Update: Deerfield Fest evening activities are cancelled for 2021. See update here:

American Whitewater's Deerfield Fest is back! The paddling community will come together on the weekend of September 11/12 at Berkshire East in Charlemont, MA for a full weekend of outdoor activities while showcasing whitewater paddlesports. The event will raise funds and membership for American Whitewater.

The Deerfield Festival Weekend will include these exciting events:

Deerfield Fest, Saturday, September 11

For more than 25 years, American Whitewater has hosted the Deerfield Fest to celebrate the successful dam relicensing process that provides 32 annual whitewater releases on the Dryway and 106 annual whitewater releases on Fife Brook. The main festival activities take place on Saturday evening from 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. and provide entertainment for both paddlesport and non-paddlesport enthusiasts young and old. The Deerfield River Festival is a critical fundraiser for American Whitewater, and is one of our premiere events. All proceeds from the festival support American Whitewater’s conservation and access work throughout the Northeast including the dam relicensings on the Deerfield and nearby Connecticut River.

Zoar Outdoor Demos & Clinics, Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12

Zoar Outdoor will provide boat demos and clinics for paddlers on the Deerfield River. Try out the latest whitewater kayaks, canoes and SUPs. Zoar Outdoor will also offer clinics with skilled instructors on Fife Brook and the Dryway.

Other activities during the Festival Weekend will include Josh Wright Dryway Boater-X Beater-X Race and flatwater touring on the Sherman Reservoir.


The Deerfield Fest location will be shifted to Berkshire East this year to highlight the breadth of outdoor recreation in the Charlemont area including mountain biking, ziplining, and skiing. Food and beverage will be provided by Berkshire East at Crazy Horse. We will have music, paddlesports vendors, and a silent auction to benefit AW.


American Whitewater needs your help! Volunteers are a key part of the success of Deerfield Fest. This is one of the easiest ways to help American Whitewater's river stewardship work, by helping us put on this critical fundraiser. Volunteers should contact Brad Walker at to schedule a time to help out.

The River

The Dryway (Monroe Bridge)

tooth.jpgThe Monroe Bridge Section (aka the”Dryway”) offers exciting class III-IV boating for intermediates and experts. The crux of the run is Dragon's Tooth Rapid (Class IV). For more information on The Dryway (Monroe Bridge) Section, including gauges, maps, shuttle, and pictures, check out the AW River page.

Fife Brook

gap.jpgThe Fife Brook Section offers solid class II boating with one class III rapid at the end (that can easily be portage if so desired). This stretch is ideal for beginners and budding intermediates. For more information on the Fife Brook Section, including gauges, maps, shuttle, and pictures, check out the AW River page.


There are a variety of camping options in the area including sites at Berkshire East, Zoar Outdoor, Foolhardy Hill, Country Aire, Mohawk State Park, and elsewhere. Sign up early to reserve a spot.

Raffles and Silent Auction

American Whitewater's raffles and silent auction are a highlight of many attending the Deerfield River Festival. Each year festival attendees get great deals on boats, paddles, gear, camping gear, and much more.

Rain Date: There is no rain date for Deerfield Fest. Although the festival is held entirely outside, we put on the festival rain or shine. The majority of folks that attend are outdoors minded and are undeterred by a little rain.

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!