The Lower Lamoille is a fun easy after-work run, or can be accessed for some of the best park and play in Northern Vermont. Okay, so there is alot of flatwater on this run, but there are a number of nice playspots, and it usually holds up a while after rains. There are two long class 2+ rapids midway down the run. One of which has a nice playspot on the left, called 'Smiley'. The other rapid of interest is right above the takeout. Five Chutes is the biggest rapid on the river, and normally provide some playable features at most levels. 4500-5500 is optimum for the 'Dream Hole'. Put in: Rough Parking on river right below Fairfax Falls.Take out: A couple of options. Near the Railroad bridge at East Georgia, or cross the river just above the lake, and take the first right, and park a few hundred meters up.Other Nearby Runs: The North Branch Lamoille & Gihon are harder rivers nearby. 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 is also paddleable at a a variety of levels.
Paddled from Fairfax to below 5 Chutes. This section is relatively unchanged from Tropical Storm Irene. The usual play spots at Smiley's hole and 5 Chutes are unchanged.
7 years ago
by Mark Lacroix
Since the lamoille is pretty wide, perhaps 1000 cfs is a safe minimum. 4500 to 5500 is a perfect flow for the 5 chutes playspots.
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Smiley Hole - Lamoille
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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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