Roaring Branch - Kelly Stand Road to East Kansas

Roaring Branch, Vermont, US


Kelly Stand Road to East Kansas

Usual Difficulty V (for normal flows)
Length 3.5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 230 fpm

Tyler finishes up Spaz-Maz

Tyler finishes up Spaz-Maz
Photo of Tyler Billingsly by Scott G taken 08/30/09

River Description

Access is along Kelly Stand road which can by muddy when the river is running. Four wheel drive recommended. The river itself is a classic very steep New England creek.

The Roaring Branch is a highly underrated Vermont creek.  Mainly due to the fact that the white water comes not in distinct rapids but rather as a three and a half mile gauntlet with a couple highlights.  High flows are best on here to pad out the shallow nature of the river, however due to the steep gradient, high flows also bring little chance for respite and introduce serious consequences for a swim.  Early on the river will be small and very steep, with one rapid dubbed Spasmodic Mastication for its long complex and very rocky nature.  It ends in a good sized hole.  After the river confluences with the south fork it becomes bigger with countless good boofs scattered along the length, and also countless holes, big ones if the water is high.  Towards the end come a set of slides stacked up which create large curling waves, holes and tough moves.  The very bottom is a big uniform hole which is best avoided on far left, and is a good place to set safety.  Below here is the takeout bridge.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2011-07-25 13:16:55

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
September 5 2011 (2357 days ago)
Mark LacroixDetails
On August 28th, 2011 Hurricane Irene struck New England. The resulting floods caused extensive
damage throughout the region, the worst in over 100 years. More than half the rivers in Vermont and
northern New Hampshire recorded their highest flow levels ever. Many roads, guardrails, power
lines, bridges, trees and other debris now litter several rivers throughout the region. River beds
have been scoured and changed course, many new strainers make navigation problematic at best and
downright dangerous at worse. Please realize that the river description you see here may not match
current situation after the floods. Use common sense and when in doubt scout especially on blind
drops. Also, if you run this river in the next year or so please comment on its navigability, even
if there are no problems this will be very helpful. Please report any new strainers or changes to
the rapids that will impact future boating. Thank you,
May 9 2009 (3206 days ago)
Scott GilbertDetails
this is an underrated run for sure. ran it two separate times, once at medium lowish (Big Branch
was at 2) and once at high (Big Branch was at 5+). at the medium low levels the upper part becomes
very technical and rocky, once the south fork enters the riverbed is slightly less steep, but
larger and more fluid tons of good boofs. at high this run was one of the most intense kayaking
experiences of my career. definitely a solid 5. flipping or swimming would be very bad as the run
is shallow and absolutely non-stop, but if you ate your wheaties very fun, you will certainly be
tired at the end. be sure to scout from the road on your way up to know where the wood is. it seems
there is always a fair amount and with decent water you need plenty of time to find a place stop
above any downed trees. enjoy it be safe...would be a great run for a helmet cam.

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