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Just east of Worcester’s village center, a hydroelectric dam spans the North Branch of the Winooski, blocking fish and paddler passage. For years this small 1/4-acre spot owned by Hobie and Charlie Guion was casually used by paddlers to get around the dam and float the North Branch.
In 2014, Vermont River Conservancy worked with the Guions to add an easement to make sure the public would always be able to access the river here, then built a stone staircase down the bank. Now, instead of scrambling down a steep, eroding bank, the stairs keep the bank from eroding and make it easier for anglers, paddlers, and swimmers.
Take Route 12 to Worcester. In the center of the village, head east on Calais Rd. (adjacent to Worcester Town Hall) for 0.3 miles. Immediately after crossing over the North Branch of the Winooski, turn right onto Gould Hill Rd., then right again on the gravel drive. Park near the hydro station before Gould Hill Rd.