Saturday, January 23, 2010

Paddling below the Woonsocket Falls - January 23rd

It was a nice day today so I headed down to River Island Park for a couple of hours. I carried my boat up to the Woonsocket Falls and was surprised to see very little water coming over the dam. Almost all the water was running through the old Thundermist Hydroelectric plant. It's the first time I've seen that. To be honest, I thought the hydro plant was closed. There were a couple of waves below the hydro plant, but otherwise it was pretty low (800 cfs, 2.8 ft). I still had a good time.

Woonsocket Falls from Erik Eckilson on Vimeo.

Paddling beneath the Falls in August 2009
Paddling beneath the Falls in October 2009

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Year Begins - Farmington River - Jan. 1st

Jeff, Andy, Steve and I headed out to the Farmington River yesterday for a New Year’s Day run from Collinsville down to Route 4 in Farmington. The open boats were outnumbered on this trip – 3 canoes, 13 kayaks - but definitely a nice group. The level was OK (950 cfs), but nothing spectacular – mostly a class I. Crystal had some nice surf waves, and Boateater was a fun ride.

I can report that the First Swim Award for 2010 goes to.....(insert drum roll here).....Andy - but only to check for leaks in his new drysuit. No leaks were reported.

Scenery was pretty with new snow on the ground, but it was colder than I expected.

Hope everyone has a great 2010.

My Video
River Description from American Whitewater

Scouting the Natchaug River

There are so many nice rivers in eastern CT that I have yet to paddle.  I checked out one yesterday on my way out to the Farmington - the Natchaug.  There are three sections of the Natchaug in the AMC River Guide and American Whitewater.  The river runs along Route 198 and Route 6, so the put-ins and take-outs are easy to find.

The upper section is about 5 miles long.  The run starts at the bridge off General Lyons Road and continues down to the bridge at England Road.  It runs through the Natchaug State Forest and is the site of an annual spring poling clinic.  At higher water levels (the river was at 3.5 feet on the Marcy Road Gage yesterday), it looks like this section would be mostly quickwater with a couple of class I/II rapids.

The middle section starts at England Road and runs down to the Diana's Pool Fishing Area (Diana's Pool Road off Route 198).  This section starts out with flatwater and some class II rapids, and ends with a series of small falls and cascades rated class III/IV.  This is a popular run for local kayakers.

The Lower Section is about 3 miles long.  It starts below Diana's Pool and ends at the bridge off Station Road on Route 6.  I couldn't see much of it from the road, but the river guides rate this section as quickwater/class II.

Definitely a river that I'd like to try this year.
My Pictures at Diana's Pool