Ridley Brook, Vermont, US
|Usual Difficulty||V (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||100 fpm|
|Max Gradient||200 fpm|
|RANCH BROOK AT RANCH CAMP, NEAR STOWE, VT|
|usgs-04288230||70 - 140 cfs||V||00h31m||4.35 cfs (too low)|
Going up Camels HumpRroad, the put in for the normal run is 100yrds above the first bridge that crosses the river. When the water is medium or higher you can go up as far as you like to add on a few miles of class IV boogie.
The rapid at the bridge is pretty standard fare for the run, so if you don't like the looks of it, the New Haven is close by and a good stepping stone to Ridley.
Below will be a mile or so of bouldery goodness. Keep an eye out for the bridge that marks Bathtub, a fantastic and challenging (5.1) sluiceway with an involved lead in.
More bouldery goodness follows until you are in somebody's backyard. This marks the start of Backyard Boating (5.0). A good eddy exists on the right, scout from here. The whole rapid is rarely run due to a manky exit, but you can run a portion of it and take out before the final drop.
Below here is the start of the Gorge with Video Drop (5.1), a tight falls with a ledge hole directly after. Often portaged, it is not uncommon for swims to occur here so be sure to set safety if you do attempt it. If you portage, do so on the right, and you can put in for the rest of the gorge, which contains The Spout, The Slide and then the exit. It should be obvious to run The Spout far left as the right line is dangerous.
Enjoy the beauty of the lower gorge, it is an amazing place.
After you exit there are a few more boulder rapids till the takeout at the bridge just before it dumps into the Winooski, though it can be fun to paddle out into the Winooski, and mess around on the waves below the railroad bridge and take out just downstream.
There is a gauge painted in yellow on RR of the takeout bridge. Please report levels to necreeking.com.
0 will be low, 4 and up will be high. Using the Ranch Camp Gauge look for at least 70cfs and rising and if it is over 140cfs the river will likely be high. It is a fairly reliable correlation.