This photo needs editing.
Difficulty I-II
Length Miles
Gauge West River below Townshend Lake
Flow Range 4.50 - 10.00 FT
Flow Rate as of: 2 hours ago 2.87 [FT]
Reach Info Last Updated 04/30/2018 9:01 pm

River Description

There are numerous put-in and take-out spots, as this river follows Route 30 as it runs into the Connecticut River. The first 11 miles or so is a mix of sections of flat water with class 1 rapids and occasional, simple, class 2 rapids.

The section most often run by whitewater kayakers begins at the confluence of the Rock River and the West River. This confluence is located two miles upriver from the Dummerston covered bridge on Route 30. There is a large parking area on the right as you head northwest on Route 30. There is one bouncy class 2 rapid just upriver from this point.

River Information:

The section upstream from the Rock River is primarily flat water and class 1, with occasional class 2 rapids. There is a bouncy class 2 rapid just above the confluence with the Rock River.

For a description of the river from the confluence of the Rock River downstream, see the Rock River to Connecticut River section.

Rapid Descriptions


default user thumbnail
Patrick McCoy
8 years ago

Ran this section 5/18/12 and found the river to be in great shape. Frankly, I was surprised to see how little storm damage there was. There were 2 strainers worth noting. The first was on an erroded bank (east bank) where a few large pines had fallen in the river. The 2nd strainer was less than 2 miles down stream from the eroded bank; look for a large tree mid-river (only one branch visible). Otherwise, the river was clear and storm damage almost non-existent. I speculate that the dam upstream was used to minimize flooding as there was alomost no sign of debris until the Rock River joined the West.

Gage Descriptions

Check the Army Corps of Engineers discharge site for recent flow, stage, and rainfall data.


2011 West River releases (Ball Mtn & Townsend dams)

Sat. September 24th8:30am-until water is depleted1500 cfsRecreational (with shuttle)

Note: There is at least a two hour delay from the release times stated above until the water gets to the put in.

Flows on this section of the West are regulated by the Army Corps of Engineers flood control dam at the put in. Most of the time it is "run of the river". That means whatever comes in from above is passed through without any hold back regulation. Although, during high water event, the dam could be holding back water. Usually this water is slowly discharged several days after the event to allow boating during that time period.

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports




article main photo

VT Supreme Court Protects Whitewater Boating on the Green River

Robert Nasdor

The Vermont Supreme Court decided today that whitewater boaters have the right to paddle on the Green River. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision by the Environmental Division of the Superior Court that required the hydropower project on the Green River in Morrisville to provide three annual scheduled releases. This is a precedent setting decision because it establishes that whitewater boating is a designated and existing use protected under the Clean Water Act, that scheduled releases are necessary to protect that use, and that Vermont ANR failed to meet its burden to show that providing scheduled release would result in a lowering of water quality. 

article main photo

AW Wins Court Battle Protecting Green River (VT) Boating

Robert Nasdor

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.

article main photo

Northeast Boaters Seek To Expand West River (VT) Boating

Robert Nasdor

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.

article main photo

Bellows Falls (VT) Flow Study Reveals Hidden Whitewater

Robert Nasdor

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. 


Matt Muir


Alex Barham


Mark Lacroix




Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1201361 05/30/12 Matt Muir Changed title for ordering; added link.
1209359 04/30/18 Alex Barham Name Changed
1200249 06/07/11 Mark Lacroix c
1195822 08/17/09 Rob Add ~Lat/~Lng, Abstrect; remedy formatting errors in text.
1194262 05/16/07 n/a n/a