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White Water Release at Jamaica State Park

by Linda Cassella

As the weather gets warmer,  the snow melts on the mountains and the creeks and rivers rise, creating the perfect playground for whitewater paddlers.

Those who are brave enough to ride the rapids, this year the  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will  423-106be scheduling a water release from The Ball Mountain Dam on Saturday, May 6th and Sunday 7th – 10:30am – 2:30pm. White water rafters from around the northeast will travel to West River’s Ball Mountain Dam at Jamaica State Park in Jamaica, VT to ride the eight-mile stretch from the Ball Mountain Dam to the backwater of Townshend Lake.  Along this eight-mile stretch they will encounter class II to IV rapids with 1 to 2-foot drops.

jamaica-whitewater-kayakingThe first half of the trip rafters will encounter a half mile rapid called the “Landslide and the featured rapid the “Dumplings” which is a tight S-turn where strong team paddling is important to avoid contact with the 3 boulders and hit the biggest waves.  On the second of the trip they will need to prepare themselves several more Class II-III rapids like “Tornado Alley”, “The Ledges” as they way to the end of the 2.5-3 hour ride.

If you plan on joining in on the adventure, Jamaica State Park will be open for camping from campFriday, May 5th at 2:00 pm to Monday, May 7th at 11:00 am.  Reservations can be made with a 2-night minimum through their reservations center or through their online reservations portal. If you plan to paddle all day Sunday, you either need to vacate your campsite by 11 AM or book your site through Sunday night. Special note to campers:  there is a maximum of 8 campers per site.

For the less adventurous and/or those  who would prefer to watch, day passes are available at the park’s entrance.

For more information:
Jamaica State Park
Appalachian Mountain Club Boston

Don’t feel like camping but need a place to stay for the weekend?  Visit the
lodging page.

Did you work up an appetite after day riding the rapids?  The town of Manchester is just a short drive away where there are many great restaurants to choose from.

Don’t forget to check out the weather before you go.

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