Sandy Brook - Phelps Flat Rd. to Route 8 Bridge

Sandy Brook, Connecticut, US


Phelps Flat Rd. to Route 8 Bridge

Usual Difficulty IV (for normal flows)
Length 5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 80 fpm
Max Gradient 100 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01187300 3.00 - 5.50 ft IV 01h09m 1.5 ft (too low)

River Description

   The put-in is at the junction of Sandy Brook Road and Phelps Flat Road.  From here to the second bridge the river is a nice class II-III warm-up.  As soon as you pass under the second bridge there’s a sharp, almost vertical drop punctuated with several rocks and holes.  After this drop the river stays a solid class IV for a third of a mile.  The rapid ends at the “Block” which is a huge boulder sitting in the center of the river.  It’s possible to pass to either side of the boulder but if you go right make sure that you’re as close to the right shore as possible.  On the right side of the boulder and right next to it is a wicked hole that has trapped many paddlers.  Immediately after the Block there’s a small pool where everyone gathers.  When the river level is high many paddlers elect to put in here instead of upstream.
   Below the pool the river is not quite as tough as the previous section but still pretty meaty and non-stop until a small bridge.  Right after the bridge there’s a wonderful surfing wave with a large calm eddy on river left.  From here to where the river crosses under Sandy Brook Road there’s more non-stop rapids.
   After crossing under Sandy Brook Road the river is mild for a short way, ending in a left turn.  Almost immediately after this left turn is a sharp right turn.  Right after this turn the river squeezes down and in the narrow spot there’s a big hole.  It’s best to pass by this hole on the far right.  Center Brook then enters from the right and adds a significant amount of water to the Sandy.  Some hardy souls carry their boats up Center Brook and run the last few rapids (class V).
   The next left turn is the start of the second hardest rapid on the river.  It starts off with a couple of wide holes and has large boulders, tough cross currents and more holes.   The rapid lasts for around 100 yards and is about the half way point of the run.  After this rapid the river gets more relaxing but there’s still sections that get your attention.  It’s a good place to put in if you’re not sure of your abilities on the previous sections.
   After about a mile and a half you’ll come to a very calm section in the river.  Coming out of this calm section is a left bend which puts you at the head of a short significant rapid right above a bridge.  It’s only possible to see this bridge ahead of time if you’re next to the right shore in the calm section.  This rapid contains lots of rocks and holes with two very large rocks about 10 to 15 feet apart in the center of the rapid.  The best route is to pass between the two large rocks.  Right above the bridge is a large eddy on river left.  On a wall in this eddy is a hand painted river gage.
   Good rapids continue until near the end of the run.  When the river becomes class II keep an lookout for a left channel after you pass a footbridge.  Take this left channel instead of following the main channel on the right.  At this writing the right channel is blocked by two large trees that fell across the river.  The Take-out is on river left after passing under the route 8 bridge.  



StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2014-08-14 19:18:51


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.

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