This river is seldom paddled since it does not come up very often. It has a steep consistent gradient. Pikes Falls road parallels the run most of the way so you can scout and access the river along many points along the way. The usual put in is at the intersection with Metcalf road but it is possible (but difficult) to run from farther upstream. The river is very small and very technical at low to medium water. Medium and above the river is called the "Jamaica Bob Sled Run" by some of the locals. Needless to say, it is a very fast run at high water with few eddies and lots of turbulence created by the steep gradient. There are no definable rapids since the whole run is the rapid.
During West River release weekend in late April it is occasionally runnable if rain comes during that time--usually, only low to medium. The best time to catch the river running is in early April and immediately after a heavy rainstorm. The usual takeout is where the river enters the West River just below the bridge to Jamaica State Park.
To Jamaica Vermont Interstate 91 to exit 3 Brattleboro Vermont.
Take a right of Vermont route 5 (south) 2 miles.
Take a right on Vermont route 30.
Approximately 25 miles to Jamaica.
The gauge is a guess. It is located upstream of the confluence with the West River in Jamaica. If you catch this run please leave a comment with what the gauge was reading.
Some good size holes below the Jamaica rt 30 Bridge at high levels
2 years ago
by Mary Sabelli
7 years ago
by Mark Lacroix
10 years ago
Paddlers gauge the river by the amount of blocks visible on the route 30 bridge where it croses the river in Jamaica VT. They are granite blocks located on the middle abutement on the downstream side of the bridge. As the water level rises less blocks are visible.
6 blocks.........Low.......class III+
5 blocks.........Medium....class III-IV
4 blocks.........High......class IV-V
3 blocks.........Too high..class V
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.
Typical Boof on Ball Mountain Brook
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.
The Vermont Superior Court sided with American Whitewater in a long-running dispute with the state over whitewater boating on the Green River in Morrisville. The Court overturned state restrictions that would have eliminated any meaningful opportunity for boaters to enjoy this extraordinary river and required scheduled releases in a ground breaking decision.
In response to of the state’s draft basin plan for southern Vermont, American Whitewater and scores of boaters pressed the state to support the expansion of releases on the West River. Restrictions by the Corps of Engineers and Agency of Natural Resources have led to the elimination of nearly all scheduled boating opportunities on the West River over the past two decades, eliminating recreation opportunity and hurting the local economy. AW and its partners have been working to restore these releases.
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.
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