North Branch Lamoille
This is a great high water run, which can be run by a class-3 group by selectively choosing which rapids to avoid depending on the level. There are many put in and take out options along this run so go to Montgomery Rd and check the guage on river right under the covered bridge. At low water it is common to put in at the Elementary School, park to the right and walk across the field along the side. You can run down through to the gauge bridge or down to the Waterville ledges. Know that the Waterville Ledges do not go well at very low flows. Alternatively if flows are 2.75 or higher you can put in at The Bog which is beautiful wilderness class III-IV+ (IV-V at 5ft)
The gorge section by the school is the better section when flows are super low. Other options to put in if the water is over 2.5 you can keep going up. Just above the bridge on Back Road, there is a good class-4 fall. Go either left or right depending on level, and trees. After this fall, it is mainly calm water, until some nice class-3 ledges just above the 109 Bridge. After a fair bit more flatwater, you pass the school on river right. Shortly after this, is a continuous class-3 section, which runs for about 1 km. This ends at a covered bridge. Just after the covered bridge is another class-3 ledge, and some good playspots. This is also a good alternative takeout.
Wateville Ledges (IV-V)
Passing under the Route 109 for the last time brings you to the Ledges. These are a fantastic series of drops and slides. There are a couple of sticky holes, and a small amount of rebar in the river, so scout carefully. Towards the bottom, there are a couple of slightly unercut drops. The river splits around an island towards the bottom also. Take the right hand channel for the best whitewater, although the left channel can be fun if you avoid the entry sieve. Scouting and protection is easy, as rocky ledges run all the way down the ledges on river right. The takeout is just a short distance below the ledges.
Painted Gauge Correlation Montgomery Rd: 1.5 - minimum, 2 - low, 2.5 - med, 3 - 5 is high.
Put in: Covered bridge on Back Rd, just north of Belvedere JunctionTake out: Covered bridge in Waterville. Alternative takeout is covered Bridge above Waterville if you don't want to run the ledges. Other Nearby Runs: The Gihon and North Branch Winooski are similar class rivers nearby. If the river is over 2.75ft The Bog section is in. The Upper Lamoille has several interesting falls (Dog Head Falls, and the Slide), which may or may not be runnable, depending on levels. Ithiel Falls on the Lamoille, and the Lower Lamoille, are also paddleable at a a variety of levels.NOTE: Lat/Lng are approximate, based solely upon description provided, and aerial recon via Google, thus may not be correct. Actual put-in, take-out, and run length may be different than listed.
This is not really a good gauge to be using. Check out flow of the Lamoille at Johnson (USGS gauge 04292000 - https://waterdata.usgs.gov/vt/nwis/uv?site_no=04292000) and word on street is that the N.B. is probably flowing if it is 1000cfs and rising or 2000cfs and falling.
8 years ago
by Mark Lacroix
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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First drop at put-in
Ledge drop below first covered bridge
dropping in backwards
ledges above 109
ledge hole above 109
Surf wave @ Put-in
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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.
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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