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Difficulty III
Length 3 Miles
Gauge OTTER CREEK AT MIDDLEBURY, VT
Flow Range 200 - 10000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 44 minutes ago 360 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 04/18/2018 8:41 pm

River Description


There are two whitewater sections:

1) Middlebury Falls -- 18' high falls right in downtown Middlebury, plus a meaty ledge hole just below it. Put-in and take out are in same spot -- there is only one bridge right in downtown Middlebury, falls are right under it, take the first road just after bridge on downstream side, go park down there. Watch out for strainers.

2) Otter Creek Gorge -- one cl. III rapid, a couple of light cl. II. Put-in below Belden Falls Dam. A short class 2 leads to the gorge entrance. The short gorge is straightforward and fairly short, but has boils and undercut walls, so stay straight down the middle. Long flat pool afterwards to collect any pieces.
A class 2 wave train rapid leads down to the confluence with the New Haven by the campground.
Dog Team Falls, on the New Haven river, behind the Dog Team Tavern, can be used as an alternative access point for Otter Creek if the gorge is too high
Below the campground a ledge rapid forms a small playwave on river right as the river splits round an island. This is best in high water. From there its flatwater all the way to the takeout, on river right before the road bridge.

Directions:

Put -- go north from Middlebury on Rt. 7 until about 1 mile, when you see a sign for New Haven Mills on the right. Take the dirt road on the left at this intersection, signed Beldens Falls Rd. Follow this down across the railroad tracks to the put-in just below the Dam.

Take-out -- Go North on Rt. 7 from put-in; at 2.2 miles (measured by John Jackson, 2004-06-28) take a left on Campground Road; when that road runs to a T in a mile, take a left. The take out is just before the bridge.

Rapid Descriptions

Comments

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Jordan Vickers
|
10 years ago

An alternative is to paddle the gorge then once you come to the confluence of the New Haven paddle up that a short distance (slow current) then hike a few hundred feet on a path on river left which brings you to a parking lot and Dog Team rapid. There is a class III 6ft waterfall with class II small ledges below it just up the road. This also makes shuttle much less however paddling upstream does get tiring.

Gage Descriptions

Above 2000 cfs the gorge becomes more interesting and probably class 4. Has been run at least up to 4000 cfs

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.

Date Flow Result Factor  
1994-05-01 High Fatality One Boat Trip Read More

Alerts

   

News

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AW Wins Court Battle Protecting Green River (VT) Boating

9/21/2018
Robert Nasdor

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.

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Northeast Boaters Seek To Expand West River (VT) Boating

12/6/2015
Robert Nasdor

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.

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Bellows Falls (VT) Flow Study Reveals Hidden Whitewater

6/2/2015
Robert Nasdor

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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simon wiles

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Mark Lacroix

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Alex Barham

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1191842 07/16/05 simon wiles n/a
1200428 07/18/11 Mark Lacroix fix lat/lon
1209260 04/18/18 Alex Barham Location