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White River Water Trail

A paddle trail with access points along the White River, Vermont's longest free-flowing river
Trail Activity
Length
57.5 miles, One Way
Difficulty
Easy, Moderate, Advanced
Towns
Bethel (VT), Granville (VT), Hancock (VT), Hartford (VT), Pittsfield (VT), Pomfret (VT), Rochester (VT), Royalton (VT), Sharon (VT), Stockbridge (VT)
Surface
River/Stream
Pets
Permitted on leash
Fees
No

Description

The White River travels from the eastern flank of the Green Mountains to the Connecticut River. The upper White River features mountain vistas and some steep gradients. As the river flows generally east, there is a mix of rapids and slow water. Nearer to the Connecticut it becomes wider and is pleasant for tubing and swimming. The lower reaches of the river can be paddled throughout the summer, while the upper reaches can generally only be paddled in spring during and after snowmelt.

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. To find out more about paddling the White River and to support recreation and conservation along the river, please purchase the waterproof Map and Guide from the Partnership

Other Information

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.

Trail Manager

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:

White River Partnership

White River Partnership
PO Box 705
South Royalton, VT 05068
Phone: (802) 763-7733
info@whiteriverpartnership.org
View website

Trail Tips

Plan Ahead and Prepare
Use common sense. If it seems like a bad idea, it probably is.
Legend
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Trailhead Information

There are multiple access points along this 58 mile section of the main branch of the White River. Refer to the trail map or the Watershed Recreation Map and Guide from the White River Partnership for detailed information. 

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
Please Log In or Create Account to add comments.
wh1ter1ver
June 15, 2020
Hi Bonna, The lower White River is probably your best bet for poling. I'd recommend the stretch between Avery's Rock and the Sharon River Access right now; we saw people paddle-boarding this stretch over the weekend. Downstream from the West Hartford Bridge can be good too, but the river is so low you'd likely run into a lot of ledge. Good luck! Mary Russ, WRP
bonna
June 13, 2020
We are looking for stretches of the river to do some poling with a canoe (upstream and down). Do you know of any good stretches?
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Trail Alerts

Safety
Be a Safe and Respectful Paddler
Paddling conditions will vary according to the weather and season, so always exercise caution and always wear a lifejacket. With good judgment and proper equipment, the risk associated with paddling can me minimized. Respect the natural world and the rights of landowners, and be considerate of other outdoor enthusiasts. Paddlers should seek to avoid causing erosion, trampling vegetation, disturbing wildlife, and harming water quality.
Ecology
Stop the Spread of Aquatic Invasives
When moving from one body of water to another make sure to do the following to stop the spread of invasive aquatic organisms: - Visually inspect your craft and remove plants, mud and debris - Eliminate water from all of your equipment - Clean and dry anything that came into contact with water - Wear quick-drying shoes
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