This photo needs editing.
Difficulty II-IV
Length 5 Miles
Gauge N/A
Flow Range N/A
Flow Rate as of: 1 second ago N/A
Reach Info Last Updated 01/12/2015 2:30 pm

River Description

Whitewater action appears early in run (first 3/4 mile), followed by long, flat access paddle out (or a long carry back up).

The main drops (at least, as named in the following video) are: Always Right, Triple Drop, The Box, and Desensitization Falls.

A Minnesota DNR gauge now exists right at the listed putin. We are unable to directly poll this gauge to display data, but you can check it online at:

If you run this river, help your fellow paddlers by providing gauge reading and your evaluation of it via a comment.
Check it out in this video from YouTube:

Rapid Descriptions

Drainage: 210 sq.mi.

Class - N/A Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

A MN DNR gauge exists very near our listed put-in, and lists drainage of 210 square miles.

Opening Drop

Class - N/A Mile - 0.1
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First off, what follows in this listing is NOT based on first-hand knowledge of the run, but solely upon online aerial views. All rapids/feature 'names' used here are NOT meant to be names, but rather are merely descriptors. Anyone having first-hand knowledge of names which correspond to each or any of the features/rapids, and the appropriate class/difficulty rating, is encouraged to "Add a Comment" or provide a report or other feedback to help your fellow boaters with proper information.

The first action appears to come less than a tenth of a mile downstream of the CR424 put-in bridge.

Second Sequence

Class - N/A Mile - 0.35
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Rocky outcroppings appear to divert the flow into a combo drop that is likely to have a left-to-right route.

First Pool

Class - N/A Mile - 0.68
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After nearly 1/3rd of a mile of fairly continuous boulderbed (this is the Stony River, after all!), you encounter a significant pool as the river takes a 90-degree bend to the right. This is the start of a loop/hook in the river. Not far out of the pool, the stony boulderbed continues.

Third Sequence

Class - N/A Mile - 0.97
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The third more significant sequence occurs where more bedrock chokes the stream. It appears that a chute down the left may be a preferred route, though (depending upon flows) a route may open up more center-river.

Second Pool

Class - N/A Mile - 1.03
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After a short bit of runout boulderbed, a second pool is encountered. The river takes nearly a horseshoe bend to the left, encountering more light boulderbed rapids.

Third Pool

Class - N/A Mile - 1.25
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A much larger pool is encountered. Folks wishing to do the briefest trip may prefer to paddle to the left-far-end of this pool where they may find a trail (or maybe have to bushwack?) back to the road (178) where they may have left a shuttle vehicle, or to walk back up to the put-in bridge.

Those continuing downriver will find that it doubles back hard right, encountering a long narrow island as it departs this pool.

HUGE Island

Class - N/A Mile - 1.56
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

A very large island will be encountered not far out of the just mentioned third pool. To the left is the most direct route (and will be detailed below).

Head right and you encounter some light boulderbed rapids, an area or two of narrowing (possible compression waves?), and will not encounter the left channel (end of the island) until about 1.5 miles. Being  a longer route, gradient (of couse) will be reduced as compared to the left route, which is only about 2/3rds of a mile.

Island Drop

Class - N/A Mile - 1.65
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

As some bedrock is encountered, a fine little left/right sequence is encountered.

Minor drop

Class - N/A Mile - 2
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It appears a much more minor feature may occur at this point.

Stony Squeeze

Class - N/A Mile - 2.48
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After the flows (from around the huge island) rejoin, the river pools up, twists to the right (heading north), and narrows to encounter a fine rocky sequence.


Class - N/A Mile - 2.59
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The stony squeeze continues nicely for a bit, encountering what appears to be a bit more concentrated area at this point -- perhaps a 'crux' of the whole sequence.

Rock Dikes

Class - N/A Mile - 3.19
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After about a half-mile of almost entirely flatwater, a bedrock intrusion forms a dike/dam across the stream just below a small island. At the right flows, this may form an interesting (playable?) feature. A short pool leads to another rock dike/dam.

Denley Creek Sequence

Class - N/A Mile - 4.4
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Denly Creek enters from river-right. This will be a welcome sign that the mile-and-a-quarter of flatwater is done, as a fine stony sequence lies just downstream. It should start pretty simply down the middle, but as the river twists left, then right, it encounters a bit more bedrock for a fine finish to this sequence.


Class - N/A Mile - 4.8
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A brief recovery pool after the prior drop leads into a minor rock garden, then into a larger pool before the final sequence. The river twists to the left to spill across rock outcropping (probably a left-right-left comination) before the backwaters of Birch Lake are encountered.


Summary of Gauge Readings

A Minnesota DNR gauge now exists right at the listed putin. We are unable to directly poll this gauge to display data, but you can check it online at:

If you run this river, help your fellow paddlers by providing gauge reading and your evaluation of it via a comment.

Gauge NameReadingTimeComment

No Gage


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.


No Accident Reports




article main photo

Penobscot River Dams to be Removed!

2003-12-01 00:00:00-05
Kevin Colburn

Atlantic Salmon and other imperiled fish species will soon have hundreds of additional miles of habitat. A recent decision between a power company, NGO's, tribes, and government agencies calls for the removal of two dams on Maine's Penobscot River and the bypassing of a third. American Whitewater applauds this huge win for rivers and is recruiting volunteers to assist with our work on the project. There is a public meeting December 2nd.

Matt Muir