Boston Kayaker

Kayaking on Winooski River - from Essex VT to Winooski VT


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  Put in behind power station
  off Route 2A in Essex VT.
Take out at Berard Drive
  in Winooski VT.
Estimated distance
  = 7 miles
Rapids below
  put in.
River splits around an
  island. Take right.
Essex
  Dam
  Alternate put in at Muddy Brook
  Park on River Cove Road.
River name from Abenaki
  meaning "wild onion".
Lime Kiln
  Gorge
Woodside
  Park
Long rocky stretch
  past Muddy Brook.
Winooski
  Gorge Dam

Disclaimer: It is your responsibility to determine the legality, suitability and safety of this route for yourself.

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Kayaking on Winooski River - from Essex VT to Winooski VT

Other resources:
Friends of the Winooski
Friends of the Winooski: Paddling Guide (16mb pdf), see pages 24 to 25
Friends of the Winooski: Paddling Guide (cached copy)


Excerpt from Friends of the Winnooski Paddling Guide (page 24):
Difficulty: Intermediate
Description: The Winooski begins passing through urban and suburban areas in this section of the river. However, there are great picnicking and natural areas to stop at along the way including the Muddy Brook Natural area and canoe access located about a mile downstream from the Essex Dam on the left. There is also Woodside Park, operated by the Winooski Valley Park District, about four miles below the Essex Dam. This stretch passes through the only un-dammed gorge, the Lime Kiln Gorge, on the Winooski.
Rapids/Obstacles: There is a short rapid visible from the put in below the Essex Dam. A bit further downstream, the river will split around an island. The best channel is along the right side of the island. Just beyond the confluence with Muddy Brook, there is a long rocky stretch.
Put Ins:
  • Below Essex Dam: Pull into the Green Mountain Power Station off 2A. The put in is below the power generating station. If the gate is unlocked, you can drop you boat off in the station parking lot but you cannot park there. Park at Overlook Park, across the 2A bridge, and walk back.
  • Muddy Brook Park: If you want to avoid the rapid below the power station, put in about a mile downstream at Muddy Brook Park. You continue south on Rt 2A to River Cove Road and turn right. The Park will be on your right.
    Take Out:
  • Winooski Gorge Dam: Shortly after passing through the Lime Kiln Gorge, the river makes a right hand turn. The take out is on the left before the river narrows into the gorge. Barrels may be in place across the river in warmer months. From Rt 15, take Lime Kiln Road south crossing over the river, turn right on to Berard Drive (another mile or so) and follow it to the end.