Millers River Rapids at a Glance
The Millers River rises in the hills of southern New Hampshire and runs through oak and pine forests alternating with old mill towns that were powered by the river until recently. The most popular whitewater stretch starts in Erving, Massachusetts and finishes where the Millers enters the French King Gorge on the much larger Connecticut River.
Putting on in the center of Erving, the first mile or two parallels the road and passes under a low railroad bridge before the first significant rapid. This class II-III warmup develops big smooth waves at higher water levels and offers a taste of the whitewater to come.
Shortly after this rapid the river leaves the road and passes under a small road bridge where the gauge is located and which marks the beginning of the most interesting section. From here down to the Route 2 rest area, class III rapids abound with one class IV biggie in the middle.
About a mile after the gauge bridge, you encounter the largest rapid yet with another big one just downstream of it in a slight left turn; the second rapid is the Funnel. As its name implies, the Funnel gets its large breaking waves from an abrupt narrowing of the river in a deep wooded gorge. The Funnel is the high point of the trip and one of the largest rapids in the area, with a series of 5- or 6-foot waves at high water levels.
After surviving the Funnel, the rest of the trip is a series of fun rolling rapids, many of which are as big or bigger than those above the Funnel, but none of which rivals the Funnel.
Typical takeout spots are at the Route 2 rest area or a couple of miles downstream at the first bridge in Millers Falls. It is also possible to go all the way to the Connecticut River and take out at an old discontinued bridge across the Millers within sight of the confluence. For the last couple of miles the river meanders through a semi-wilderness where hawks and other birdlife is plentiful. The final rapid in this section is a dogleg right with a distinct ledge on the inside of the turn. The hole formed by this ledge at high water can make the final moments of the run a bit more exciting than you may have planned on them being.
The Millers season is generally April when the snow melts and the rains come, though it is not unusual for the Millers to run into May and even June in a wet year.