The Lamoille River Has Two New Portage Routes in Johnson VT

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

As the Lamoille River meanders through Johnson, VT, two potentially dangerous waterfalls now have safe portage routes around them.  These are the first two on the ground projects of a community effort to develop a paddlers’ trail for the Lamoille River.

Portage past Vernal Pool

Pictured is a portion of the portage around Sloping Falls, where spring floods and rainfall left a vernal pool where the old access road ends. (Photo by: Sam Watson)

Above Dogshead Falls; a small path on the left bank will take paddlers through tall ferns and across a new bridge and over a small series of stone steps down to the lower pool of the falls.  A short float down river is Sloping Falls.  The portage begins about 50 meters upstream, and takes boaters over steps, around vernal pools, and along an old access road to a safe put in below the falls.










building bridge

Eric Nuse, Kimberly Komer, Jen Davis and Timothy Grannis constructing the portage bridge over a seasonal stream which drains nearby fields. (Photo by: Noah Pollock)


The VRC had tremendous volunteer help throughout this project.  Johnson College interns Seth Bosman, Steve Eng and Jacob Jackson helped with heavy stone work and trail building.  Duncan Hastings and the Town of Johnson helped to coordinate the project and got a load of stone donated for the project.  Susan Lovering donated cedar for the bridge, and Johnson Hardware Rental, Farm & Garden donated the necessary hardware.  Eric Nuse, Timothy Grannis, and Matt Pietryka were there rain and shine, building a trail through a rocky and muddy understory.  Jim Ryan, Kimberly Komer, and Jen Davis also joined us to complete the portage bridge, and after finishing trail and rock work with us our portage routes were completed by the afternoon on our second day.  A very big thank you to all of you involved in this project, and to all the paddlers who safely utilize the new route!  Funded by a Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership (CVNHP) 2015 Water Trails grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program.

From left to right; Eric Nuse, Sam Watson, Jen Davis, Kimberly Komer, Jacob Jackson, Noah Pollock, Steve Eng, Jim Ryan, and Timmothy Grannis (and Pearl)

Most of our project team members seated on the new stairs portaging Dogshead Falls. From left to right; Eric Nuse, Sam Watson, Jen Davis, Kimberly Komer, Jacob Jackson, Noah Pollock, Steve Eng, Jim Ryan, and Timmothy Grannis (and Pearl) (Photo by: Noah Pollock)













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