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subject It's DIY shuttle for the spring West release...
author Chris Weed
posted Tuesday May 3rd 2022, 10:28 PM
in reply to 'West River, Spring Release weekend!' by: Chris Weed
Boater shuttling for the Upper West (Ball Mountain Dam to Salmon Hole)
When the park shuttle isn't running, the usual practice is to drive down Depot Street from Route 30 and park in the field by Salmon Hole just outside the park (before the bridge). From there you can shuttle up via Route 30 to Ball Mountain Lane—the road that leads to the dam. The issue is whether the driveway that splits off that road and runs to the parking area behind the dam will be open. I expect it will be.
From that parking area, boaters will be walking up the road that leads across the dam to a point where the road crests on river-left, and then descending a switch-back trail going down part of the dam's face to a woods trail. The switch-back trail was pretty rough in the early 2000s, but the Friends of the West River Trail have greatly improved it over the years. In total the carry to the preferred put-in (at the base of the dam) from the NEAREST parking spot behind the dam is half a mile (primarily downhill).
The woods trail goes down to the base of the dam, and continues on to a foot bridge over a stream 0.3+ miles farther downriver.
The downstream end of that foot bridge is where the park shuttle drops boaters when it is running. So getting to the base of the dam requires a hike regardless of how one is shuttling up towards the dam.
For what it's worth, one can also put one's vehicle in the park's day use parking lot and hike all the way up to the foot bridge (at least) and from there to the dam, if one is willing. I don't recommend doing that unless one is in great shape and relishes a hike-in.
Boater shuttling for the Lower West (Salmon Hole to Route 30/100S)
Spring or Fall, the shuttle for the Lower West is always a boater shuttle; the state park is not involved. The run is about 5 miles long. The shuttle is set just off Route 100 on Eaton Road, just south of the Route 30 intersection (which is southeast of the Jamaica town center). The parking on the shoulder along Eaton Road is limited, so the shuttle should be planned accordingly.

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