Otter Brook - Roxbury to Keene


Otter Brook, New Hampshire, US

Disclaimer

Roxbury to Keene (Lower Otter Brook)

Usual Difficulty II (varies with level)
Length 3.1 Miles
Avg. Gradient 53 fpm
Max Gradient 72 fpm

Otter Ledge


Otter Ledge
Photo of Katrina Santos by Mark Lacroix taken 03/16/02 @ 300 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
OTTER BROOK BELOW OTTER BROOK DAM, NEAR KEENE, NH
usgs-01158600 190 - 800 cfs II 1y48d12h20m 12.2 cfs (too low)
ASHUELOT RIVER ABOVE THE BRANCH, AT KEENE, NH
usgs-01158110 400 - 900 cfs II 00h21m 1160 cfs (too high)


River Description

 

Lower Otter Brook is traditionally one of the first spring rivers run in NH. It is mostly a class II run appropriate for novice and intermediate paddlers.
There is a nice hole/wave play spot formed by the dam outflow at the put in. Use caution here since the concrete walls on either side could trap a paddler should the hole be the more prominent feature. It is also very shallow so watch out not to roll here.
The river starts out with class II, winding its way through an alder thicket. This section is very narrow and occasionally contains strainers and overhanging alders. Recent beaver activity has added to the hazard. As of March 2002 a rather large beaver dam has been built about 1/4 mile below the Middletown road bridge. Currently this dam is breaching in the middle and creating a very nice drop and surfing wave, but the dam is being washed away slowly with each release or high water event.
The lower section of the river is wider with the additional flow from the Miniwawa river. Just above the intersection with the Miniwawa there is a nice two foot ledge (Otter Ledge) drop with a steep channel on river right. At levels above 600 cfs this river should be rated class II/III.
 

Technical info

Put in elevation........656'
Take out elevation......492'
Total drop..............164'
Average drop/mile.......53'
Distance................3.1 miles
1st mile drop...........66'
2nd mile drop...........36'
3rd mile drop...........62'
River width average.....25'
River geology...........small granite boulders some ledge
River water quality.....Good, clarity average.
Scenery.................Suburban a few homes and mobile homes on upper reach,
                        more urban near takeout.
Wildlife................Beaver, deer, hawks, Otters?. 

Directions


Put in

Interstate 93 to NH 101 West(south of Manchester).
West on NH 101 for approximately 45 miles to Marlborough.
Just past the Keene town line take a right on Branch rd (should be a small sign for Otter Brook dam).
Approximately 2 miles to put in at the base of the dam.
 

Take out

Head back in the direction you came to NH route 101.
Take a right (west).
Approximately 1/2 mile take a left just before NH Route 101 spans the river.
Park on the right at any convenient takeout location.

 

Flow Info:

 

The flow in this section is controlled by the Otter Brook Flood control dam located at the put-in. Otter Brook USGS gage is located at the dam.

Estimated chance (%) of finding the river runnable.
Month............% chance.................comment
 

January ............ 5%....Usually frozen
February............10%....Usually frozen.
March...............50%....Opens up early in the month.
April...............70%....Best chance in early April 
May ................30%....Best chance in early May. 
June................10%
July.................5%
August...............5%....Just a trickle 
September...........15%....Tropical storms and their remains
October........?....20%
November............40%....Fall rains, dormant trees 
December............35%....River starts freezing about Christmas.

Be aware this is averaged out over several years. The % chance refers to the probability of finding the river running on any given day. For instance a 5% probability for August means on average you can only expect 1-1/2 days of water. One year there could be 3 days in August with water, other years none. Spring levels are usually higher than fall levels.
 

2008 Otter Brook releases

Date

Time

Flow

Notes
Sat. March 29th 9:00am-until water depleted  300 cfs Recreational
Sun. March 30th 300 cfs Recreational
Sat. April 26th 300 cfs Recreational
Sun. April 27th 300 cfs Recreational
Sat. May 3rd 300 cfs Recreational
Sun. May 4th 300 cfs ACA NH WW

Note: If there is not enough water available for the May weekend Saturdays release will be cancelled.

 

 


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-05-01 23:59:38

Editors


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.

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Events

Calendar Control Date:
Calendar by Date by Title

May 2008

S M T W T F S
27
28
29
30
1
2
3
Lower Otter Brooke Releases

releases start at 9am on Saturday and last until water is gone300 cfs

4
Lower Otter Brooke Releases

releases start at 9am on Saturday and last until water is gone300 cfs

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Events
Lower Otter Brooke Releases Roxbury,NH runs 03/29/08 - 05/04/08
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