Onion River Race and Ramble on the Reservoir!

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Waterbury Center State Park 

10 am - 2 pm

Bring your own picnic and recreational gear. There is a nature trail, a large grassy picnic area, a swimming area, and of course, the reservoir. 

There is a $5 entry fee for the Park. No alcohol or pets are allowed. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. All paddlers must wear PFDs when on the water. 


The Onion River Race and Ramble is a 10.5-mile paddle from Bolton to Richmond on Vermont's Winooski River. The Race and Ramble attracts serious racers as well as paddlers looking for a fun time on the water. There's a paddling class for everyone!  Want to paddle but not race? Be a Rambler.  Want to paddle as a family?  Sign up for the Youth/Family class.  Want to race but don't have a long or fancy boat?  Join one of the Recreational classes.  And of course, there are classes for the fast and furious!  Check out the class descriptions here. 

Following the paddle, participants can enjoy lunch and live music at the Richmond Town park. 

IMPORTANT: Please drop off your boat(s) and check-in for the Race at the starting line, Bolton Falls Dam, Bolton, VT. One team member will then proceed to Richmond to park their vehicle and catch a free shuttle back to the starting line. Parking is located in Richmond at the Richmond Town Hall lot.  IF YOU LEAVE YOUR CAR AT BOLTON DAM, YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR GETTING BACK TO YOUR CAR AFTER THE RACE.

You can find more info on the race here:



THANK YOU to our generous sponsors and event partners!

2018 Results: click here to download Excel file or click here to download PDF file

We had support in 2018 from: Umiak OutfittersConcept2, Beacon Light Grange #557, Outdoor Gear ExchangeSeventh Generation, and Clearwater Sports.

2017 Race & Ramble 

The fourth annual Onion River Race and Ramble was held on Sunday, June 4th. 115 paddlers and 35 volunteers came out on a sunny day to partake in the event. The water level in the river was higher than it was last year, so the course was a bit faster. You can check out the official racing times below:

2017 Race Results - by Boat Number

2017 Race Results - by Class

The Race and Ramble is part of the New England Canoe & Kayak Racing Association (NECKRA) Downriver Series. "The Series has 16 races on it's schedule, but I think the Winooski Valley is the most beautiful location that we race," says paddler Eric Jones, who has won the Youth & Family class with his daughter Phoebe two years in a row. "Certainly no other race start compares to the put-in below the Bolton Dam. What I like best about the race is that it is accessible to paddlers of all levels, but it offers river-reading challenges to even the most experienced racers."
In 2017, Jerry & Gus Madore broke the course record for canoes. They came in at 1:15:28; the previous best for canoes was 1:21:15 (Nat Lucy in 2015).

Umiak Outfitters and Clearwater Sports provided shuttle service for paddlers. After the paddle, racers, ramblers, and volunteers were treated to a delicious lunch buffet courtesy of the Beacon Light Grange in Richmond, as well as meat and veggie burgers for sale by Cub Scout Troop 646. Additional food was donated by Cabot Creamry, Red Hen Bakery, and KC Bagels. The Friends own Colin McCaffrey provided some tunes while another board member, Tad Dippel, ran demos on the Friends' stream table. Prizes were donated by Seventh Generation and One Radish Eatery in Richmond and awarded to the top three finishes in each racing class, as well as the winner of the Best Bow Ornament contest.

Thanks to support from the Grange and Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD), we reduced waste at the event significantly this year by increasing recycling and compost capacity. We're proud to report that we generated more compostable and recycleable material than we did landfill waste!


Thanks to our 2017 sponsors and partners: Umiak OutfittersConcept2, Beacon Light Grange #557, Cub Scout Troop 646, Vermont River ConservancyVermontSUP.comOutdoor Gear ExchangeSeventh GenerationBen & Jerry'sClearwater Sports, and Mt. Mansfield Community TV.


2016 Onion River Race and Ramble:

2016 Race Results - By Race Class

2016 Race Results - Overall

Friends of the Winooski River's Flickr Page - Photos by Noah Pollock and Amy Ludwin

Vermont SUP - photos by Jeremiah Johnson