Green Mountain Club
Montpelier Section


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Trip Reports
May 21, 2005
Black River Canoe/Kayak
A 50th Anniversary Heritage Outing.

We were fortunate to have a clear day even if it was chilly and a little windy. After the fifty mile drive, we arrived at Black River put in some 4 miles south of Irasburg. Thanks to a cooperative property owner, we were able to cross a lawn to gain an easier access to the river. The river is about twenty-five feet wide at this point and has a gentle current. The banks are muddy, three canoes and one kayak needed a good cleaning when this trip was finished.

In many places there were trees in the river to paddle around and there are many sharp turns. We soon noticed a bank beaver house and there was a beaver dam to cross. We were able to paddle over the dam without getting out of the boats. We had to navigate through several stretches of quick water and at the same time avoid tree branches.

This section of the stream gives one the feeling of remoteness. Several yellow warblers were spotted. Shortly we found a tree completely across the river. This required us to wade and lift the boats over the obstruction.

Soon the river got a little wider and we found a firmer bank for a lunch break. Even here you had to be careful where you stepped. This section is near the road and the edges farm fields.

After lunch a Great Blue Heron flew from its perch in a tree. Near the take out we were treated with the sight of two adult Canada geese and about eight goslings. The young geese could not fly so they stayed on the bank. This was a great sight, but I did feel bad about our being so close to the geese. Joe T. brother met us on Rte. 58 bridge and took the picture below. There were two options at the take out: haul up a steep bank or make a long portage across the road.

Historical Background: Black River section outings: April 27, 1969, Eligo to Albany and April 26, 1970, Albany to Irasburg. Both trips were led by George and Cynthia Brady. Thanks to Thomas Weiss for the information.

Fred Jordan


The paddlers, taken from the Route 58 bridge.

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