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

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Big Branch-Mt. Tabor to Appalachian Trail
river-2991 1.50 - 5.50 ft V ft

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.


Flow Info:

The Big Branch gauge has been offline since 2010. The Batten Kill gauge is downstream, but no correlation data is known. If you run this section please leave a comment with the gauge reading.


Google Map of all Vermont runs and gauges


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-05-01 00:44:51

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.
May 9 2009 (3538 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.