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Otter Creek Navigation Project

Otter Creek

Otter Creek, the longest river in Vermont, rises on the northern slope of Dorset Mountain, part of the Green Mountain Range, in Dorset and flows in a north/northwesterly direction for 105 miles. It empties into Lake Champlain at Ferrisburg, about 54 miles south of the United States-Canada border and 18 miles south of Burlington. Otter Creek is used by a small recreational fleet.

The project, completed in 1900, consists of:

  • An eight-mile-long channel, eight feet deep and 100 feet wide, extending from Lake Champlain at Ferrisburg to the falls at Vergennes; and
  • An eight-foot-deep turning basin at the falls in Vergennes. The original project also called for the removal of two small rock areas in the channel; however, existing conditions are considered adequate for the needs of present navigation.

From its source in Dorset, Otter Creek flows northerly for 33 miles through Danby, Mount Tabor, Wallingford, Clarendon, and Rutland. The river then changes its course northwesterly for 72 miles through West Rutland, Proctor, Pittsford, Brandon, Sudbury, Leicester, Whiting, Salisbury, Cornwall, Middlebury, Weybridge, New Haven, Addison, Waltham, Panton, and Vergennes before emptying into Lake Champlain at Ferrisburg.