Directions: Drive North on Rte. 201. At the edge of town, bang a right onto Rte. 16 just before crossing Austin Stream. Continue upstream along the river-left bank about 0.8 miles and hang a left onto a dirt road that rises away from the river. Follow this dirt road 5.8 miles to Austin Falls. Park in the pull-off on the left. For this 0.2-mile stretch, ain't no shuttle necessary.
The strainers were there last summer as well. They are not going anywhere. Pretty much a non factor at lower flows when only the "gorge" section goes (see picture for an idea). At higher levels, the strainers could pose a big problem. Definitely set safety. Also, it looks like the vertical waterfall downstream of the strainers goes at these levels. The run looks like it maintains an average 100 fpm of gradient all the way down to Bingham. I would suspect it would make for a pretty good Class IV-V run at appropriate levels, although we couldn't motivate for a late afternoon start after running the E. Piscataquis in the AM the one time I was there at higher flows. Even a very small amount of rain will make the "gorge" section worth doing if you are in the area. Look for flows on the Carrabassett to be above 2000 and on the Piscataquis to be above 600 before attempting the entire run.
We looked at this on May 13, 2007. There was a very large tree forming a serious strainer in the drop after the crux. I think the strainer will be there for a long time due to the size of the tree.
10 years ago
No gage. Give it a look. Since the riverbed is constricted, it doesn't require much water to run. If other area creeks, like Cold Stream, are running, this one should be very high.
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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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