This section is mostly flatwater winding through a rather undeveloped region of western Maine. However, there is a 1 1/2 mile section in East Waterford that is of greater interest to whitewater boaters. This section has numerous class-III ledge drops, some that may require scouting. To get there, take ME Route 117 south out of Norway Maine. Approximately 4-1/2 miles to the Twin Bridges over the Crooked River. There is a small rapid here with a picnic area. Continue past the bridge another mile or so then take a right onto Temple Hill Road. Follow Temple Hill Road till it merges then becomes Baker Hill Road. Within a half mile the road becomes dirt, an additional half mile will bring you to the small bridge over the Crooked River. If you are only interested in whitewater, use this as your takeout. To get to the putin, reverse direction then take a right on a smaller narrower dirt road that is signed as "Old Pulp Mill Road". Check out section D-5 on map 10 in the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer, this shows Old Pulp Mill Road to have a gate across but the gate is non-functional at the time of this writing. Old Pulp Mill Road will bring you to a series of small seasonal cabins along the ledges section of the Crooked. If residents are present, ask for permission to carry upstream to the flat water above the first ledge. From here you can paddle upstream to a small riffle then carry up on river left 1/4 mile to run the very top rapid. Althouth this is a difficult trudge through thickets using a game path. An easier put in can be had by travelling up to East Waterford and putting in at the ME Route 118 bridge but this requires paddling 3 miles of flatwater to the first rapid. The river below the Baker Hill Road bridge is secluded and mostly quickwater with a sandy bottom. You may need to carry around or lift over recent tree drops in the river. There are a couple easy class I-II rapids just before and at the bridge takeout on Route 117.
Crooked River reaches:1) Albany to North Waterford (I-II)2) North Waterford to East Waterford (II-III)4) Scribners Mill to US 302 (II-III)
There is no gauge at this time but there is talk of putting one in at the ME route 117 bridge crossing over the Crooked River. A fair indication at this time is to look at the river right concrete wall of the bridge. If there are no rocks visible here at the base then the run could be exciting, if a few rocks are visible then you may be able to squeek out a scratchy run.
This is a seasonal runoff river best run in April and after heavy rains.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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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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