New Years Day 20 14
This is a great training river. It starts out very easy then gets a little harder as you head downstream. The first mile starts out with quickwater that gradually turns into class I. This class I rapid is great for learning ferrying and eddying manuevers. At the railroad bridge, run the middle channel between the abutements. Run the center of the next drop. There is a lot of pinning potential in the rocks downstream of this drop in low water. This drop is class II and II+ above 1000 cfs. The left side of this drop has a hole. You can eddy out just downstream to the left of the hole so you can get the best approach to a nice surfing wave adjacent to it. At the next railroad bridge look out for a pilling sticking out vertically just right of center of the center channel. At 700-800 cfs this pilling is just under the surface and hard to recognize. At lower levels it is obvious and easy to avoid. Just downstream of the bridge is a wide easy surfing wave just before the river splits around a small island with a town park on it. Just past a street bridge downstream, there is a nice wide surfing wave extending out from river right. This one does not have an eddy to serve it so you will need to catch it on the fly. Take out on either side of the river after the next bridge and past the line of restored train cabooses. River Left is parking for the Winnipeasukee River Trail; River Right has a picnic are and bathrooms in Riverfront Park.
Put in elevation........470'
Take out elevation......418'
River width average.....60'
River geology...........Small schist boulders
River water quality.....Good in spring fair latter in Summer, clarity fair to good.
Scenery.................Fair, 1st mile forested, last urban with apartments
right up to the rivers edge, some old dam remains with
log cribbing and some rebarr.
Wildlife................Merganzers, Blue herons.
We are encouraging as many boaters as possible to show up for the New Years paddling event on the WinnipesaukeeRiver in Franklin, Tilton, NorthfieldNH. Not only do you get to paddle with a fine group of people but this is also a major MVP conservation event.
We will be renting the Unitarian Church Hall on
At this time it does look like ice could be a major problem on the rivers this year. Please be aware of this and scout the problem areas especially the takeouts at the upper and lower rivers.
After the run we will have a pasta dinner served up by Nancy Gero and a few volunteers. Afterwards the MVP will be handing out awards to people who have had a positive impact on our sport. And all this is FREE, the town donates the warming tent at the take out and the MVP (along with a few donors) will be pitching in for the food and drink. The press is there every year and the day after NH New Years day newspapers usually has one of the boaters pictures on the front page.
Non Boaters and boaters from other clubs are welcome. We are asking for a few volunteers to help shuttle, help out in the kitchen and clean up afterwards. This year the we will continue to press for the Winnipesaukee Recreational plan. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is in the process of creating a Lake / River management plan that will affect flows on the river.
Winnipesaukee Recreational Plan: Info at:
Directions from the south: Interstate 93 north to exit 20 (Tilton, Laconia) Approximately 1 hour from the Mass NH border. Go straight through the lights at the end of the exit ramp past McDonalds, Burger King, Kentuckey Fried Chicken. Immediately following the J.J. Niesen bread factory on your right, you will pass over the bridge then continue on 100 yards then take a right. Another 50 yards to the put in on the right. Our traditional put in by the bridge is no longer available, it is now posted and roped off. The new put in is on a cove extending out from the main flow of the river and is owned by the state of NH. It tends to get "weady" in late summer and is usually frozen in early spring.
Drive back past McDonalds and take a left at the light.
Approximately 1.5 miles at the light take a left on route 132.
75 yards take a right just past the line of train cabosses. The take out is just past the railroad tracks.
Hey all me and a buddy of mine ran the upper section of the Winni toady. Other than a few passing thunderstorms we had a blast. He has never been on whitewater and I just got him into kayaking this year. He was nervous when he first saw the river, but that all changed once we got going. We ran at 800cfs and it was the perfect height for him. This spot is great for beginners. we arrived at 10am and stayed till about 5pm, we made 3 runs down. Normally on the run at the island in Tilton center you want to run the river left, but we found out our second run down that at 800cfs to the right of the island is a lot more fun. If I had to guess based on the depth of the water at when we stopped at the island it is not advisable to run the island on the left at anything below 650cfs or it is scratchy. If anyone gets a chance to run it this weekend all I can say is have fun. If you are a whitewater fiend like I am I scouted the Cross Mill section and it is moving very well. The only caution I would give is to get left fast after Zippy's final plunge or you may find out what it is like to run the lower damn. There is only about a 10ft section where the water slows before you are eating the cable spanned across to keep you from going into the dam.
p.s. I made a whitewater faux pas. I forgot my duct tape. I will tell you now I needed it because we made our last run and now I can't get him to shut up about it. I think he is hooked.
Several large lakes in its headwaters regulate the river. For this reason the Winnipesaukee runs more consistently and latter in the spring and early summer than most regional rivers. It is also less susceptible to quick rises due to heavy rains. Dams are located at the outflows of Lake Winnipesaukee, Winnisquam, Opechee, Wentworth, etc. that can regulate flows through the river. This is mainly used to control the lake levels for fall maintenance on docks, dams, and canals, and also to allow for flood control during spring runoff. The lakes are usually drawn down around Columbus day, this usually results in 3 or 4 days of low to medium water on the river. Occasionally in the spring the lakes will be drawn down further if a heavy snowpack threatens flooding. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) controls the flow on the Winni. See the NHDES website for current conditions and flow management discussion. Lochmere dam controls the flow for this section. Flows are usually stepped up or down as conditions warrant.
Also, check out the following sites.
Current watershed operations information
Winnisquam Lake operations information
Silver Lake operations information
January ............50%....Watch out for ice shelves especially at the take out.
March...............80%....Ice shelves wash out middle of month.
April...............99%....Highest water class II+
May ................99%....Flows start dropping back
June................99%....Lake Winnipesaukee keeps flow going early in Summer.
July................80%....Summer time flows are low
September...........25%....Lowest water month
October.............50%....Draw down of lake gives a few days of medium water
November............90%....Fall rains, dormant trees
December............80%....River stays relatively ice free most of the winter.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Map of the Lower Pemi region on Winnipesaukee @
Crib surf wave
Pyrahnas and Aligators "Oh my"
Packer Brook surf wave
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Northeast boaters can celebrate that another beloved whitewater gem has been protected. Paddlers on the Winnipeseaukee River are now assured that the put-in on the Lower Winni in Northfield, NH will be forever protected thanks to the donation of a parcel from Gloria Blais in memory of her husband Roger. Gloria donated the land to the Town of Northfield for the purpose of assuring that future generations of boaters will have access to the river. Protecting river access to the Winni is part of an ongoing effort by AW in the northeast region to protect river access.
A hardy group of northeast boaters climbed into the natural river channel below a hydropower dam to participate in a flow study designed to assess whether whitewater flows should be restored to this dewatered river reach on the Connecticut River. While significant obstacles remain, this site has the potential for providing instruction, playboating, and a big water feature that that could be run throughout much of the year and provide a much needed boost to the local economy.
American Whitewater and Merrimack Valley Paddlers have reached an agreement to purchase a 10-acre parcel fronting on Contoocook River in Henniker, NH. The land serves as an important launch point for whitewater paddlers enjoying the popular section of the river that runs from Hillsborough to Henniker. This section of the Contoocook River contains rapids ranging in difficulty from Class II to Class IV.
American Whitewater (AW) along with its affiliate club organizations the Merrimack Valley Paddlers (MVP) and New Hampshire Appalachian Mountain Club (NHAMC) are requesting a new lake level management plan to enhance downstream recreation on the WinnipesaukeeRiver near Franklin New Hampshire. A panel consisting of representatives from the Lakes region was set up to look into and recommend changes to the level management of Lake Winnipesaukee and associated lakes. The impetus for this has been the flooding over the last couple years with "no wake" rules being instituted, access under bridges, etc.
We are looking for some volunteers to help on the Winnipesaukee trail river maintenance work day scheduled for this Saturday, October 28th. The Winnipesaukee river is in the process of being shut down to 50 cfs for a two week period to allow for hydro power dam maintenance and river bank cleanup. This is a yearly project that American Whitewater, MVP and AMC have joined efforts with local town organizations to help restore a once a badly abused and neglected river.
If you want to join us please bring a minimum of working gloves and meet us at Trestle View Park in Franklin NH at 9am, if late just walk the ½ mile up the trail and join us. Other implements that could come in handy are shovels, rakes, bow saws, chain saws, pruning shears, etc.
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