Lower West River Run in Jamaica, VT

Quick Details

Lower Section River Running

The goal of this clinic is to provide opportunities for Class II to Class III paddlers to run the Lower West River under the guidance of an able instructor. The Lower West River in Southern Vermont runs only a few times a year – in the spring when the snow melts and one weekend in the fall due to a release from the Army Corps of Engineers’ Ball Mountain Dam. Kayaking or canoeing the Lower West is one of the classic whitewater experiences in New England.

Your clinic begins at our Zoar Adventure Center in Wilmington, VT. at 9 a.m. sharp. Have a complimentary hot drink before we get started.

The instructor leads a warm-up session before setting out down the river, and then sets up a river order. While the day is meant to be experiential, not instructional, students may ask guides for help on specific skills while paddling the river.

More Information

  • Chevron down Class Prerequisites
  • Lower West (Class II) river runners taking this clinic should be comfortable on Class II+ whitewater. This powerful run is a great place for strong advanced beginner and intermediate kayakers and canoeists to gain experience with bigger, more pushy rapids.

  • Chevron down How to Prepare
  • You spend somewhere between four to five hours in your boat. You kneel (canoeists) or sit (kayakers) for much of this time. To prepare, stretch your thighs, hamstrings, and torso (back, stomach, shoulders and neck). If you increase your flexibility, you will have more efficient strokes and be more comfortable in your boat.

  • Chevron down What to Wear & Bring
  • The West River in VT releases in the Spring and Fall and is always cool, regardless of the air temperature. When packing your paddling clothes, please plan accordingly. Our clinics run rain or shine.

    Wear items such as :

    • synthetic long underwear, garments made of polypropylene, Capilene, or some polyester/spandex blend
    • fleece or wool socks
    • bathing suit
    • fleece or wool jacket/sweater (early/late season or if you tend to chill easily)

    Other items to bring:

    • sunscreen
    • sunglasses
    • retaining strap for glasses
    • nose plugs
    • towel
    • required medications
    • extra money for snacks, T-shirts, or coin-operated showers
  • Chevron down What We Provide
    •  boat
    •  wetsuit
    •  paddle jacket
    •  booties
    •  life jacket
    •  helmet
    •  paddle
    •  sprayskirt

    If you own your own equipment, we suggest you use it in the clinic to get used to its quirks.

    We provide a catered picnic-style lunch on all our clinics. Typical lunches include homemade rolls, sliced turkey, ham or other meats, sliced cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, chips, salsa, hummus, pasta or other salad, cookies or other dessert, and hot and cold drinks.

    The following statement is required by state law: “Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party has a food allergy.”

    We do not use nuts in our food, but can not guarantee that the ingredients in our meals do not contain nuts or other food allergens. If you have food allergies or other special dietary needs, we strongly suggest you bring your own bag lunch in non-glass containers and we will pack it with the other lunches on your trip. Please inform our office at 800 532-7483 or [email protected] if you intend to do this.