Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Devil's Foot on the Stop

Yesterday was Patriot's Day around these parts, and also a holiday.  With no work on the agenda I decided to launch into the Charles River at Dwight Street in Millis a little upstream of its confluence with the Stop River.

 Heading the short distance down to the confluence I passed an American Flag flying from a small river-outpost (photo at left) indicating the pesky easterly breeze of late was still hanging around.

Ascending the Stop River I came upon this northern pike...
 ...who possibly didn't survive a catch-and-release encounter.

After some zigging and zagging Devil's Foot Island came into view...
It rises dramatically up from the river and surrounding marsh.  To reach the best landing spot at the upstream end of the island the river appears to be taking you away before zigging back in...

I had the place to myself and walked up to the ruins of an old cabin...

The view back down to my boat...

Devil's Foot made an ideal spot for an early lunch before heading further up the Stop. 

Researching how the island got its name led me to The History of the Town of Medfield, Massachusetts 1650 to 1886 by William S. Tilden.  "It (Devil's Foot Island) is so called from several curious depressions in the rock". 
In the same source I came across this proclamation issued in 1661: "Many people through the country had been drowned by means of canoes; and, as a precaution, no person in this town was to make, or to have, any canoe, in any pond, brook, or river, except allowed by the selectmen, under penalty of fine".   Glad to see they've become more lenient in the years since.

Another island, Childs, lies several more zigs and zags upstream and seemed to be the focal point of many contrails...
 Access to Childs didn't look easy at anything less than flood conditions.

About 2 miles up from the confluence I reached and passed under Noonhill Road...

Saw this plant which I'd never seen before...
...and it reminded me of the feathers on an arrow.

A blowdown across the channel signaled it was time to turnabout and head back down to the Charles.

Trash, mostly found just downstream of bridges, found itself back on solid ground...

This contraption was found near the Noonhill Rd. bridge...
...made from 4 Gatorade bottles. 

1 comment:

Bob said...

Paddled up Stop River 9/3/19 with Noon Hill Rd. bridge as goal. Stopped 0.5 mile short of bridge by a high beaver dam. On downstream paddle went ashore on Devils Foot Island. A lovely place. Thank you for the photos and history.