Souhegan - 2) NH Rte. 101 Bridge to Wilton

Souhegan, New Hampshire, US


2) NH Rte. 101 Bridge to Wilton (Trash Dump rapids)

Usual Difficulty III (for normal flows)
Avg. Gradient 60 fpm
Max Gradient 75 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01093852 400 - 4000 cfs III 00h20m 410 cfs (running)

River Description

Technical info

Put in elevation........420'
Take out elevation......335'
Total drop..............85'
Average drop/mile.......60'
Distance................1.4 miles
River width average.....35'
River geology...........schists, small boulders, some ledge especially at
                        Horseshoe falls
River water quality.....neutral to good, clarity; neutral to dark.  Some
                        leaching from dump. 
Scenery.................Poor, upper reaches pass dump, lower reaches extend 
                        into the Wilton urban area.  Middle section good.
Wildlife................Occasional deer, merganzers, beaver

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-05-02 14:03:30


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.7Horseshoe FallsIII
1.0Wilton DamIV+Portage Waterfall

Rapid Descriptions

Recycler (Class II+, Mile 0.2)
This is a long rapid starting just around the bend past the route 101 bridge. The top of the rapid has a nice play spot. Eddy out on river right behind a 1' ledge. Here there is a hole turning more into a wave towards river center. The rest of the rapid picks along the rocks as it passes the Wilton recyling center on your right.

Horseshoe Falls (Class III, Mile 0.7)
Horseshoe falls is the toughest rapid on this section. It starts out with a series of ledge drops that can be run anywhere. Down below the river constricts from 40' wide to 18' wide into a narrow box canyon. The transition is by a horseshoe shaped drop. This drop is approximately 6' over a 40' distance. There are two routes the easiest one being far left. If you take the route on far right, catch the right side eddies as you prgress down. This will give you a better view as you scout your next move. There are also a few high penalty surfing waves you can access from these eddies. The bottom ledge does have a fairly large hole towards river center, it may upset you but not likely to hold you in.

Wilton Dam (Class IV+, Mile 1.0)
This is an "L" shaped dam approximately 8' in hieght. It is usually (and recommended) portaged on river left, however it has been run on the left and far right where there is a small break along a channel of the "L". Usually the boater launches off towards the right avoiding the hydraulic and shallows below. It is usually only deep enough to run in high water but high water also creates a larger hydraulic at the base of the dam. Scout carefully and consider the consequences here, portage if there is any doubt.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
March 9 2010 (3179 days ago)
Kenneth GlusmanDetails
Some people ran from the top to Wilton recently at a 3900 CFS level. which was high but not quite
in the trees yet. It was pushy and there were some big waves but I would not rate it above a 3 or
3+ until you get to the falls. Big stuff there; try to eddy out above and observe before running.
Trash dump was partially washed out, so less tricky than at lower levels, but moving very fast. The
real issue was overhanging branches, of which there were many. With fast moving water you have to
be watching carefully all the time to avoid getting stuck. The river is largely free of blockage
thanks to public spirited boaters who cleared it out recently, but there can always be a new
strainer and with this high speed current it would not be fun to hit one, so extra care is

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