The Mascoma River is formed at the outflow of Mascoma Lake. The lake acts not only as a water source, but also as a flow regulator for the Mascoma, keeping it flowing in relatively dry weather and checking the effect of heavy rains. The river is medium sized, with numerous fallen trees that narrow the channels. The scenery is only fair—there are many signs of civilization.
Except for Excelsior Rapids, the difficulty is rated class II–III. Excelsior, which ends the trip, is class III or IV depending on water level. Excelsior is just upstream from a 4-foot dam. This height may not be impressive, but the hydraulic at the bottom is. Avoid it. A slalom race used to be held at Excelsior, but due to access problems it is now held on a rapid upstream.
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