White - Rochester to Bethel

White, Vermont, US


Rochester to Bethel

Usual Difficulty I-II (for normal flows)
Length 20 Miles

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01142500 42 - 2000 cfs I-II 66h18m 17.3 cfs (too low)

River Description

Information provided by Nate Mulherin

"Last Friday, 6/11/04, I canoed (OC-2) the 11-mi Stockbridge-to-Bethel section of the White, and found it to be on the low side at 1210 cfs on the West Hartford gage (mean flow over the 3 hrs we were out there) and 42 cfs at the Ayers Brk gage). But we floated the entire distance, finding those elusive slots between the rocks. It made for studious route-finding at each drop, but that was half the fun. Several of the drops above Gaysville were still Class 2-3, but all were quite manageable and friendly at his volume. Lower flow would result in alot of painted rocks. Beautiful river."

Alan Darling shared:

I have kayaked the section from Stockbridge to Bethel twice this year (2004). The first time, the downstream gauge was at 2800, and the second time that gauge was at 3200. As noted elsewhere, the downstream gauge is not the best indicator of the river, but it should be taken into account. The trip from Stockbridge to Bethel is about 11 miles, and it has steady rapids for the first 9 miles before becoming flat for the last two miles. These are mostly class 2 rapids, although the Gaysville rapid is probably a 2+, with some fairly big waves. We were following some significant rains the second time I ran it, and friends who had run it two days before (when the water had been even higher) said that one rapid, called S-turn, had become Class 4 at high level, and that the Gaysville rapid had become Class 3 or 3-plus. When I ran it at 3200 two days later, there were a couple of 2-plus or 3-minus rapids, and a number of stretches with some big waves, probably 3 to 6 feet high.

I would rate this as an advanced beginner river at high water, and as a beginner river at lower levels, although the Gaysville rapid is a tough one for a rank beginner. It is more difficult than Fife Brook when you exclude Zoar Gap, and at good water levels, a lot more fun because it doesn't have the long stretches of flat water. It is also more difficult than the Townshend Dam section of the West River, but not as difficult as the Ball Mountain Dam section of the West River. Many people pull out just below the Gaysville rapid; however, a good day-long trip can be had by going the whole way to Bethel (pullout point is Peavine Park). The scenery is excellent all the way.

One additional note: watch out for the strainers! There were multiple strainers both times I ran it, and a friend who has run it many times said that this river seems to generate many strainers.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2005-04-29 06:41:03

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

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