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Connecticut River Reach 16

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Last Updated: 5/2018
Bellows Falls, VT/North Walpole, NH (173.7) to Putney Access 157.1)
Description
     There are very few access areas along this reach of the river.

STATISTICS

Skill Level:            Class 1 
Estimated Time:    3 hours 
Reach Distance:  9.4 miles
USGS Map: Bellows Falls, VT-NH, Walepole, VT-NH, Spofford, VT-NH, Newfane VT
[1] Bellows Falls Dam - Portage - Miles 174.5 - 173.2
Positions
       Take-Out: 43-08.53 N 72-27.10 W
       Altitude: 289 feet
       Put- In: 43-07.75 N 72-26.29 W
       Altitude: 223 feet
Description: 
Take Out above dam on river right (west) side  above the barrier. 
Follow the ramp way up to Governor Hunt Road.  Follow the portage signs along the river.
 Put in on beach below the dam across from the Tavern.
Nearest Launch Address:  
Take-Out: 11 Pine Street, North Walpole, NH 03609 ‎
Put-In: 960 New Hampshire Route 12, Walpole, NH 03608
Put-In Directions (10.9 miles, 15 minutes):
From Interstate 91 Exit 28 to Route 10 toward Northfield/Greefield:
  1. After getting off the highway, head north on Route 10.
  2. At mile 2.5, turn left onto Route 142 North.
  3. At mile 6.5 you enter the state of Vermont.
  4. At mile 10.8, turn right onto Governor Hunt Road.
  5. The dam will come into view quickly.  At mile 10.9, turn right onto a sandy road that goes to a beach.  If you have an ordinary car, you may want to park on the road and carry the short distance in to the water.
A Close up of the Portage
The Take-Out above the barrier - River Left.  This is the Pine Street Boat Launch.
Follow the New Hamshire side as seen on the map above for 1.5 miles
The river drops 66 feet.  This launch area has plenty of parking.
[2] Route 123 Bridge - Mile 169.6
Position: 43-05.06 N 72-25.95 W​
       Altitude: 223 feet
Description: 
    On the North side of the road (left), on NH side of the bridge, there is a gravel pull over where at least 6 vehicles could park.  Find your way down to the river.
NOTE: We have not investigated this as a viable access. 
Nearest Launch Address:  
211 NH Route 123, Westminster, VT 05158
From this address cross the river to NH.
Directions (1.7 miles, 4 minutes):
From Interstate 91 Exit 5 Westminister/Bellows Falls:
  1. At the end of the exit ramp, turn east on Westminster Street.
  2. At mile 0.7, at stop light, turn right onto Route 5 South.
  3. At mile 1.4, turn left onto VT Route 123 East.
  4. Cross over the river into New Hampshire.
  5. At mile 1.7, turn right onto Route 12 North.
  6. ​The gravel parking area is immediately at the corner
Dunshee Island - Mile 168.0
        Dunshee Island was donated to the Department by Leslie S. Hubbard in 1986.  The Department renamed the property Great Island WMA.  For more information, try the state website by clicking below:​​
Great Island WMA
[2] Windyhurst Campsite - Mile 163.3
Position: 43-00.55 N 72-26.49 W
       Altitude: 223 feet
Description: 
        Look for turn off into farm field just north of Wentworth Road. We drove into the field and follow the primitive road to the end of the field.  We could not see the campsite from the field.  You must climb down through the woods if you attempt access from the address given.
        A primitive campsite open to the public, lies on river's left bank (east) near the spot where red barns become visible at the river bend.
        River access only for nonmotorized boats. Limited to one night stay; no fires. Do not disturb farming operations. Call power company for more information: 802-291-8014
Nearest Launch Address:  
761 NH Route 12, Westmoreland, NH 03467
Directions (7.3 miles, 9 minutes):
From Interstate 91 Exit 5 Westminister/Bellows Falls:
  1. At the end of the exit ramp, turn east on Westminster Street.
  2. At mile 0.7, at stop light, turn right onto Route 5 South.
  3. At mile 1.4, turn left onto VT Route 123 East.
  4. Cross over the river into New Hampshire.
  5. At mile 1.7, turn right onto Route 12 South.
  6. At mile 7.2, just before a guard rail begins, turn right into the a farm field.  A white house with red shutters is across the road.
  7. Follow the dirt primitive road to the left around the field to the lower end.  Do not disturb the farmers field.
  8. You will need to bushwack your way to the river as there is no apparent trail.
[3] Putney Landing Access Area - Mile 157.1
Position: 42-57.73 N 72-31.21 W
       Altitude: 223 feet
Description: 
      There is plenty of parking. If you are launching a boat by trailer, keep in mind that the ramp is steep.  If you are nervous, consider driving another 0.6 miles to the Dummerston Landing Access Area. (42-57.44 N 72-31.68 W​) at Mile 156.5
Nearest Launch Address:  
Town Landing Road, Putney, VT 
Directions (0.4/0.8 miles, 3 minutes):
From Interstate 91 Exit 4 Putney/Route 5:
  1. If traveling North, at the end of the exit ramp,  turn right onto Putney Landing Road.
  2. If traveling South, at the end of the exit ramp, turn right onto Route 5 North, then right onto Putney Landing Road.
  3. Cross over the railroad tracks.
  4. Follow the dirt road to the sign below.
Turn left into the landing area.  Plenty of parking
The boat ramp is good for all types of boats.
Saxton River Enters - Mile 172.9
         Enters from River-Right on the Vermont side.  Paddle on the left side of the river to avoid muddy delta.

Cold River Enters - Mile 172.4
         Enters from River-Left on the New Hampshire side.  Paddle on the left side of the river to avoid muddy delta.