Sunday, July 4, 2010

Wood/Pawcatuck - July 3rd

Had a good time yesterday on the Wood/Pawcatuck Rivers. We had 10 boats – 5 canoes (1 tandem) and 5 kayaks. Trip was about 11 miles with 2 dams to portage (Woodville and Alton) and a broken dam that we ran (Burdickville).

We put in on the Wood River around 10:30 from the Switch Street (Hope Valley) Landing. In this section, the Wood River is… well… wooded. The river got shallow in spots, but there was always plenty of water (50 cfs, 2 ft. on the Hope Valley gage).

The river opened up as we approached the deadwater from the Woodville dam. I was looking for the Mountain Laurel blooms which supposedly line these banks, but we must have missed them. I did see plenty of purple pickerel weed and white water lilies.

We portage the Woodville dam and continued downstream. There is a short wooded section just below the dam, but then you enter a large marsh which is the deadwater for the Alton Dam. Wild roses lined the river in this area. We stopped for lunch at the rope swing before continuing down to the dam.

Beyond the Alton Dam, there is another short wooded area before the Wood River joins the Charles River to form the Pawcatuck. From here, the Pawcatuck is wider and deeper. After a couple of mile of easy paddling we approached the broken dam at Burdickville.  We ran the chute on the right without incident and continued downstream, arriving at the Bradford Landing around 3:30.


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