Southern Vermont's Hidden Gem
by Adriana Isaza
Every year, for one day, we get to raft one of Vermont’s hidden gems - the West River. This year, we get to to enjoy the whitewater and scenery that this river offers on Saturday, September 24th.
The West River is a perfect mix of adventure and leisure. The first rapid, Landslide, leads into a long stretch of continuous whitewater that culminates in the largest rapid of the day, the Dumplings, a technical class IV rapid that will test your skills. After the Dumplings we stop for a snack, and then the river settles into a gentler flow where you can relax, swim, and enjoy the beautiful foliage of Southern Vermont. At day’s end we head back to our temporary base at Stratton Mountain Resort to enjoy a delicious catered meal. If you’ve experienced rafting on the Deerfield River, the West is like a great mix of Zoar Gap and the Dryway - it has more adventure than Zoar Gap and is a little mellower than the Dryway.
Because the West has just one commercial release a year the river community gets pretty excited about it. As you walk down to the put-in you can feel the energy in the air, and if you look around all you'll see is smiling faces. The excitement is contagious on the West River. The exhilaration that the river community feels at the chance to run a river that releases just once a year, the joy of getting to the top of the dam and looking out over the rolling hills of Southern Vermont alive with the colors of fall, and of course the thrill of rafting the West River itself make for a special and unforgettable experience.