Poultney, Vermont, US
US Route 4 to Carvers Falls Dam
||III-IV (for normal flows)
Poultney SlidePhoto of Paul Berry and Faith Knapp by Nancy Gero taken 05/15/03 @ 300 cfs
POULTNEY RIVER BELOW FAIR HAVEN, VT
150 - 10000 cfs
Upper limit for best boatability uncertain. Please help your fellow boaters with a comment or report.
This baby forms part of the Vermont / New York border near the South end of Lake Champlain.
Posted on the VPC message board by Faith Knapp
On a very fine day in May, a group of us decided to go to the Poultney River and run the section
from Fair Haven to Carver Falls Dam. Faith, Nancy and John had a wonderful time running this river
last June and had great memories of the trip. Only trouble is, John loved telling the stories, and
every time he described the slide (which is quite long) it got longer! Well, this time he came
armed with his daughter's video camera to prove to those doubting Thomases that such a slide does
We put in near the Vermont Welcome Center and off we went. Just under the Route 4 bridge and about
75 feet downstream, we all got out on the left, careful to stay below the high water mark, to scout
the first rapid. Landowners in the area have had some pretty unpleasant experiences with boaters in
A considerable drop with a few rocks showing their faces was our intro the the river. John had his
camera ready and got some good movies.
The second drop was the memorable "slide". Only one way down and we all felt that as we reached the
bottom we were doing 90 MPH. A couple of us caught the eddy on river (no...slide) left. Others went
all the way to the end, and a few perched atop a couple of rocks on slide right. This area could
have some incredible dynamics at higher levels with the ledge and rock formations that are there.
Some carried up for repeat performances. A short run and strong party permitted more play time --
and several of the drops were run repeatedly.
There are about 8 ledge drops with play areas in this 4 1/2 mi. stretch. We found an island and
enjoyed a leisurely lunch in the sun. Soon we came upon the waterfall that does not look
particularly nice. Last year Faith & Eric had an interesting swim. Nancy described it as a washing
machine seeing arms and legs going in all directions. Not this year! All who ran it did so
successfully! John has proof on the video camera. After this drop, there is a short rapid which
narrows into a short blind chute. Then for a relaxing paddle to the dam and time to reminisce about
When we decided to paddle this river, we hoped for water and made the decision based on the amount
of rain that had fallen in the area the previous couple of days. There is a gauge near Fair Haven
as the USGS site describes it. However, last year when we ran it, the gauge was ~ 300 cfs. This
year was higher, but the online gauge read ~ 150 cfs. So this is not a reliable indicator of the
With smiles on our faces, we discussed our next adventure on the Poultney. The take out is at
Carver Falls Dam, where there is a sign showing the way to the caves nearby. Maybe next time we'll
finish with a hike to the caves.
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2007-02-09 17:33:48