Best at medium to high water, the Second Branch of the White River affords adventurous paddlers a fun approximately three hour paddle through a rural valley. Watch for downed trees and debris in the river and always know when to expect portages. There are required portages around the Hyde Mill Dam and a Class III+ waterfall.
The White River Partnership has developed a Watershed Recreation Map and Guide that includes recommended day trips and interesting facts about the natural and cultural history of the White River and its tributaries. To find out more about paddling the White River and its tributaries and to support recreation and conservation along the river, please purchase the waterproof Map and Guide from the Partnership.
For your safety:
Use PFDs.All boats must carry an approved PFD for each person. State law requires children 12 years and under to wear PFDs at all times.
Be prepared for cold water. Wear your life jacket, stay fueled and hydrated, avoid cotton, pack extra clothes in a dry bag, and know the symptoms and treatment of hypothermia.
Be alert for strainers. Downed trees in the water can trap people and boats. They are most common in the White River and its tributaries upriver of South Royalton.
Know the location of rapids, dams and other hazards. There are no warning signs or buoys!
Be aware of river flows. The USGS posts real-time water flow data for Vermont here. Check the gauge nearest your trip before leaving. Avoid swimming holes during high water and after heavy rains!
Watch for poison ivy and poison parsnip. Know how to identify these plants. If you come in contact with them, clean exposed skin with medication as soon as possible.
The Second Branch Paddle is a part of the White River Water Trail. The White River Partnership works with state and federal agencies, municipalities and other non-profits to steward the White River Water Trail. For more information, visit their website or contact:
Put-in: The put-in is at the Kingsbury Covered Bridge in East Bethel. From East Bethel, drive north on VT-14 then turn left on Kingsbury Road. Park on the shoulder on either side of Kingsbury Road between VT-14 and the covered bridge.
Take-out: Take out at one of the access points in Royalton or continue down the main branch of the White River to access points downstream.
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