Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Neponset on the Eve of Spring


I got my first look at the Neponset River this afternoon and also paid tribute to a very worthy adversary...Old Man Winter.  No doubt about it, he put us all to the test this year.  I accessed the river from Neponset Street in Canton, MA.  The boat ramp is very basic with a short dirt road leading to a small gravel ramp.  Perfect for canoes and kayaks.  Unfortunately, there's been some illegal dumping of construction debris...

No sooner had I launched and passed under the Neponset Street bridge than this deer greeted me just downstream of the bridge...
The deer was only a few yards from the busy roadway.  Other wildlife seen on the river today were red-winged blackbirds, chickadees, a marsh hawk, and wood ducks.

I traveled a little over 3 miles down the Neponset passing 3 brooks: Purgatory, Pecunit, and Ponkapoag where I turned back.

In some spots the riverside terrain looked to be shrouded within a mat of grass...


A bit of higher terrain was found at Signal Hill which made a nice spot to take a break...
If I'd hiked the short trail to the hilltop, I would have been able to see Great Blue Hill for which Massachusetts is named. 
Boaters launching at Signal Hill can use this sign to help with selecting a destination...

Nearing my takeout, this backwater provided a last glimpse of Old Man Winter's handiwork...

 Trash was plentiful in the river today as evidenced by my mostly plastic and Styrofoam haul...
There were 66 recyclable containers (9 redeemable) and 39 pieces of miscellaneous rubbish. 
YTD = 490

I found this stretch of the Neponset River to be surprisingly secluded given its proximity to Greater Boston.  Civilization is present mostly in the form of noise from Route 95 and the Boston to Providence high-speed rail line.

5 comments:

Erik Eckilson said...

A buddy of mine has been talking about paddling this - he passes it every day on the way to work. I think we will wait for it to ice-out a little more.

Anonymous said...

Hi Al: I've heard that the Neponset was full of trash but that is what happens when you are next to a major highway. We want to scout the river in early spring. We'll leave a message if you want to go. I've heard that there is a refuge area below Rt128.
Thanks, Bill

Suasco Al said...

Hi Bill, I can only speak to the 3 mile stretch between Neponset Street and Ponkapoag Brook where there is a fair amount of trash remaining. I'd be glad to join with you all in scouting more of the river.

Regarding Erik's comment, the only ice I saw was in old cut-off oxbows. Main channel was ice free.

Anonymous said...

Hi Al: That would be greatif you could join us. I've paddled most sections of the NFCT except Mud Pond Carry. We may be able to give you some tips.
Bill

Suasco Al said...

Bill, Sounds good. You can contact me via the address shown under my trashpaddler logo.