This photo needs editing.
Difficulty V
Length 3.5 Miles
Gauge Big Branch-Mt. Tabor to Appalachian Trail
Flow Range 1.50 - 5.50 FT
Flow Rate as of: 1 second ago N/A
Reach Info Last Updated 05/01/2018 12:44 am

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


Rapid Descriptions


default user thumbnail
Scott Gilbert
11 years ago

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.

Gage Descriptions

There is no gage for this section. Look for it to run during high water runoff in the spring.  Big Branch at 3' or better is a good bet, a correlation with the Walloomsac will hopefully be made soon.

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports




article main photo

VT Supreme Court Protects Whitewater Boating on the Green River

Robert Nasdor

The Vermont Supreme Court decided today that whitewater boaters have the right to paddle on the Green River. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision by the Environmental Division of the Superior Court that required the hydropower project on the Green River in Morrisville to provide three annual scheduled releases. This is a precedent setting decision because it establishes that whitewater boating is a designated and existing use protected under the Clean Water Act, that scheduled releases are necessary to protect that use, and that Vermont ANR failed to meet its burden to show that providing scheduled release would result in a lowering of water quality. 

article main photo

AW Wins Court Battle Protecting Green River (VT) Boating

Robert Nasdor

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.

article main photo

Northeast Boaters Seek To Expand West River (VT) Boating

Robert Nasdor

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.

article main photo

Bellows Falls (VT) Flow Study Reveals Hidden Whitewater

Robert Nasdor

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. 


Matt Muir


Alex Barham


Scott Gilbert


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1193397 05/09/09 Matt Muir n/a
1209380 05/01/18 Alex Barham Gauge and Info
1200451 07/25/11 Scott Gilbert