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.
As of 4/9/2017 both dams are runnable. At the first dam about a 1/4 way down river, run about 15' from the left shore and slide over a smooth hump and paddle through the washout at the bottom.
This may be easily scouted from shore or from the road. I recommend doing so as this one has changed over the years. We used to run it river right until this season.
The second dam is after the walking bridge crosses the river. After going through a mini Kennebec like series of rough whitewater, paddle fast and hard and run the dam about 10 - 15' from the right shore. Again, paddle hard through the washout at the end. There's a slight hydraulic here but with any speed you'll blast right through
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Dam flow can be found at http://tinyurl.com/6p5wwz .
Flow information at this NH State Newfound Lake gage.
Permits are not required for this reach.
To get to the put in drive north out of Bristol on route 3 to the blinking light just before the Lake and take a left. Take another immediate left on a dirt road just before the bridge. Drive down to the dead end just downstream of a dam run by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.
Newfound put in
Old Mill Rapid
Upper Broken Paddle
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Northeast boaters can celebrate that another beloved whitewater gem has been protected. Paddlers on the Winnipeseaukee River are now assured that the put-in on the Lower Winni in Northfield, NH will be forever protected thanks to the donation of a parcel from Gloria Blais in memory of her husband Roger. Gloria donated the land to the Town of Northfield for the purpose of assuring that future generations of boaters will have access to the river. Protecting river access to the Winni is part of an ongoing effort by AW in the northeast region to protect river access.
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.
American Whitewater and Merrimack Valley Paddlers have reached an agreement to purchase a 10-acre parcel fronting on Contoocook River in Henniker, NH. The land serves as an important launch point for whitewater paddlers enjoying the popular section of the river that runs from Hillsborough to Henniker. This section of the Contoocook River contains rapids ranging in difficulty from Class II to Class IV.
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