Walker Brook in Danbury NH is a one-and-three-quarters-mile technical III+/IV steep creek with a handful of difficult drops and two optional class V drops. It is a fun narrow creek with no mandatory portages, continuous roadside access. It is runnable with very little water and usually before other nearby rivers come up. Similar in character, but a little more demanding than Wonalancet and Little Suncook; PLUS it has no flatwater.
Of the two class V drops, one is at the put-in and the other at the take-out. The drop at the take-out is known as Walker Brook Falls. This final class V drops 30+ feet in sculpted bedrock in three distinct drops all in less than 50 feet. It has been run river left and river right both with ease/success as well as a good thrashing.
Due to narrow width of streams of this type be constantly alert for strainers. Scout each blind drop (there are several) before the run to very they are clean.
At the top the river goes thru a number of steep and narrow class IV drops, one-after-the other, with occasional breaks of class III rapids.
Almost exactly half-way down be aware of a narrow drop that sweeps the paddler into a rock outcropping. Most paddlers opt to walk this drop after getting bruised ribs the first time.
The rapids below the mid-point are a bit stiffer than the upper half, and would be best described as ledge drops varying from 4-8 feet constantly down to the take out.
Walker Brook gets its start in the hills northwest of Concord. It is part of the headwaters of the Blackwater River, which eventually flows into the Contoocook and then into the Merrimack. Due to its location high in the watershed it is often running well before most other well-known whitewater runs, much like the creeks of the Baker River Valley which are often runnable before their correlation gauge shows it. A half inch of rain or more usually does it. Also, if the creeks in the Baker River Valley are running, or are expected to be running soon, Walker Brook is running.
The Smith is the nearest gauge and has similar drainage features. The correlation range was taken from the Upper Smith. This is an estimate. If you run this section please comment with more flow beta
7 years ago
by Mark Lacroix
There is no gage on the river. A paddlers gage is planned for Summer '08 for the upstream side of the river-left bridge abutment of the bridge just above the takeout. A level of 1.0 will be low, 1.25 will be medium.
The two nearest online gages to Walker Brook are:
Smith River near Bristol, NH.
Mascoma River at West Canaan, NH (inflow to Mascoma Lake).
Both these gages are high in their watersheds and should indicate a pattern similar to Walker Brook.
The Warner River Gage, and Blackwater River Gage are also close by; however these gages are lower in the watershed. The Warner gage and is slow to rise and fall due to the large number of wetlands higher on the river. The Blackwater is behind the Army Corps Dam. Neither can used to reliably predict the level on Walker Brook.
Permits are not required for this reach.
Walker Brook Falls
Class V at Put-In
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Northeast boaters can celebrate that another beloved whitewater gem has been protected. Paddlers on the Winnipeseaukee River are now assured that the put-in on the Lower Winni in Northfield, NH will be forever protected thanks to the donation of a parcel from Gloria Blais in memory of her husband Roger. Gloria donated the land to the Town of Northfield for the purpose of assuring that future generations of boaters will have access to the river. Protecting river access to the Winni is part of an ongoing effort by AW in the northeast region to protect river access.
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.
American Whitewater and Merrimack Valley Paddlers have reached an agreement to purchase a 10-acre parcel fronting on Contoocook River in Henniker, NH. The land serves as an important launch point for whitewater paddlers enjoying the popular section of the river that runs from Hillsborough to Henniker. This section of the Contoocook River contains rapids ranging in difficulty from Class II to Class IV.
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