Right on-this helped me sort tihngs right out.
We went to the Poultney today, 9/7/11 @ 750~ish CFS. Awesome time! No wood in the rapids. The only noticeable differences were:
1. The fence behind the Visitor's Center along the river came down, making for a much easier seal-launch.
2. The banks are eroded a bit, but did not change the main features of the river.
3. There are some trees down in the flat in-between parts.
4. There is a strainer after the last rapid where the river divides in two from a large sand bar. The right channel is COMPLETELY blocked by a river-wide strainer. After the last rapid, just make sure you hit the left channel.
5. The most problematic part of the flooding is probably finding a good spot to get out. The normal portage where the signs are before the dam is very hard to get out from because all of the sediments and clay are new and washed over the banks. We couldn't even walk through it, I sank in to my knees and had to pull my boat right up to me so that I could lay on it and wiggle my leg back out. Don't try to walk through that stuff unless you want to get stuck or sink in muddy clay. We just paddled further down, right up to the RIVER LEFT side of the dam (be careful, the river gets narrow and if you go too far right you'll go over the dam) where the little dam control building is and clambered our way over the bank which is also covered in the same mucky clay. There was a tree that we used to avoid stepping in the muck. Try to spend as little time there as you can, as it's technically trespassing. You can walk to the parking lot by following the chain link fence.
There is a strainer above the --Slide-- as of 5/20/07
Some nice fairly easy drops, a few rapids and a bit of flat. Not really to pushy. Went like this.
We stared the run near the VT Welcome Center with an otter slide in! This of course was after we crossed a non barbed fence that was partly fixed on a bank that had broken away in recent spring flow. A few yards of flat brings you under the road past a dead beaver on river left and to the first drop. Pretty straight forward line is visible just left of center but to be safe we were ready with ropes. It's a steep grade but not really ledgey, Can be seen from Rt.4
Next I recall a few flat yards downstream was a really interesting slide. The flow was lower than we expected and most of the water was heading straight down a mildly steep grade in a lazy s. A fair sized eddy was available if you stay far left on the slide. If you cross it with a planning hull you'll skip like a rock lol. However most of us (three of four) stayed center and the end of the slide was somewhat rough shallow and definitely fast. A larger flow would have given you the option to go right, down two other steeper slides into what would probably be holes at the base.
If I remember correctly next were a couple decent short class II rapids. Then the "waterfall" a pretty ledgy drop into a pool with a big back current in the center and most of river left side. We ran it on the right landing between river right shore line and a big boulder that sat just to the right of center left of paddler lol. Now directly after this drop is a narrow slide that is split by a rock Island. At the end of the island on the left route is a big sticky hole that seemed fairly easy for James and Pete to get around on the far left in their creekers. To run it on river right of the island you must paddle hard at the fork up a swollen shoulder of water, a funny current that "fakes right and goes left"! If you make it over that it's cake and you are home free. Don't flip there cause it's somewhat shallow on the slide over a boulder.
I may have forgotten one or two somewhat inconsequential rapids or small ledges but for the most part that sums it up. The end is a quarter mile or so of flat slow moving water surrounded by steep clay bare banks. We did see one fat live beaver and four deer crossing the river, no they weren't together lol... Plus a pair of Canada geese. I think all together twas a fun run. Could have been more of a challenge at higher flow. The AW guage seemed way off so it seemed lower than we expected. As far as access goes we didn't have to portage anything and I really didn't see any dwellings too close to the banks so I imagine you're fine. I did notice some no trespass signs here and there.
8 years ago
by Mark Lacroix
Not absolutely sure about the minimum on this stretch. See comments below by Faith.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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Lower Poultney Slide
Poultney, 1st drop
2nd Slide Poultney
Poultney first fall
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The Vermont Superior Court sided with American Whitewater in a long-running dispute with the state over whitewater boating on the Green River in Morrisville. The Court overturned state restrictions that would have eliminated any meaningful opportunity for boaters to enjoy this extraordinary river and required scheduled releases in a ground breaking decision.
In response to of the state’s draft basin plan for southern Vermont, American Whitewater and scores of boaters pressed the state to support the expansion of releases on the West River. Restrictions by the Corps of Engineers and Agency of Natural Resources have led to the elimination of nearly all scheduled boating opportunities on the West River over the past two decades, eliminating recreation opportunity and hurting the local economy. AW and its partners have been working to restore these releases.
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.
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