Adventures At Jamaica State Park & West River In Vermont
Adventure Activities in Vermont State Parks
The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers schedules two water releases each year from Ball Mountain Dam for whitewater paddling on the West River. The dam release results in Class 2-4 whitewater paddling for kayaks, canoes and rafts. The center of activity during the whitewater release weekends is Jamaica State Park.
Paddlers flock to Jamaica State Park for the whitewater weekends that usually fall on the first weekend of May and 4th weekend of September. Many paddlers camp for the weekend at the Park and take advantage of two offerings in the park: shuttle service and commercial vendors.
The shuttle service trucks boats up through the park so boaters can repeatedly run the more aggressive Class 2-4 rapids below Ball Mountain Dam. The shuttle road is the old railroad bed that supported a railway in the late 1800’s thru 1927.
Food and gear vendors set up in the Park entrance area with delicious food and lots of great deals on whitewater gear. There is a also an informal gear exchange and sale – this is a great place to park and stand your kayak against your truck with an asking price. Let the bartering begin!
Commercial rafting trips float through Jamaica State Park on the two release weekends. Crab Apple Whitewater has been running trips on the West River since 1991. Busloads of rafters enter through Army Corp of Engineers property and begin their 8 mile trip with a walk down spectacular Ball Mountain Dam. Rafters practice paddling skills below the dam before entering “Landslide” Rapid, a half-mile long stretch of sharp turns and big waves.
Rafts with professional river raft guides then continue through several miles of whitewater along Jamaica State Park’s river banks. A viewing platform for hikers and day trippers overlooks “The Dumplings” rapids in the Park. Park goers can watch for hours as rafters from Crab Apple Whitewater, canoeists and kayakers brave the Class 3-4 rapids.
Below “The Dumplings” Rapid, the Crab Apple crew floats a mile or so more before leaving Jamaica State Park. The trip continues several more miles downstream before being picked up for a ride back to base camp at Mt Snow Ski Resort.
For information on whitewater rafting in Jamaica State Park:
Crab Apple Whitewater www.crabapplewhitewater.com
For information about Jamaica State Park https://vtstateparks.com/jamaica.html