Newfound River, New Hampshire, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III+ (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||62 fpm|
|Max Gradient||77 fpm|
|NEWFOUND RIVER NEAR BRISTOL|
|hads-BRTN3||4.50 - 10.00 ft||II-III+||00h55m||4.69 ft (running)|
|No upper limit known Located at the dam|
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
Put in at the outflow dam for Newfound Lake located on the bicycle path on the south end of the lake. There is a visual gage located river left just downstream of the dam.
First significant rapid you will encounter. Riverdale road bridge is a good visual marker for the start of this rapid. Just run down the middle.
This dam is a mandatory portage. The top half of the dam washed out in the flood of May 2006. The bottom section awaits removal at a later date. For now the easiest portage is on river right between the dam and a strainer choked spillway. If the water is high paddlers should take out and portage on river left.
Shortly after putting back in below the first dam portage the river passes under NH rt 3A. Rapids immediately pick up to class III with much boulder dodging at low water. The rapid calms down to class II jsut below a chute with good surf. A padler broke his paddle here during a recent trip hence the name of the rapid.
When the bicycle/foot bridge comes into view shortly below Broken Paddle, prepare yourself for the longest and most difficult section on this river. The top of the rapid requires some maneuvering around boulders and chutes to stay on line. A few yards below the footbridge the river splits around an island, at low to medium water levels go right of the island. When the channels come back together a short way downstream the river passes steeply through a white and violent section that requires good bracing skills to remain upright. Once through this mayhem the water eases out to class II difficulty just before it passes under NH rt 3A and over another dam. Take out river right just before the bridge and portage across the road and put back in behind the building on the dam,s right flank. For those just wanting to run the toughest whitewater this is an optional take out since the river below is much calmer.
Old Nate is a hole formed by a low head dam just upstream of the take out. It is rather hard to see from above until you are right up upon it. You will be able to recognize its location by the take out bridge located on Bristol Hill Road. At low to medium levels it is a fairly good playhole. There is good escape out of the hole on eather side of it.