Jul 6, 2019

Map 7, Day 32: The Upper Ammonoosuc River (Downstream)

Trip Date: May 26, 2019
Miles: 18.9 in 8.5 hours including a stop for lunch back at the Stark Village Inn halfway

Portages: 3
Map 7
Paddling Partner: Laurie Chandler
Boat: Borrowed 12' recreational kayak, Laurie paddled here Wenonah Fusion
Weather: Sunny and pleasant
Overnight: Back to Stark Village Inn


Paddled the entire length of the NFCT's Upper Ammo section. Sam again assisted shuttling Laurie and I today--dropping us off by the West Milan General Store and put-in, then meeting us at the end of the day at the Weston dam. The water was high and the paddling very pleasant. Able to run the rapids above Stark. We checked out both Upper Ammo NFCT campsites: Cordwell and Frizzle

Took a lunch break back at the Inn before finishing the day in Groveton. The plan was to meet at the Normandeau Campsite just beyond the Weston Dam, but the water was churning so violently at the put-in near the base of the dam, whirlpools were being created around the railroad abutment that we needed to round after exiting the pool at the base of the dam. In high water like this, a thru-paddle approaching the dam paddling upstream would have a lot of difficulties reaching the signed take-out and instead would need to access a gravel road at the top of the bank just prior to reaching the railroad bridge. 

Sam was watching and awaiting our decision (and fates) from the opposite side of the dam, by a parking area. We instead put back in above the Weston Dam and paddled over to end our trip shy of the Normandeau Campsite where Sam had cold beer awaiting weary paddlers. 

Paddling the river downstream was really fun--including running the quickwater around the braided islands above Red Dam. 

River access point near Gord's in West Milan

River access

Upper Ammo is deeper and slow moving near West Milan

Below Red Dam (Laurie in her NFCT thru-canoe)

Signed Red Dam access (below dam)

Railroad crossing above Groveton

Groveton's covered bridge

Turbulent outflow below Weston dam and Normandy campsite