There are no fair-weather kayakers in Vermont, at least none that paddle very much.  There is no scene here, no posers, no half-hearted enthusiasts present only for the aprés party.   The conditions forbid the existence of such types.  While our numbers may be small, the passion of those who spend their leisure time on the creeks of Vermont is strong.  For many, whitewater even determines where they live.  Indeed most runs come with their own local boater – or several.  The detailed information on this site is provided by these locals sharing knowledge only possible through an intimate relationship with their favorite stretch of whitewater.  A big thanks to our contributors.


Jordan Vickers profile image Creek VT

Jordan Vickers

Jordan paddles more than just about anybody in Vermont.  A normal year he puts down 100+ laps on the New Haven ledges.  In a good spring he can manage to get on the water every single day for a month straight.  With a full time job, wife, two kids and a dog, it's anybody's guess as to how he does it.  If you figure out his secret, let us know.

Homebase: Underhill, VT
Local Runs:  The Gihon | Browns River (Jericho)

Favorite VT River:  The New Haven Ledges
Favorite VT Rapid:  Take Out Rapid - Big Branch
Favorite Run Outside VT:  Little White Salmon, WA
Ryan McCall profile picture Vermont Whitewater Kayaking

Ryan McCall

Ryan has done more for the sport of whitewater kayaking in Vermont than arguably anybody.   Whether it is serving on the board of the Vermont Paddlers Club, co-orchestrating the annual New Haven Ledges Race, or acting as point of contact with MWL for Green River releases, Ryan is always at the center of the Vermont whitewater scene.  Equally as impressive is his familiarity with every tiny creek - run and unrun - hidden throughout the state.  His enthusiasm for the rivers of Vermont is infectious and we owe him a big debt of gratitude for all he has done for the sport.

Homebase: Monteplier, VT
Local Runs:  The North Branch of the Winooski | The Green River

Favorite VT River:  The North Branch of the Winooski
Favorite VT Rapid:  Humble Pie - Green River
Favorite Run Outside VT:  Rock Run, PA
Jamie Dolan profile picture Vermont Whitewater Kayaking

Jamie Dolan

Jamie is a veteran of the sport and possesses an unwavering passion for Vermont whitewater. He has been boating in the state for over three decades and is an accepted member, and perhaps unofficial ambassador, of the old guard (in true New England style this is a somewhat private but incredibly friendly crew). A resident and mainstay of the New Haven drainage, many lucky boaters have followed Jamie on their inaugural runs down the NHL or LNH. Always quick with a friendly smile and handshake, if you see Jamie at the church parking lot, be sure to jump in with his group.

Homebase: Lincoln, VT
Local Runs:  The Lower New Haven

Favorite VT River:  Joe's Brook
Favorite VT Rapid: Couldn't say
Favorite Run Outside VT: Potomac, North Branch Gormania, WV to Kitzmiller MD 
Profile picture of Mike McDonnell Vermont Whitewater Kayaking

Mike McDonnell

Mike wisely settled down in a location central to some fantastic boating. Soft spoken and super friendly, his demeanor belies the fact he is competent and comfortable on wilderness class V and has some wild stories to tell. Despite this Mike seems just as happy and at home on a low water Patterson jaunt as a padded Middlebury run. It is this exuberance, regardless of class, conditions, or companions that demonstrates his true love of the sport. Mike is a guy you are always glad to see pull up to the put-in.

Homebase: Rochester, VT
Local Runs: Patterson Brook

Favorite VT River: Middlebury Gorge
Favorite VT Rapid: Tester - Middlebury
Favorite Run Outside VT: Taureau (Jacques-Cartier), QC
Dave Packie profile picture Vermont Whitewater Kayaking

Dave Packie

Don't let Dave's self deprecating style fool you.  He's probably run more of the VT creeks than you have (including all the classics) and most likely in a leaky drysuit and cracked Prijon Embudo when he did.  He is one of the co-founders of the immensely popular New Haven Ledges Race and can take credit for discovering several fantastic hidden gems. If you can't find him boating his backyard runs in the Dog River watershed, you will certainly find him tearing it up on his bike or getting first tracks.

Homebase: Northfield, VT
Local Runs:  Flint Brook | Devil's Washbowl

Bill Hildreth profile picture Vermont Whitewater Kayaking

Bill Hildreth

In the original guide Steep Creeks of New England, Bill and his wife Joan are credited with taking part in the first descents of several New England creeks. That book was published 20+ years ago, and the duo are still at it. With an appetite for exploration and the obscure, seemingly no creek in the northern counties has escaped them. You would be hard pressed to find a pair more intimately familiar with the runs of the Northern Vermont than Bill and Joan.

Homebase: Montgomery Center, VT
Local Runs:  The Trout River

Favorite VT River:  The next one he hasn't run yet
Favorite VT Rapid:  Unnamed Rapid on Calavale Brook
Favorite Run Outside VT:  Gulf Hagas, ME and Upper Pemi, NH
Eric Sorenson profile picture Vermont Whitewater Kayaking

Eric Sorenson

The Vermont boating community got lucky when Eric Sorensen decided to permanently move to the state. A low-key badass, Eric has a take it as it comes style that makes him a great paddling partner. Whether its living in a log cabin in the dead of winter while constructing a new home for his family, or chasing ***** *****'s boat down a high water NBL, nothing seems to break his unflappable attitude. Now residing in his finished home on the banks of Waterman Brook, Eric is one of the most reliable locals for getting out on the creeks of the Northern Greens.

Homebase: Johnson, VT
Local Runs:  Waterman Brook | The Kenfield

Favorite VT River: Ridley Brook
Favorite VT Rapid:  Mustang – Gihon River
Favorite Run Outside VT:  Upper Youghiogheny, MD

Justin Crannell profile picture Vermont Whitewater Kayaking

Justin Crannell

Okay, so he doesn't live in Vermont, but we won't hold that against him. Justin has been paddling in the Greens long enough to see boaters come and go, runs rise in and out of vogue, and rivers and rapids rearranged by historic floods. As such, Justin has earned honorary Vermont local status. So if you happen to see a truck with NY plates and a german shepard named Hudson riding shotgun, be sure to follow it. He knows where to go and what lines to take when you get there.

Homebase: Queensbury, NY
Local Runs:  The Big Branch of Otter Creek

Favorite VT River: The Big Branch of Otter Creek
Favorite VT Rapid:  Silver Bridge - Big Branch
Favorite Run Outside VT:  Deschutes River, OR - Meadow Camp Section

Maddie Clark profile picture Vermont Whitewater Kayaking

Maddie Clark

While Maddie may still be fairly new to the Vermont boating scene, what she lacks in experience she more than makes up for in enthusiasm and drive. Whether its rallying folks for evening Lower Mad laps , organizing trips to the Wells, or passing people in the Peavine race, Maddie has quickly become a very active part of the community.

Homebase: Hardwick, VT

Favorite VT River: North Branch of the Lamoille
Favorite VT Rapid:  Tantra - Wells River
Favorite Run Outside VT:  East Branch of the Pemi - NH