, I would call it class III+/IV with class V consequences, assuming the sneak is run.
Permits are not required for this reach.
Eric Klem shared:
Park in one of the two lots immediately west of the Route 4 bridge over the gorge. To get to the putin, walk North through the picnic area to the trail that is there and take the trail all the way to the dam. At the dam, you must climb down the rocks all of the way to the water; the dam area is not runnable. This climb requires agility and good footwear. Once you finish the run, marked by the gorge ending and the river widening, paddle to the river left bank. There is a trail there that will take you back up the side of the river to the Route 4 bridge which you walk across to get to the parking lot.
Looking into the Gorge
Quechee, Surf below the portage
Quechee, View from Bridge
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The Vermont Supreme Court decided today that whitewater boaters have the right to paddle on the Green River. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision by the Environmental Division of the Superior Court that required the hydropower project on the Green River in Morrisville to provide three annual scheduled releases. This is a precedent setting decision because it establishes that whitewater boating is a designated and existing use protected under the Clean Water Act, that scheduled releases are necessary to protect that use, and that Vermont ANR failed to meet its burden to show that providing scheduled release would result in a lowering of water quality.
The Vermont Superior Court sided with American Whitewater in a long-running dispute with the state over whitewater boating on the Green River in Morrisville. The Court overturned state restrictions that would have eliminated any meaningful opportunity for boaters to enjoy this extraordinary river and required scheduled releases in a ground breaking decision.
In response to of the state’s draft basin plan for southern Vermont, American Whitewater and scores of boaters pressed the state to support the expansion of releases on the West River. Restrictions by the Corps of Engineers and Agency of Natural Resources have led to the elimination of nearly all scheduled boating opportunities on the West River over the past two decades, eliminating recreation opportunity and hurting the local economy. AW and its partners have been working to restore these releases.
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.
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