Sunday, May 1, 2011

I finally ran the Quaboag - April 30, 2011

Mouse Hole
For a couple of years now, I have wanted to run the Quaboag River in central MA. Its not far away – about an hour – and its suppose to be a fun class II/III run. Well, I finally ran it yesterday with a huge group from NPMB. There were 16 boats in all – 2 canoes, 14 kayaks.

The Quaboag flows west from Quaboag Pond in Brookfield to Three Rivers where it joins with the Ware River to form the Chicopee River. There's a nice flatwater section from the Quaboag Pond in Brookfield to Lucy Stone Park in Warren – about 9 miles. We did the section from Lucy Stone Park in Warren to Route 67 in Palmer – about 5 miles.

Trestle Rapid
The first half of the trip was uneventful with easy class I/II rapids. The level was about 4.5 feet, 500 cfs – a low but runnable level. At this level, the river is more technical, but I didn’t find it too bad – definitely easier than New Boston.

The first difficult rapid is Mouse Hole which I ran a little right of center, and did fine. Shortly after Mouse Hole is the Trestle Rapid. I caught the eddy under the trestle on the right side, backed into the eddy on river left, which set me up to catch the eddy in the middle of the rapid. From there, its and easy run through the rocks at the bottom.

The Broken Dam
After a few more class II+ rapids and a portage around a large dam, we ran a large broken dam. I ran it just left of center. Most of the yaks ran it a little further to the right and boofed of the rock at the bottom.

Below the broken Dam is the Angel’s Field Rapid – nothing difficult, just big waves. After the Angel’s Field Rapid we entered the Devils Gorge. The Gorge has three distinct rapids. The first is the most difficult and terminates with a 3-foot drop known at the Quaboag Drop which is run on the right. From there its an easy run to the take out.  For directions to the take out use 733 Boston Road, Palmer, MA.

The Quaboag Drop

My Pictures
Quaboag River Gage at West Brimfield
River Description from American Whitewater

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