Raft or Kayak Vermont’s West River

Vermont’s best whitewater run can be a zoo during the two days a year (the end of April and September) when the Army Corp of Engineers release the waters of the Ball Mountain Dam. The rest of the year, it can get a little dry, but it’s still a scenic run though the Green Mountain with far less congestion. The river used to host national kayaking championship races. The upper reaches are runnable only by experienced paddlers with solid Class III skills, yet the stream widens and slows down as you head towards the Connecticut River, allowing novice kayakers to do their thing. Good swimming holes and fishing are found at various points all along the West, including Jamaica State Park, about 2.5 miles down the river from the dam. Zoar Outdoor offers trips on the West River for rafters. Cost ranges from $88 to $100.