Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Assabet River - Powdermill to Damondale & Back

This afternoon, I decided to explore a section of the Assabet that I haven't paddled before. Oddly enough, it is the section of the river closest to where I live. I have been thinking about giving this section a try ever since I saw the Acton Canoe Launch come into existence about a year ago or so. I tip my hat to whoever the folks were who created this launch site. It is a first rate launch and parking site. Immediately prior to my launching, I witnessed a family carry in a 'Have-a-Heart' type animal trap and release a small woodchuck back into the wild.
Shortly thereafter, my kayak and I slid into the Assabet's steady and shallow current just below the Route 62 bridge downstream of the Powdermill Dam. Heading downstream requires some maneuvering to avoid fallen trees and rocks while at the same time staying in deep enough water to remain afloat. After about a half mile, there are less obstacles and the river straightens out some. In the last half mile to Damondale, the river deepens and you can see where the old mill pond was before the river takes a hard turn to the right, passing through the breached Damondale Dam. Several blue herons were encountered.
Rather than going through the narrow passage, I turned around here and began paddling back upriver. I made it almost all the way back by paddling but did have to exit the boat and pull it across a shallow bar between the two Rt. 62 bridges. This bar was just past the steep hillside on the river left heading upstream.
My trash haul was modest. Two Mountain Dew plastic bottles, a glass bottle of Colt 45, and a wad of fishing line. My YTD total stands at 1722.
Hope to return to this stretch again, after the next rain event.

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