The Green River is a classic low gradient, low volume, class II-III river that runs off the Berkshires, including Mt. Greylock. It contains 3 definable class IIIs, all short, and lots of old mill drops. There are a few strainers here or there, so keep watch. It is mostly very chill, fast-moving, class I-II, interspersed with some short drops.
The most commonly used put-in is at the bridge for Hopper Rd, at "Hopper Dropper" the first class III (II+ at low flows). There is a parking lot on river right after you cross the bridge off 43. You can put in higher up, at various locations in Mt. Hope Park, but parking is trickier, and there are no substantial rapids. If you put in at the parking lot on Hopper Rd., gear up and then walk across the road along the path on river right (walking upstream). Put in anywhere here.
From the Hopper Dropper the river is primarily class I until the river takes a hard left and there is a tall smokestack. This is Old Mill (class III, which appears as a substantial horizon line). This is an old mill, so be careful and scout from river left. The general line is river center working river right. Be respectful of the condominium owners here.
Immediately after the Old Mill is the 3rd class III, Accelerator, and perhaps the most fun. A short bedrock slide, that ends in a flushy hole. Run river left to center. At lower flows, you'll feel the bumps on the hull of your boat. Below this rapid is a fun surfing hole, that becomes moderately retentive at flows greater than 350 cfs.
The rest of the river from here until the the Route 2 bridge is class II, with another mill drop or two. Be careful of rebar here or there. After the route 2 bridge (run river right) one can take out in the long public park that parallels river left for a ways. I would recommend scouting a good location for this prior to running. Otherwise, continue down to the confluence with the Hoosic (one logjam in this section) and take out on river left along Cole Fields. Plenty of parking down there, but it makes the shuttle a fair bit longer.
At levels below 250 cfs it's a bit of a scrapefest, but can still be fun, it's been run it down to 180. Anything greater than 250cfs is good fun, and it's mostly a float anyways. At 600 cfs it can be a bit pushy, but is still class II/III. Be cautious of strainers at higher levels, as there is a spot or two where you are ducking riverwide trees.
If you are looking for a little play after your run of the Green, there's a beautiful playwave on the Hoosic, under half an hour away by car. If the Green is in, the Hoosic wave will definitely have enough water.
The first rapid of the run, it can be scouted from the Hopper Bridge. Put in just upstream of the bridge on river right. At low flows, down the center is the only available line. At higher flows, a few options open up, including a boof on river right into the middle flow. There is an undercut rock at the bottom, and a recovery pool. At low flows it's an easy class II+, at higher flows, a class II+/III-.
This rapid presents as a sizable horizon line, and drops ~10 ft over its short entirety. Catch eddies on river left as the river turns sharply to the left, and you can see a tall brick smokestack. Get out and scout, there's a walking path for the condo owners. The general line is river center working river right. There is a hole on far right that at higher levels could become problematic.
This is the third and final class III. Just below Old Mill, the river turns hard right and lines up for this fun rapid. Scout on the rocks on river left. Be respectful, as you are in the backyard of various shops on Water St. in Williamstown. Run left/left of center working center into a fun, splashy hole. This rapid can be run again and again, walk up on river left.
This is the playspot directly below Accelerator - a fun, river wide, playspot with eddy-service. At levels about 350 cfs, it becomes a bit-retentive, but I've always been able to get out whilst upside down.
The gauge is downstream of most of the run, but it's so short that it provides a good estimate of conditions most of the time.
Permits are not required for this reach.
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In response to requests by American Whitewater, several affiliates, and other stakeholders, FERC directed Brookfield Renewable to study the impact of its hydropower operations on whitewater boating on the Deerfield River in western Massachusetts. Boating groups and our supporters are seeking to determine optimal whitewater boating flows from the Fife Brook Dam and whether changes in hydropower operations would enhance boating opportunities, access and navigation.
American Whitewater, along with other paddling groups and outfitters, filed comments with FERC responding to the Whitewater Boating Evaluation at Turners Falls on the Connecticut River. The study showed that there is strong demand for boating on this section of the Connecticut River if sufficient flows, scheduled releases, better access, and real-time information are provided. The groups filed the comments in order to provide additional information for the environmental review and to respond to the unsupported statements by FirstLight, the utility performing the study, claiming that there is little demand for boating at Turners Falls.
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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