Looking for Class Two half day canoe trip for family of 4

Dear fellow paddlers,
Our outdoor adventurous family has experience in lake paddling with canoes and kayaks. We are looking to give our 13 and 15 year olds a river experience in canoes in New Hampshire and/or Vermont area. My wife and I are experienced in river paddling and would be in the back encouraging the girls and teaching them on reading the river and building on their paddling techniques. Our present rough itinerary for late August is below. We really want to do a half day river trip with class 2 or 2+ with good flow in August and not being from that area I thought I would post our need to the Community. Any ideas are welcome to help us give them their first river experience with fun flow and fun rapids so they catch the river bug : ).

August 16, 17th - Boston

August 18, 19th White Mountains Area - TBD

August 20, 21st Green Mountains Area - TBD

August 22, 23rd, Plymouth, MA Six Flags

August 24th, back home to Elkton MD

Thanks in advance!

Steve and Kim

We have had little rain in the Whites… The Saco is kind of crowded now with lazy floaters and low water. The Pemigewasset in Lincoln might be better. You have a lot of driving to do. There is a reason we say here that you can’t get theah from heah

This is one trip I found… https://paddling.com/paddle/trips/pemigawasset-river-new-hampshire/?lat=43.9172&lng=-71.6839&zoom=14

Our best whitewater is in spring from snowmelt… As of now the snow has gone except for one patch in the Whites.

Others may be better able to help you as whitewater as on the Deerfield ( which is not near your route) is nice and dam controlled.

We have not had much rain in Northern New England after the unusually wet and late spring that had farmers a month behind… Now we are in a drought it seems

It would help if you could specify if you need boat rentals. That narrows down your choices quite a bit if you do. Class 2 in low water can be a head banger and a real drag and sometimes make it way more difficult as there is less room for error.

The Green and White Mtns don’t have much whitewater rignt now… boulder beds yes in the Whites. I like the Upper Saco but right now its miserable.

Are you planning to take canoes and gear, or do you need to rent equipment? I am not from that part of the country, but I have paddled quite a bit of whitewater in the central and southern Appalachians, and I know of very few outfits that will rent hard boats to be paddled on whitewater rivers. And at least further south, where there is typically more rain, during the dry month of August a day trip on Class II whitewater is generally going to be on a dam-release river during a scheduled release.

If you are en-route from the Green Mountain area of Vermont to Plymouth Massachusetts on August 22, you might look into the Deerfield River near Charlemont, MA. This is a popular whitewater stream in northwestern MA which does have releases scheduled for August 22, 23. 24 on the Fife Brook section. That section is generally considered to be Class II at the usual summer release flow rates, with the exception of Zoar Gap rapid which is usually a solid Class III but can fairly easily be portaged.

I am unaware of any outfitter that rents hard boats on the Deerfield but Zoar Outdoor is the big rafting company on the Deerfield. They may be aware of other options in the northwestern MA and southern Vermont area. You might give them a call:


I was going to mention the Deerfield as well because it has scheduled releases. But best to call Zoar about the details including getting the boat.

Sacandaga is out of your route but also has scheduled releases. Limited white stuff and short, for half a day itd6 probably. Mean shuttling for a couple of runs.

Would not fit in with this trip plan but the Red Moshannon, less than 4 hours from Elkton (northwest of State College PA) is a great Class I and II stream in a beautiful canyon. I have done both sections in tandem canoe and kayaks. We have had plenty of rain here in PA this year.