Deerfield - 1) Searsburg Dam to Harriman Reservoir

Deerfield, Vermont, US


1) Searsburg Dam to Harriman Reservoir (Searsburg Section)

Usual Difficulty III (for normal flows)
Length 4.5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 50 fpm

Searsburg Section of the Deerfield, Surfing

Searsburg Section of the Deerfield, Surfing
Photo of Josh Lutz by ChuckS taken 04/19/08 @ 1150 CFS

River Description

Ran the river with a gauge reading of 2500 CFS and updated the maximum flow accordingly, great run. 
 From 2006.
A continuous II+ to III Run.

I’ve emailed Transcanada to try and get details as to the exact flow when I ran it today. Update at somewhere between 850 and 1550.

The water was up on the shore in some places and eddy’s were not often available.

The First larger feature I’m now calling initiation is as you approach your first bridge under route 9. We bore river right at the split and the feature was much less technical than at 500cfs, just waves with a pool below the bridge.

The next feature is a sharp left turn in the river and on river right there is a whirlpooly eddy with a large pourover. Mark Z went and played in it a little while Todd and I sat it out. I’ll post the pics from my camera.

At the next river split we again went river right for some really nice 3-4 foot standing waves.

Finally we came to Bolder Guard Rapid. We briefly eddy’d behind boulder guard and than simply ran straight through. It was much less technical at this higher level, kind of upper west like.

Again a pretty continuous II+ to III Run. The whole river is simply surf wave after surf wave, though catching some in the fast current would be hard. Again, not a place for someone without a good roll and river reading skills. Good intermediate run.
Posted by Chuck Still
May 21, 2006 - 500CFS  Finally got my wish and paddled the Searsburg Section of the Deerfield River on Route 9 In Vermont. Mike and I had a blast, it was / is always great to try a new river. At 500 CFS it was a sometimes-scratchy class II-III run.  There were 3 larger features in the river, the 3rd being bolder guard rapid.  The first feature was a wave train quickening as you come down the right hand channel of the river as your approach the first route 9 bridge crossing. There were some need to make moves in the line down to the bridge. Say II+. The next section of interest was where the river takes a sharp left turn. There was a stackup of pourovers followed by a pool of decent size. Again some need to make moves. III-  Boulder Guard Rapid was a river center, to river left to center run that was fast. At a higher level some of the pourovers of concern would be more covered up and the line more of a straight shot. There were plenty of rocks to marker / set your sites on for making the moves. III.  We ran river left at the powerhouse but upon seeing the run from below we could have taken the line by the powerhouse. The water flowing out was fast moving and at the confluence of the power gen station water and the river there was a nice seam that squirt boaters would love. While this run is certainly not for inexperienced boaters it is a lot of fun.  Big waves, lots of surf opportunities and some nice features. Given the 4.5 mile distance, something you could run twice in a day� Or park and repeat at boulder guard.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2010-06-28 07:37:20


Rapid Descriptions

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