White River Canoe Trip
06-07 July 2001
10 July 01 GH
1800 6 July - Met at Maynard Street parking lot and departed for South Royalton, VT
1900 6 July - Arrived at Henderson's Hideaway campground, located about a mile southeast (down river) of South Royalton, VT on the south side of the White River.
Set up camp, prepared and ate dinner, baked and enjoyed hot bisquits and chocolate cake before going to bed for the night.
0800 7 July - After breakfast and campsite teardown and cleanup, the group reviewed safety afloat rules, double checked equipment, and departed Henderson's Hideaway by canoe.
1400 7 July - Arrived at takeout point at the bridge in West Hartford. Shuttled remaining cars from South Royalton, loaded canoes and returned home.
1600 7 July - All participants were home.
Henderson's Hideaway proved to be a nice place for a "car camping" outing. The campground was not crowded; in fact we only saw two other people the whole evening that we were there and one of those was the caretaker. We ended up paying $15.00 for the entire group for the night. The campground was well cared for and equipped with picnic tables, fire rings, and an outhouse. For future reference, the campground did NOT HAVE A SOURCE OF POTABLE WATER.
The river trip was successful and everyone had a lot of fun. There were a few places where the river was so shallow that we had to walk the canoes through and a number of places where we just barely made it through afloat. We were able to negotiate both of the major rapids where the river dropped several feet over a very short distance. There were numerous instances of canoes scraping and hitting submerged rocks but no serious damage occurred and no canoes capsized; we did leave a lot of fiberglass on the rocks! This trip would not have been successful with less water in the river than what we had.
The United States Geologic Survey (USGS) operates a gauging station on the White River at West Hartford. The real-time display for this station is available. It looks like the discharge at West Hartford at noon on 7 July was about 330 cubic feet per second. We should be able to use this data to make decisions about future trips on the White River.
The White River is not the place to train novice canoeists however it is a good place to develop white water skills after basic canoe handling skills are mastered. There are numerous rapids, submerged rocks, stretches of fast water, and places where quick turns are necessary.
About two and one half miles (one and a half hours) down river from South Royalton, the river passes under a pair of large bridges that carry Interstate 89. About 200 yards down river from these bridges is a small beach area on the left side of the river. A path leads from that beach area through a grove of trees to Route 14. Directly across Route 14 is a strategically placed fast food and ice cream stand. That was the good news. The bad news for this trip was that this place didn't open until 11AM and we were there at 9:30. We didn't wait.