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Mill Brook, Brownsville, VT

Friday Apr 22, 2011
Kayak: Allan Berggren, Wes Nelson, Noah Pollock
Organizer: Berggren
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium low
Gauge (cfs): 300
Author: Berggren

Miles of Smiles--off the paddling map

Wes Nelson and Burlington,Vermont paddler Noah Pollock and I paddled the Mill Brook from 2 miles north of the intersection of Vt 106 and 44 (Hammondsville) ten miles down to the pass under I-91 leading into Kennedy Pond in Windsor. We shuttled around 3 miles of flatwater west of Brownsville.

At the outset, I wondered whether my old Dagger CFS--high rocker, rounded bottom--would hang on every rock in the 10-15ft wide stream, but we found some nice mossy banks and ledge drops in the two mile run down to Hwy 44. Our optimism was rewarded by rising level as the day warmed, snow was melting on the banks, and we were joined by feeder streams. Easy II to full III features followed to our bypass takeout a mile down Hwy 44.

We put in again below Brownsville. A log above the 12-ft slide/falls made us boogy far right. Falls itself was a bump-bump-bump-kersplash, but the works below were intense and had several holes. Below the arch bridge was three miles of very steady 2+ rapids, sometimes triple the width where we started, with a few boof logs and lovely mossy stone banks. Takeout alongside Hwy 44 below the I-91 overpass is a sandy beach with generous parking.

Mill Brook is not in the AMC or creeks literature, and there is no gauge, though it will be reflected in levels of the nearby Black (whose gauge is WAY downstream in Springfield). It has a narrow watershed, so drops off quickly. But we felt affirmed by our journey to keep it on our watchlist.

Kay,Allan Berggren

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