Ammonoosuc - 5. Pierce bridge to NH 116


Ammonoosuc, New Hampshire, US

Disclaimer

5. Pierce bridge to NH 116

Usual Difficulty II-IV (for normal flows)
Length 7.3 Miles
Avg. Gradient 40 fpm
Max Gradient 79 fpm

Ammo portage


Ammo portage
Photo of Andy Meilleur by Mark taken 04/28/03 @ 3.7'

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
AMMONOOSUC RIVER AT BETHLEHEM JUNCTION, NH
usgs-01137500 3.10 - 6.00 ft II-IV 00h17m 1.21 ft (too low)


River Description

Good intermediate to advanced river section.

Technical info

Put in elevation........1167'
Take out elevation......875'
Total drop..............292'
1st mile................32'
2nd mile................7'
3rd mile................79' 
4th mile................46' 
5th mile................26' 
6th mile................33'
7th mile................46' 
7.3 mile................23' (77 average)
Average drop/mile.......40'
Distance................7.3 miles
River width average.....70'
River geology...........Small to medium granite boulders
River water quality.....good to excellent, clarity good.
Scenery.................Nice Mountain scenery, river parallels 
                        road most of the way
Wildlife................Deer, hawks, moose, beavers. 


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2004-05-10 09:03:48

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
1.8Powerhouse DamPortage
2.0Powerhouse RapidIVPhoto
2.7MaplewoodIIIPhoto
6.0Alderbrook rapidsIVPhoto
6.8Railroad rapidsIII

Rapid Descriptions

Powerhouse Dam
An abandoned concrete dam with a sluice on the right side. The portage on river left is easier than the river right side recommended in Lessel’s New England Whitewater guide. Be careful here if the water is high water spills all the way across the dam and current is fast up to the lip. Launching below is also easier than the river right side but a strong recirculating eddy can make it difficult to ferry back out into the main current. As of late April 2003 a tree strainer was hung up on a boulder just around the corner and out of site from the eddy above. Make sure you are able to get to river right if this strainer is still present.

Powerhouse Rapid (Class IV, Mile 2.0)

Powerhouse rapid

Powerhouse rapid
Photo of Andy Meilleur by Mark taken 04/28/03 @ 3.7'

Shortly downstream from the dam powerhouse rapid starts. The river narrows and pushes up against the left bank. The gradient is rather steep over large boulders creating a lot of turbulence with several holes to avoid. Scout from river right.



Maplewood (Class III, Mile 2.7)

Maplewood Bridge

Maplewood Bridge
Photo of Andy Meilleur by Mark taken 04/28/03 @ 3.7'

An easy rapid the starts just above the Maplewood bridge. At the tail end of the rapid is a chute formed by a large rock on river right. The main flow at low to medium water levels pushes over a pourover in the middle of the chute. The pourover is easily avoided by catching the eddy behind the rock on river right. From here a jet ferry will carry you above the pourover into an eddy on river left. This eddy affords great access to a series of nice surfable standing waves just below the pourover.



Alderbrook rapids (Class IV, Mile 6.0)

Alderbrook

Alderbrook
Photo of Mike Cummings by Mark taken 04/28/03 @ 3.7'

After a long section of quickwater and class I the river approaches Alderbrook rapids. To recognize the start of Alderbrook look for a gray box like house on river right at a class II rapid. Note, in Lessel’s New England Whitewater guide this house is said to be pink, it has not doubt been painted since that writing. The rapid is not easy to describe so scouting is recommended, it generally requires a boater to start on river left move to river right then back left. Scouting is easiest from river left; portaging is easiest from river right.



Railroad rapids (Class III, Mile 6.8)
Just before the takeout is the last good rapid on the Ammo. The best route is generally on river right eddy hopping between boulders to avoid some rather large holes.


User Comments

Users can submit comments.

No Comments



Do more than just check gauges; join over 5,000 AW members today.


Or, consider donating