Otter Creek (Falls)
|Flows:||700 to 2,000+ cfs. USGS Otter Creek at Middlebury gauge|
|Shuttle:||0.2 miles, (5 minutes one-way, by foot)|
|Season:||More or less year-round.|
|Featured in Video A Wet State #158|
North East Road Trip 2021: Day 10 Midday
A 20ish footer in the middle of town that is a park and huck... sure why not! The falls is easier than expected for as tall as it is. I could see there being a real risk of over boofing if you don't know how to control your angle. I also image at low flows perhaps it is easy to go over the handle bars if you choose a shallow spot. In my mind, the only thing that makes this waterfall a little bit tougher is that immediately below is a sticky ledge. Therefore, dropping the falls and getting to the right side of the river quickly and in control is key, and there lies the difficulty.
It is fun though, and it isn't terribly out of the way from a whole lot of places if you are boating in Vermont. Its close to the New Haven. Its close to Middlebury. And of course, its close to the Otter Creek Gorge. So tell your novice friend you will show them down the gorge, and then show off by running the falls. I hope you don't swim out of the hole just below though as all those cool points would evaporate. Best of luck!
- Falls (IV to IV+). Scout from the bridge or downstream before putting on. The line is generally right. A number of spots exists that are good to boof off of. Set your angle so you don't plug but also don't over boof as it is reasonably tall. Land, and immediately book it far right to avoid the meat of the sticky hole 30 feet downstream.
Take-out: Right in the middle of Middlebury. Main St crosses over the river and the falls 50 feet above the falls. Heading south on Main St, cross the river and take your first right onto Mill St. This rd drops steeply for 100 yards to a parking area on the left, "Mill Street Parking."
Put-in: Walk back up Mill St (there is a foot bridge along the way that crosses the river that you can scout from fyi) to Main St. Cross Main St, continuing upriver (or detour to scout from the Main St bridge by turning left). Once on the upriver, river left, side of Main St, continue onto Bakery Ln. After you walk past some cute restaurants, there is a break in the buildings and you can access the river.
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