Thursday, March 17, 2016

Loopy on the Charles

It being Saint Paddy's Day and my having the day off from work raised the question...would there be enough water for paddling the Dedham Loop on the Charles River?  Checked the Dover gauge online and the verdict was 2' plus or "Come on down".  So I did and launched from the Dolan Center on Common Street in Dedham.   Once on the river I chose to do the Loop in a clockwise fashion which meant going against the current for most of the trip.  A map of the loop is pictured.  A better version can be found here and clicking on "map".

Heading upriver from the launch I encountered this curious white-tailed deer...
...who approached for a closer look...

Nearby this "coyote" stood guard for a pair of Canada geese...

A good-sized bee hive hangs low over the river...

After about 1.7 miles I reached Needham Street where I took the Long Ditch exit under the bridge...
...which leads to a man-made channel running for a little more than half a mile.  There's a short riffle below the bridge...
At lower river levels this section might need to be portaged.

It was nice to eventually leave the narrow confines of the ditch and reach wide-open water at Cow Island Pond...

Heading upriver once again I passed another man-made exit for a portion of the Charles at Mother Brook...
...where some of the river's flow can be diverted down Mother Brook to the Neponset River.
 
After having paddled almost 6.5 miles I found myself right back where I'd started from.  The Loop makes an ideal 3 hour paddle.

My St. Patrick's Day haul could have been a little greener...

This one plastic bottle did its best to help in that regard...

2 comments:

Ron Haines said...

One of my favorite spots and I got started doing that from one of your posts a couple years ago. I'm organizing trips there this spring for a couple of meetup groups I belong to. I assume the current was no problem between Dolan and the Needham Bridge? I usually go counterclockwise, but if the water's high enough to float over the rocks at Needham it makes better sense to do it clockwise I think.

Trashpaddler said...

Hello Ron, By keeping to the sides the current wasn't a problem for the 1.7 miles up to Needham Street. The 2' gauge-level was just right for gliding over the rocks at the bridge. If I'd gone the other way, it would have been tough paddling against the funneled current just below the bridge.
Had the launch site and whole river to myself yesterday.