The earthen and gravel gravity dam was constructed between 1957 and 1961 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, with a height of 247 feet and a length of 915 feet at its crest. It impounds the West River of Vermont for flood control. The dam is owned and operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps identified safety and seepage problems with the dam in 2009, and has assigned it a Dam Safety Action Class rating of DSAC II, or "Urgent".
The reservoir it creates, Ball Mountain Reservoir, has a normal water surface of 20 acres, a maximum capacity of 52,450 acre-feet, and a normal capacity of 240 acre-feet. Recreation includes fishing (for stocked Atlantic salmon, smallmouth bass, and trout), camping at 111 campsites in nearby Winhall and Jamaica, and activities at the adjacent Jamaica State Park. The river between Ball Mountain Lake and downstream Townshend Lake (also operated by the Army Corps of Engineers) is used for white water boating during releases from the Ball Mountain Dam, usually occurring during one weekend in April and one weekend in September.
Jamaica State Park is a 772-acre state park in Jamaica, Vermont, on the shore of the West River.
Activities includes camping, swimming, boating, river fishing, hiking, picnicking, mountain biking, wildlife watching, and winter sports.Facilities include a picnic shelter, 43 tent/trailer sites, 18 lean-to shelters, two rest rooms with hot showers, and firewood and ice available for purchase.There is a nature center, and park rangers offer interpretive programs including night hikes, campfire programs, amphibian explorations, and nature crafts and games.
The 51-acre Hamilton Falls Natural Area is located in the park. Cobb Brook includes several waterfalls, and Hamilton Falls drops 40 to 50 feet into a large pool. There is a trail to the top and bottom of the falls.
The park includes a 2-mile section of the 16-mile West River Trail, a universally-accessible trail along the old railbed for the West River Railroad. The trail leads up to Ball Mountain Dam.List of dams and reservoirs in Vermont
Following is a list of dams and reservoirs in Vermont.
All major dams are linked below. The National Inventory of Dams defines any "major dam" as being 50 feet (15 m) tall with a storage capacity of at least 5,000 acre feet (6,200,000 m3), or of any height with a storage capacity of 25,000 acre feet (31,000,000 m3).West River (Vermont)
The West River is a tributary of the Connecticut River, about 53.8 miles (86.6 km) long, in southern Vermont in the United States. According to the Geographic Names Information System, it has also been known historically as "Wantastiquet" and as "Waters of the Lonely Way". Its watershed covers 423 square miles; land use is about 90% forested and 3% agricultural, and the upper river supports wild native brook and wild brown trout, while Atlantic salmon occur in most of the river.The West River rises in the Green Mountains in the town of Mount Holly in southeastern Rutland County and flows southwardly through southwestern Windsor County into Windham County, where it turns southeastwardly. Along its course it flows through or along the boundaries of the towns of Weston, Londonderry, Jamaica, Townshend, Brookline, Newfane (where it collects the Rock River), and Dummerston to Brattleboro, where it flows into the Connecticut River.U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dams on the West cause the river to form Ball Mountain Lake and Townshend Lake, both of which were built for the purpose of flood control in 1961. The river between Ball Mountain Lake and Townshend Lake is used for white water boating during releases from the Ball Mountain Dam (usually occurring during one weekend in April and one weekend in September).