The Vermont Paddlers Club

Meet new friends, and paddle better!
Home»Talk Paddling»Bow and Stern: 1975-present»

Bow and Stern - February 1, 1977


February 27,1977

Dear Fellow Canoe Cruisers,

It's hard to believe that we have survived the winter of 76-77, and that the canoeing year is about to begin! It's true though, and in this issue of the BOW & STERN you will find a few memories from last year and some signs of the great things ahead.

Plans include more whitewater training this year, a trip to North Carolina, and many whitewater trips. Also, be sure to check off your interests and suggestions for flatwater canoeing for later in the season. You'll find a questionnaire on the last page.

So...... welcome back! See you on the river!

Larry Thomson


Interested in a whitewater trip to North Carolina? The Nantahala Outdoor Center will offer special programs to suit our club (mixed open and decked boats).

The approximate cost will be $125.00 per person for a group of 5-9 people, or $135.00 per person ten or more people. This cost includes instruction, lodging, meals, and a raft trip on Section. IV of the Chattooga River!

All those interested should contact Dick Trudell (655-3554) no later than March 10th.

Whitewater Training Program

The club will be conducting a training program for those members new to whitewater. If you think that you want to try some spring whitewater canoeing, but havent had any experience, this program is meant for you. We will conduct one blackboard session on canoes, equipment, safety and river reading. Following this session we will spend one evening at the YMCA pool demonstrating basic strokes and basic maneuvers. As we move into the season the first three scheduled Sundays will be devoted to training beginners in actual river situations. If you are interested in whitewater, but haven't any experience, we recommend you enter this program at the beginning. Don't expect to pick up part way through the season, as the scheduled trips will be on more difficult water at that time.

Approximate cost $5.00 for pool rental.

Tentative schedules:

March 16 - blackboard session, Legal Aide Office 180 Church St. at 7:00 P.M.

March 23 - pool session, YMCA 900 to 1100 P.M. April 3, 10, 17 - river training.

For more information, contact Norm Lavoie 863-5456.


The Bicentennial Paddling Year has past, and what a year it was. From the white rapids of the White River to the placid canoeing on the Winooski River, the last wild, untamed, river in- New England -- the Upper St. John's River in Maine. Moments from the paddle and canoe on these rivers will never be forgotten by many members of the N.V.C.C. "The Father of all Rivers", the Mississippi, was the high point of our canoeing this past year. To my family and I, going down the Mississippi was second to none in its historic value of the river. The towns and cities we visited and of course the many and exciting people we met will never be forgotten.

Besides canoeing for play, the N.V.C.C., did some canoeing for work. For the third year in a row the club has sponsored the July 4th Chiott Open Canoe Races, which played a big part in the Burlington Bicentennial Celebration. The races were very exciting and are getting bigger each year, with more paddlers trying for the "#1", spot.

Our "Cover Dish, Dime-A-Dip", was "A NUMBER ONE". Everyone had a supper to be remembered.

Also through the efforts of the N.V.C.C. and the Winooski Park District, the Agency Of Environmental Conservation started work on a Winooski River Canoeing Guide, which should be ready this summer ....... THANK YOU,and THANK YOU AGAIN TO ALL OF YOU who have helped me make these activities, and the Northern Vermont Canoe Cruisers, a paddling and successful club.

To me, through the snow, the rain, the wind, the sun, the heat, all the whitewater, and not to forget the many miles of flatwater...the year "1976" was a beautiful dream. I'm ready for 1977, and I hope you are too. So lets grab our paddles and have some fun. Join in, paddle a lot, meet new friends, and it will be another great year.

Keep Your Bow Forward,
Normand R. - Lavoie
Your President


Harry Behney
Don Church
Dick Corley
Ralph Cramer
Justin Crocker
Larry Currier
Jack DuBrul
Peg Garland
Don Hanson
Bruce Hewitt
Scotty House
Henry Huston
Mike Kehoe
Art Kunin
Norm Lavoie
Colin Lindberg
George Little
Nick Muller
Todd Murphy
Jim Ogden
Pat Robins
Gil Rood
Joel Ryshpan
Dave Schaefer
Betty Smith
Caryl Stewart
Bill Thompson
Bill Truex
Arnie Waller
Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce
131 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05401
July 4, 1976
Northern Vermont Canoe Cruisers
c/o Mr. Norm Lavoie
1480 Hinesburg Road
South Burlington, VT 05401
Dear Norm:
Our Forefathers have left us a legacy of fine American people who will volunteer to perpetuate the "Spirit of '76." Among those events that have occurred since our early days which will become a high point of this legacy is the Burlington Bicentennial Parade held on July 3, 1976.

This was a living demonstration of people seeking their pursuit of happiness and sharing it with others. The result was another major event in the history of Burlington, VT, as well as the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce.

We had 76 segments in our parade, including five outstanding marching bands, 35 beautiful floats, a stirring rider, and 35 various picturesque units. Each of us in our own way said, "This is my country and I am proud of it." There are not enough words in the English language to fully express my thanks to you and your organization for helping to make this an outstanding success.

Your "400 Mile Mississippi Voyage" float was an inspiration to everyone along the parade route. It helped to remind us of part of America we sometimes overlook. The weather did not dampen your spirit, and this overflowed to the very large number of parade observers.

In your continuing pursuit of happiness, may all of you enjoy the deep satisfaction which you helped us achieve on July 3, 1976, during the Burlington Bicentennial Parade.

Respectfully yours,
Donald R. Church, Chairman
Bicentennial Parade Committee

EVENTS,..COMING UP,..1977 ...

If you are not one of the workers listed below, and would like to try your paddle at any or all of this years exciting get togethers,..PLEASE CALL any of the canoeists below...

	Normand R. Lavoie ..... 863-5456 	David Keenon ..... 878-4694
	Peter Alden ..... 863-6585 		Dick Trudell ..... 655-3554
	Ed Amidon ..... 863-2888 		Al Roberts ..... 878-3187
	Gardner Hopwood ..... 658-1322 		George Agnew ..... 482-2005
	Fred Fielder ..... 985-8732 		Larry Thompson ..... 658-2266

*** Canoe Coordinator *** Bill &Jacky Alarie 878-8103

*** Bow & Stearn *** Larry Thompson 658-2266

*** Whitewater Training Committee ***

Al Roberts 878-3187 Dick Trudell 655-3554 George Agnew 482-2005

*** Whitewater Chairman ***

David Keenon 878-4694

*** Safety ***

Peter Alden 863-6585 Normand Lavoie 863-5456

*** 4th OF JULY Chiott Open Canoe Races ***

Normand Lavoie 863-5456 Peter Alden 863-6585

*** June Dinner Meeting ***

Lois Dodge 878-8458 Dot Grover 878-8695 George & Barbara Agnew 482-2005

*** Howard Grover Annual Picnic & Regatta ***

Al Roberts 878 - 8103 Dick Barbara Kehaya 655-0119

*** Flatwater Committee ***

Al Roberts 878-3187 George Agnew 482-2005 Richard Allen 878-3853


The Jean Marie Cardinal Canoe Trip will depart Dubuque at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 24, and arrive under the Gateway Arch in St. Louis at 4:00 p.m. Saturday, August 7.

Escort crews from across the country will arrive in Dubuque on Thursday and Friday and camp out on City Island. Tours and an evening wiener roast get-together with the official party will highlight Friday. A pancake breakfast open to the public will precede departure ceremonies at the Floodwall Monument Saturday.

Those joining the escort contingent include two Dubuque Franciscan Sisters from Xavier Hospital, a couple and their "wilderness Poodle" from Louisiana, (Sisters Helen Huewe and Kay Koppes), a family of five from Vermont, and a group of 18 in three canoes from Las Cruces, New Mexico. State Senator Minette Doderer, Iowa City, will join for two days, from Clinton to Davenport. There is no official count, but an average of 35 canoes each day is anticipated.

Four priests from St. Patrick's Church in Georgetown, Iowa, near Albia, plan to join the voyagers at Sabula, Iowa, and travel to St. Louis.

BICENTENNIAL BY CANOE (reprinted from the Burlington Free Press)

SOUTH BURLINGTON -- Normand Lavoie, his wife Elaine and their three children will embark July 24 on an historic reenactment of a canoe country will arrive in Dubuque on journey down the Mississippi River to commemorate the nation's Bicentennial.

Canoes from all 50 states along with canoe representatives from England, France and Spain will participate in a 400-mile canoe journey down the big river from Dubuque, Iowa to St. Louis, Missouri.

The Lavoie family, representing Vermont, will travel in two Mad River Canoes. Eldest son, Normand, will team with Mrs. Lavoie and Blair will be paddling with his father. The Lavoies' eight-year-old daughter, Sonja, will be a passenger.

The Bicentennial journey commemorates the journey by canoe that Jean Marie Cardinal made down the Mississippi to warn the colonial forts along the river of impending British attack. He has been referred to as the "Paul Revere of the West".

The Lavoies are well known among Vermont canoe circles because of their family participation in white water canoe races.

Normand Lavoie is the president of the Northern Vermont Canoe Cruisers, a family - orientated canoe club that sponsored the annual July 4th race on Lake Champlain.


Lake level Winooski River trip: August 15, 1976

Leader: Larry Thomson
Participants: Gene Beaudoin & Betsy Beaudoin, Tony Mekisick, Bob Conquest, Meg Conquest, Caroline Conquest, Mark Conquest, Larry Thomson

The day began sunny and warm, and due to recent days of heavy rain the river was moving swiftly - especially at our put-in just below Winooski Falls. All three canoes successfully "ran the rapids" below Salmon Hole, and then began the leisurely trip toward the lake. The pace slowed as we approached the intervale where we made a side trip up the well-concealed canal that serves as a canoe access at the Ethan Allen Farm. To find this access from the river you must look carefully along the left bank as you approach the farmhouse.

As we left the intervale, the sights and sounds of a thunderstorm coming across the lake began to worry us. While we made contingency plans in case the storm came our way, it veered off south to visit the Queen City. We had no sooner cheered our good fortune when the rains came. It was a cloudburst. This canoe cruiser thought he was canoeing underwater. Someone in a car on the Heineburg Bridge called out: "What are you doing down there?" Noone in the group had an answer.

When we had six inches of water in the canoes, we pulled in under some trees and shared the bailers. We then continued on to the lake, where the rain stopped, the sun came out and the fishermen gaped at us in disbelief. At the take-out area, everyone talked about what a great time we had had as we wrung out our clothes.

St. Johns River Trip Revisited
Haiku by Bob Conquest

Silent trees against
blue sky, lonely curious
moose; The big St. Johns.
Wildwater, they said! -
Big Black, School house, Big Rapids.
Instead, Canoe Cruisers!


Having experienced the St. John's River last year, club members have been trying to keep it runnable for future canoeists. Jim Higgins I have sent letters to Vermont politicians, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Free Press, expressing opposition to the Dickey-Lincoln School Dam Project. Also, during one of the worst storms of the winter (rumored to have been the work of the Corps of Engineers), Norm Lavoie, Al Roberts, Jim, and I attended a hearing in Montpelier, held by the Dept. of the Interior. Again we voiced opposition to a project that would flood a unique eastern wilderness river to provide peaking power (only) for New England.

President Carter's recent proposal that this project (and 17 others) be discontinued will produce quite a debate in congress. This may provide people interested in saving the St. Johns an opportune time to speak out. The following press release contains some information from the Natural Resources Council of Maine. Read it, and if you want to help, write to our Vermont Legislators in Washington and ask them to support President Carter's proposal to halt Dickey/Lincoln.

-Larry Thomson


The Plan:
The U. S. Amy Corps of Engineers is planning to construct a major dam project on the St. John River in northern Maine. The Dickey-Lincoln School Lakes hydroelectric project would generate over 800 megawatts, mainly as a peaking power supplement to the New England electrical system. An earth-fill dam near the town of Dickey would stretch for two miles across the St. John Valley with a height of 335 feet (higher than the Aswan Dam ia Egypt). A second dam would be constructed 11 miles downstream at Lincoln School. The dams would result In the flooding of 88,,000 acres of land (140 square miles). The lake created would extend 50 miles upstream from the dams, and would rise and fall during the year due to power operations and hydrologic conditions, with a maximum expected drawdown of 40 feet, exposing almost 50 square miles of reservoir bottom. Transmission lines from the St. John to the Maine-New Hampshire border would be built to feed power into the New England grid. The Corps of Engineers claims the project would provide electrical, flood control and recreational benefits, at a total cost of $625 million.

What Will Be Destroyed:
The water that would back up to fill the two lakes at Dickey-Lincoln would destroy 88,000 acres, or 140 square miles, of Maine's north woods.

Fishing -- Fishermen from Maine and other parts of the country would lose some of the best trout fishing In the country, including 57 miles of the St. John River, 23 miles of the Big Black and 25 miles of the Little Black.

Hunting - Hunters would lose over 80,000 acres of hunting terrain, including a 17,600 acre deer wintering area that could provide up to 30,000 hunter-days each year. Habitat for waterfowl and woodland birds would be destroyed.

Canoeing -- Some of the best white water in the northeastern United States, far surpassing the Allagash Waterway for its magnificent rapids, would be lost forever.

Timberlands and Society -- The reservoir would cause 238 families to lose their homes and woodland producing about 40,000 cords of wood each year would be forever flooded. The jobs and other economic and social benefits provided by this magnificent forest resource would be lost.

Transmission Lines -- To market Dickey-Lincoln power, at least 200 miles of new power lines would have to be run through the state destroying many more square miles of productive timberlands and wilderness values. (Ed. note: Lines would come through Vermont.)

Wilderness Values -- The 130 miles of the Upper St. John River Valley is an irreplaceable resource of great beauty. Because of the River's purity, size and length and its passage through uninhabited forest lands throughout its length, it is unique in the Northeast. The Losses Outweigh the Benefits:

Electricity -- The primary justification for Dickey-Lincoln is an assured supply of low cost peaking power for New England. Preliminary analysis indicates. however, that cost-savings per customer will either be negligible -- possibly 1/4 cent per energy dollar - or non-existent as it to possible that cheaper peaking power can be provided by alternative sources. Also, projections of need for the power are suspect because peak-load pricing, energy conservation and emerging energy alternatives such as solar heating should reduce peak demand by the time the dams would be in operation.

Recreation -- The Allagash Wilderness Waterway has proven to be enormously popular with 43,498 visitor days in 1975. There is no need for another flat water lake in northern Maine as Maine already has over 3,000 lakes, including many uncrowded lakes of far greater aesthetic and fishing quality than would be provided by the proposed reservoir, with its periodic drawdowns and warm shallow waters. What is needed to improved access to the St. John River as a free flowing fishing and canoeing river to handle the growing demand that is already crowding the Allagash.

Flood Control -- For a few million dollars, a system of dikes could provide flood protection to the communities of the St. John River. Combined with intelligent flood plain management, including the relocation of relatively few families (far fewer than would be displaced by the reservoir), the dikes alone can prevent substantial flood losses and can do so much sooner than could the dams.

What You Can Do To Help:
If you are convinced that the Dickey-Lincoln project is a bad idea, there are a number of things for you to do. Sign a petition circulated by the Natural Resources Council. These can be obtained by writing to NRC at the address below. Write to your Congressman and Senator stating your opposition to the project. Write to James B. Longley, Governor of Maine, and ask him to oppose it -- the Governor of the affected state can have a great deal of influence over such a federal project. Send letters to newspapers pointing out the potential harm of Dickey-Lincoln and asking other readers to join the opposition. Get your friends to do the same.

The Natural Resources Council is the organization that is coordinating the opposition to the Dickey-Lincoln project. The NRC publishes information at regular intervals about the status of the Dickey-Lincoln project. Write to us and get on the mailing list. Send a contribution in any amount to the NRC to help us coordinate opposition to Dickey-Lincoln. We will be working at all levels, through education, expert testimony, citizen action and legal work to stop the project, and all of this takes money. YOUR CONTRIBUTION CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Please act today to help us stop Dickey-Lincoln. If you wish, the NRC can send you more information.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
check for $_______________, 
payable to the Natural Resources Council.
Clip & mail to: Natural Resources Council, 51 Chapel Street, Augusta, Maine 04330.



This Guide was written through the cooperation of many rather than by the efforts of one. The committee which supervised the project has provided a major contribution. Appreciation should go to Agency of Environmental Conservation personnel Richard Sears, Rodney Barber, James Sairs, Jeffrey Cueto, Ellen Reiss, Edward Koenemann and George Plumb. Clerical assistance has been provided by Kym Johnson. In addition, I would like to express gratitude to the Green Mountain Power Corp. and to Bruce Ellison, Kenneth Hadd, and the late Robert Tumulty for their contributions and cooperation. The input of Ottar Indridason of the Winooski Valley Park District and Normand Lavoie of Northern Vermont Canoe Cruisers Assoc. has been invaluable throughout the project.

The name Winooski River, originally called "Winooskie-Took" by the Indians, means land where the onions grow. The Indians used the name because wild onions once grew in profusion along the river's banks. The river became the Onion River when English settlers and traders came into the area.

The Winooski River has long provided a trail for transport. Indians often canoed passable portions on hunting and fishing expeditions and in winter, snowshoed on the ice. Trails were developed on the river's bank as an easy means of travel through dense forests. "The French Trail" had a post or caching place near the mouth of the Winooski or at the Winooski Falls. In colonial times, this course ran between French settlements on the St. Lawrence and English settlements in New England by way of the Richlieu River, Lake Champlain, the Winooski River to the White River, and into the Connecticut River. This trail took the French Indians across to the Connecticut Valley for raids on Massachusetts settlements.

Samuel de Champlain, in 1609, was exploring the lake and observed the mountains to the east which ran for a hundred miles along the lake. He noticed a break in the wall. A river in the valley flowed to the lake. Champlain was a scientific explorer and made drawings and sketches of lakes, rivers, mountains in the New World. Some of the exceptionally accurate maps are still preserved in France.

Early settlers used the river for travel as well as for a source of food, and later, power. Settlements developed along the banks of the Wlnooski, using the river to power the mills which produced flour, lumber, and manufactured goods.

Wildlife you might see while canoeing on the Winooski River could include muskrat, raccoon, great blue heron, bank swallow, kingfisher, hawks, gulls, or ducks. Fishing is also good in areas just downstream of the mouth of any stream which flows into the Winooski, e.g. the Little River, Joiner Brook, Huntington River, etc. Brown trout and rainbow trout both inhabit tbe cold waters of the Winooski River upstream of the City of Winooski.

Nowadays, a rising interest in canoeing, along with an improvement of the water quality of the Winooski River, has caused more people to view the natural resource of the river as a potential recreational resource. The Winooski is unique as it bisects the Green Mountains flowing northeast into Lake Champlain providing the canoeist with a spectacular view of the mountain range. Its course runs almost exclusively through farmlands and forests, little disturbed by people's activities on its banks.

The headwaters of the river are in Coits Pond in Cabot, Vermont. From Cabot the river flows southwest to Montpelier where the course changes direction to flow northwest and empty into Lake Champlain at Burlington. The reaches of the river upstream of Montpelier are quite shallow and are canoeable only during high water. Between Montpelier and Lake Champlain, the river is wider and deeper, canoeable throughout the canoeing season (May to October). For this reason, this guide covers only the reaches of the Winooski from Montpelier to Lake Champlain.

The guide divides the river into three reaches, each a pleasant day's journey. Reach I is from Montpelier to the Bolton Falls Dam. Reach II continues from below the Bolton Falls Dam to the Green Mountain Power Dam at Essex Junction. Reach III ends the river trail extending from below the Essex Junction Dam to the mouth of the Winooski at Lake Champlain.

There are two factors to be aware of when planning a canoe trip of any length down the Winooski River. (1) The seasonal fluctuation of the river is quite great. In early spring the river is in flood stage and can be very dangerous for canoeists. In mid-summer, depending on rainfall, water level through the channel may be extremely low and canoes would have to be walked through the shallows. (2) Winds are generally quite strong coming up the valley (from west to east) in spring and fall. Canoeing downstream into a strong headwind can be challenging.

All access areas and canoe stops mentioned in the guide are on publicly owned or controlled lands unless otherwise stated. These sites are quite numerous and many can be used for picnicking. Much of the land on the riverbank is privately owned. If you do stop on private land, you must ask the permission of the landowner.

Canoes can be rented from:

 Clearwater Canoe Rental
 Northfield Mountain Road
 Box 24
 Moretown, Vermont 05660
 Telephone: 496-2708

Canoe Imports 74 South Willard Street Burlington, Vermont 05401 Telephone: 862-2146

Stowe Canoe Co. Stowe, Vermont Telephone: 253-7398


The club would like to find out what kinds of flatwater trips would be most popular with members. Please circle your choices below and return to Al Roberts, tonight or at Box 826, Wellington St., Colchester, VT 05446.


Day Trips each week 1/month 1-2/summer

Weekend overnight trips

a. in Vermont 1/week 1/month 1-2/summer

b. out of state 1/week 1/month 1-2/summer

Three or four day trips

a. in Vermont . . . 1/month 1-2/summer

b. out of state . . . 1/month 1-2/summer

Week long trip . . . . . . 1-2/summer

Please write any you suggestions you have for flatwater trips below (types of trips, places to go, etc.):

Please log in.
For Username, enter either 1) the primary email address you've specified in your member profile, or 2) the Username assigned to you upon joining the VPC.

Once you are logged in as a VPC member, you will have access to your member profile, and members-only content on the website. If your login attempts fail, please email the webmaster. Include your name, and (if you know it) the username you were assigned.

Page Views: Link CheckerValid XHTML 1.0Valid CSS
© 1996-2023 The Vermont Paddlers Club
Report a Bug
The 'My Favorites' list uses cookies...
Add this page to 'My Favorites' Remove this page from 'My Favorites' Trip Reports Message Boards Site Map
Current PHP version: 7.4.33