This section of the Lamoille is better known for its easy rapids and scenery. Above the bridge on railroad street in Johnson (a possible put-in) there are two sets of rapids / falls, one being Dog's Head Falls which is very dangerous as in lower water the river literally flows through a toilet bowl. There are several options for put-ins and take outs to appeal to time and distance desires, so grab a map and pick your own. The one section to note is Ithiel Falls which occurs a few miles downstream from Johnson. Here the river pinches between vertical walls briefly and over a short but turbulent Class III rapid. At certain water levels a decent play wave/hole forms, created by a ledge on river left. With eddy service, this is a good spot to practice spinning and cartwheeling, and most likely plenty of rolling. Look for levels of 750 and up for this to start forming.
7 years ago
by Mark Lacroix
The 500 cfs level is for a fairly fluid run. It can be run at lower levels with a bit of wading in the shallows. The river usually flows well into summer. For more flow information call Umiak Outfitters at 802-253-2317. Note: the USGS gage for this section is in danger of being retired in the near future if alternate sources of funding cannot be found soon.
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Dogs Head Falls
Ithiel Falls Park & Play
Ithiel at 6000 cfs
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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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