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Dave Coyne and I ran the Lower Moose (East St. Johnsbury- Passumpsic river) at a level of 6 feet on
the Victory gauge. The run is about 4 miles, the run starts off with a bang with a big wave train
under the first (car bridge) with good surf. Right around the bend is the biggest drop on this
section, so scout carefully on river left right after the first bridge. There is a sneak line to
the left side of train bridge pillar, but it’s a little scrapy at 6’. The main line has
a monster hole dead center that spans 80-90% of the river, not a place I would really like to be.
Dave says it's a bit more tame at around 5 ft, (min suggested). The line of choice at this level
was to start off in the eddy just above the bridge and boof the far left side and skirt the big
hole directly under the bridge. The move was intimidating, but luckily no one got munched
After the railroad bridge there is about 2 miles of quick class I water until you hit the next
section. The next rapid is a series of 3 ledges all about 3-4 feet high. Once you get to the ledges
the run picks up and the rapids are close together.
Right around the next bend the river runs directly into the Maple Grove Farm factory and makes a
definitive S-turn under another bridge. Once you get behindMaple
Grovethere is a fun class III, that consists of a big bouncy
wave train, run right down the middle, watch for wood on the left side. From there to the next
significant drop is pretty straight forward class II+.
Once you go under Rte. 2 again the river makes a definitive sharp left turn. Be careful here. The
next drop is a big rocky ledge about 8 feet tall, the biggest single drop on the river. Stay left
and scout. A cliff that juts out blocks your vision and if you miss the eddy right behind the rock
you are committed to the drop. There is a simple line far left side if you follow the green tongue
of water along the left bank. After this there are 2 more little ledges before you hit the
confluence of the Passumpsic.
This is a really fun section, I think I would prefer it to the upper section from Victory
down. Overall I would rate this as a class II-IV run to be in agreement with the guide book.
Once you get down by the mills, pastMaple
Grove, there's unfortunately a lot of dumping that has been done
and the river banks are riddled with tires and metal pieces.
The river runs directly along Rte. 2 the entire way, so there's lots of opportunity for road
To get to the takeout, takeConcord Ave.across the bridge.
Make a left ontoElm St. and
park back near the baseball fields.
To get to the putin, take Rte. 2 east for about 4 miles until you see a gravel pull off just past
East St. Johnsubury on the right side of the road. If you want to skip the first big drop and the
quickwater section, you can park and put in at Petty Co. Junction off of Rte. 2.
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