Pemigewasset, Hancock Branch - Cheney Trail–East Branch Confluence

Pemigewasset, Hancock Branch, New Hampshire, US


Cheney Trail–East Branch Confluence

Usual Difficulty V (for normal flows)
Length 4.3 Miles
Avg. Gradient 171 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01074520 10.00 - 15.50 ft V 00h32m 2.6 ft (too low)

River Description

Source: Greg and Sue Hanlon's Steep Creeks of New England, which has more info on this run. Text used with permission.

Directions: from Lincoln, drive 2.5 miles East on Rte. 112 (Kancamagus Hwy). Park in the dirt parking lot, river right, just downstream of the Loon Mtn. Bridge.
Putin: continue East on 112 ~ 6.2 miles, crossing the East Branch to the first bridge across the Hancock Branch. Park in the Cheney Brook / East Pond Trail lot on the right.

This run includes 2 miles on East Br., Pemigewasset; these two miles aren't figured in the gradient listed above.


Flow Info:

Judge the water level from the road. The gage referenced above is approximate, based on a correlation.
A better guide is the E. Br. Pemi. 12.0 ft (9000 cfs) usually means a high level on the Hancock Branch.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-05-02 00:08:49

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Map of the Upper Pemi regionPhoto

Rapid Descriptions

Map of the Upper Pemi region

Upper Pemi region

Upper Pemi region
Photo by Mark Lacroix @ 1.6 bridge gauge

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
August 28 2011 (2641 days ago)
x (1)
boated this river today and I found the section between the put in and otter rocks to definitely
passable for a 12ft Esquif Nitro the east branch was pumping at 6000 when I made the ferry to the
Hancock campground. A really fun run that kept me on my toes the whole way.
December 27 2002 (5807 days ago)
Daniel HolzmanDetails
Five of us ran this river when the East Branch of the Pemi was at about 8000 cfs (very high). Four
were in kayaks, I was in an open boat. The steepest part of the run is the put in down to Otter
Rocks, which is too tight for an open boat.

The river opens up considerably below Otter Rocks because of a sizable tributary at the Rocks. Most
of the run is boulder gardens with small to medium sized rocks, easy Class 5. There are two steep
ledgey type drops, one about 1/3 of the way down, the other about 2/3 of the way down. We portaged
the second drop because there is a very sticky looking hole at the bottom, which would be difficult
to avoid. Others have run this drop successfully, scout it first.

There was a river wide tree just below water level in May 2001 about half way down the run, plus a
fair amount of smaller trees in other locations. Be careful.

Open boaters: if you are running at very high water as we were, you should make the ferry across
the East Branch of the Pemi to the takeout at the campground starting at river right on the Hancock
immediately where the Hancock Branch meets the Pemi. I started about 100 yards downstream of the
confluence, and got swamped before I could finish the crossing. Alternatively, you could carry up
to the Kancamaugus Highway about 1/4 mile along the East Branch on river left.

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