Second Branch of the White River
- Public access: Yes
- Activities: fishing, paddling, swimming
From the late 1700s and into the 20th century, the village of Bethel was a thriving mill town — drawing its power from a series of dams on the White River. Here, the Hyde Dam powered a sawmill, gristmill, creamery, and a large woolen mill that employed more than 30 workers in the 1860s. As other power sources came online, dams like this were abandoned to crumble into the riverbed. Until just a few years ago, the rocky remnants of Hyde Dam blocked fish from freely swimming up and and downstream, cutting off important habitat. It also cut off people from floating the full stretch of the river.
Vermont River Conservancy partnered with White River Partnership to restore the White River to its former grandeur. Vermont River Conservancy purchased this 1/2 acre alongside Hyde Dam in 2018, then White River Partnership orchestrated the engineering and equipment to haul out the old debris. Today, the river flows freely, giving fish — and people — more waters to explore.
Anglers, paddlers, and swimmers are welcome to park here and access the river, though there is not yet any formally established access. (There are no signs, no official parking, no path to the river.)
- River: Second Branch of the White River
- Acreage: 0.42
- River frontage (ft): 2,000
This project made possible thanks to the support and partnership of:
- White River Partnership
- Upper Connecticut River Mitigation and Enhancement Program
From I-89, take exit 3 for Vermont Route 107 and 14. At the end of the ramp, turn left (east) onto Route 107 and drive 0.3 miles to toward Vermont Route 14. Turn left (north) onto Vermont Route 14 and drive 3.9 miles. Turn left onto Factory Hill Road for 0.2 miles, then left again onto Store Hill Road, crossing a small bridge over the White River. The old Hyde Dam (now removed) is immediately downstream of this bridge. There is no official parking at this site, no trail, and no developed river access.