|Stretch:||Route 25A to Ellsworth Rd|
|Difficulty:||Class IV to IV+|
|Flows:||3.0 to 10.7' (We had 3.2 and it was low). Visit the American Whitewater flow page|
|Put-in:||Old Bridge off of NH-25A|
|Take-out:||Bridge on Ellsworth Rd.|
|Shuttle:||2.0 miles (5 minutes one way)|
|Season:||Spring from rain and snow melt. Occasionally off of thunderstorms.|
|Featured in A Wet State #99 and in A Wet State's contribution to World Kayak's Video Guide|
North East Roadtrip 2015 – Day 5 Morning
Waking up at Culley’s house we began to look for options for driving to New Hampshire for a few days of boating as I wanted to ensure I got a chance to see that state and hopefully Maine as well. Looking at the gauges and the map, we decided to settle on Pond Brook and South Baker as they were close together, both bike shuttleable, and only 2 hours from where we were staying in Vermont. So, Diane and I packed our stuff up and started our drive.
Arriving in Wentworth we quickly found take-out and noticed that the water was pretty low. AW stated that we would have borderline too low of water and they were right. But, I am stubborn so we put on anyways. The run started off slow and made me have second thoughts. The nature of the rock is so tacky that every time you make contact with one you could just hear your boat getting pealed apart. But such is the nature of many runs in the East. Once we got to the main drops the river channelized more and we found ourselves having a good time though. The drops are all located in the bottom half of this run, and as this run is pretty short to begin with, that means there are only a handful of good drops. But for a quick run it was still a lot of fun.
As we arrived at take-out the bluebird morning that we had experienced had begun to turn to overcast and rain clouds. Of course… just our luck, just in time for a bike shuttle. Luckily for me, Diane was due so she took off on what she reported to be a very easy ride back up the hill.
Last: North East Roadtrip: Day 4 Afternoon (New Haven Ledges)
Next: North East Roadtrip: Day 5 Afternoon (South Baker)
- Boogie (II to III). Lots of little drops and little slides filled this area. There was one small gorge (Funnel) with one steeper drop in it but the rapid went just fine down the middle. We also were forced to take one wood portage in this area. This section is where the low water was evident.
- Megaslide (IV to IV+). The first S-turn rapid is probably the biggest rapid of the run, but the hydraulics at the low flow we had were inconsequential. We started the slide straight down the middle and then road the current back to the left, and off the pillow back down the middle. We scouted easily on the right.
- Power Line Falls (IV- to IV). In a clearing where the power lines go overhead is this cool drop. For us it was sorta ruined by a big log resting across the main flow’s entrance causing us to have to bang around it in the entrance before exiting another s-turn in the mainflow down the middle. You can catch a glimpse of this rapid while driving shuttle though it is off in the distance. Easy to scout on the left.
- Minislide (IV- to IV). The second s-turn was boat scoutable but actually punched more hydraulics than the first. Again we just road the main flow down the gut.
- Straight-Sway Slide (III+). As the houses come into view marking take-out, you have one more long slide that you run straight down the middle in the deepest water you can find.
- Take-out Falls (IV to IV+). The final falls was straight forward at the low flow, but I could see at high flows it is much harder and pushier. The lead in had a few slides into small holes down the left side of the river before a big eddy in the middle of the rapid above the take-out boof that you can see from the bridge below. We boofed middle off of the flake. A great ending to the run!
For more details on the run, see the AW write-up...
Take-out: We left a bike at the bridge that probably won’t work if you are leaving cars as it is all private property. The bridge was located in Wentworth, on the Ellsworth Rd which is one road south of the 25A and 116 junction. But I bet you could park in town and just walk the 100 yards up the road.
Put-in: Return to NH-25A and drive 0.2 miles before turning left on NH-25A / NH-118. Drive for 1.7 miles. There is a turn-out at a small dirt road that also has a old rotted out bridge. We put-in here.
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