Sunday, June 27, 2010

Blackstone Gorge – June 27th

I didn’t do any paddling today, but I did take a hike down through the Blackstone Gorge. There is a nice path up on the ridge, but I hiked down along the bank so I could get a good look at the river.

I parked on County Street and headed down the path past the Rolling Dam. The river was low (Rt. 122 gage 6.8 ft/130 cfs) and full of rocks. In spots, you could literally walk across without getting your feet wet by stepping from rock to rock. Its only a half mile through the gorge - three ledges stretch from bank to bank followed by a chute with some nasty undercut rocks.  The AMC guide describes it as a short but intense class IV - I'll bet it is when there's more water.

I stepped on rocks and waded through the shallow water as I worked my way downstream. Eventually I came to a nice take out which can be reached from an access road behind the High Rock Condominiums. A little further downstream, there is another take out at Tupper Park.  The gate to the parking lot was open, but a fence blocked off access to the river. I still want to check for a take out further downstream near Bridge Street in Blackstone. Another possibility is to put in on the Branch River off Route 146A and paddle down to the Blackstone.

I was thinking of trying to pole up the Gorge. It can be done, but it wouldn’t be easy. I think I’ll stick to my usual poling run below the Woonsocket Falls.

My Pictures (Rt. 122 gage  6.8 ft/130 cfs)
Andy's Blackstone Gorge pictures (Rt. 122 gage 12.3 ft/2,300 cfs)

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