West River - 1. Londonderry rapids

West River, Vermont, US


1. Londonderry rapids

Usual Difficulty II-III (for normal flows)
Length 5 Miles

Londonderry Rapids

Londonderry Rapids
Photo by Trent Stephens taken 10/21/12

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01155500 1500 - 4000 cfs II-III 01h15m 726 cfs (too low)

River Description

The Londonderry section of the West is a pool-drop type river that is mostly visible from the Vermont 100 roadside as you drive between Londonderry and South Londonderry.


Flow Info:

In the past paddlers relied on the Corps of Engineers' Ball Mountain Lake website for the current inflow to the lake. This is no longer functioning. The West River at Jamaica has been added as a correlation. The levels listed are a guess. If you run this section please leave a comment with the level.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-05-01 00:20:31


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
May 7 2018 (254 days ago)
Jack GillDetails
We ran this section yesterday (5/6/2018), which we call the Londonderry Ledges section, as a
planned Berkshire Chapter AMC Trip. At the level we ran it (medium low) it was a Class 2 - 3
difficulty. At higher levels it progresses to a full Class 3 level of difficulty. It should be
noted here, that the link that this AWA website provides to the Army Corp of Engineering website is
not working. The Army Corp has changed their web links to dam level inflow and outflows every so
often for security and hacking concerns and the current AWA link above is not working. The link
that does work as of today is: http://water.usace.army.mil/a2w/f?p=100:1:0:::::# but the Army Corp
has shown the propensity to change the website address whenever they detect a security threat and
there is no guarantee that this link will work in future years. However if this link doesn't work
in future years, just go into the main Army Corp website and drill down into the menus on dam
levels and you will eventually find the new web addresses. Getting back to the matter at hand, we
ran the river at a level of 900 cfs as the inflow to Ball Mountain Dam reservoir. As mentioned
above, I consider this a medium low level but there was nothing scratchy about the level. The river
becomes scratchy at inflow levels below approximately 800 cfs and becomes increasingly more fun and
consequential at inflow levels above 1200 cfs. The ledges develop holes that will stop a boat if
you don't run them at the right slots. Currently, the Army Corp on the same website page is
providing a link and information about a water level gauge they are calling "West River at
Londonderry, VT". This gauge is actually in South Londonderry and is located downstream of the
take-out for this section of river and gives an almost accurate reading of how much water is
flowing in the section of river that you are running. Yesterday this gauge read 475 cfs as we were
running the river. This gauge is not currently listed on the USGS Gauge Website. It is only
accessible at this time from the Army Corp website. Starting the trip at the new Post Office in
Londonderry, VT., there are two good rapids in this section of river. The first one starts about a
third of the way into the run and begins upstream of the Rt 100 bridge that is located between
South Londonderry and Londonderry proper. The rapid is lengthy and extends below and for a distance
downstream of the bridge. There are plenty of eddies to catch between the ledges to plot where to
penetrate the next drops. The second good rapid occurs immediately upstream of the take-out and
starts about 150 yards downstream of the Rt 100 bridge in South Londonderry. Its character is again
a series of ledges. It doesn't have the large boulders mid-stream that the rapid above has, but it
does have eddies on the sides from where you can plan your route(s) thru the ledges. At higher
water levels both rapids become pushy and the spaces between the ledges seem too short and the
ledges come at you quicker then you may like. At the level we ran it, it was not pushy and we had
plenty of time and eddies from which to plan our routes.
October 20 2012 (2280 days ago)
ecotrent (154992)
I paddled this section today, from the dam in londonderry to Prouty park in south derry. I just
paddled the jamaica state park section this year during the release for the first time. Just moved
to the area and it was my first time on this part of the river. Nice high level. just above the
south londonderry bridge there are 2 large boulders I have been watching levels on. When we put on
the one further upriver was just barely submerged, for a reference. This is a really nice level on
this river, not too boney, and the holes at the "bridge rapid" above Prouty park weren't too chewy.
My friend took a swim here and got beat up a bit but the holes didn't hold him or his boat. Good
water for running through my new hometown. Very clean, easy to scout. Fun morning project.
May 26 2008 (3888 days ago)
x (1)
i have lived on the west river for 6 years and it can be very challenging but the section talked
about here is the most fun on a hot summer day on a inner tube (depending on river flow to
dangerous to do most of the time) but if u want a rush do like the lpsc and grab a tube and go
behind iga and tube that bad boy.
September 22 2005 (4864 days ago)
Craig CarlineDetails
On September 1, a friend and I ran this section from Londonberry right below the bridge with the
dam to a gravel pit in South Londonberry. The run was very scratchy, but passable with good river
reading. Inflow into Ball Mountain Dam pool was 512 cfs about the time we put on and peaked at 513