Sunday, December 29, 2013

Tariffville Gorge or Tville – December 28, 2013

Cathy's Wave
I was looking for a place to paddle, but the options were pretty limited.  I saw on one of the local message boards that a group would be paddling Tville, so I decided to join in.  This would be my first Tville run.

Tariffville Gorge on the Farmington River is known locally as Tville.  It one of the best-known whitewater runs in southern New England, and is the site of an annual spring slalom race. The run itself is short - just 1.5 miles - but the water runs here most of the year, and there are play spots for paddlers of all skill levels.   At yesterday’s level (2.1 on the Tariffville gage – a low-medium level) it is a class II/III run.  The difficulty increases as the level rises.

Jo-ann at the Play Hole
I met up with Merrie, Denise and Jo-ann at Tariffville Park to run the shuttle down to the take-out on Tunxis Road below the Route 187 Bridge.  The river starts off easy with the few small ledges and nice surf waves.  The best of these are Cathy’s Wave and the Horseshoe Ledge.  At this water level, you can surf these waves for hours. 

As you enter the gorge the intensity picks up a bit.  There is a nice wave train along the Bridge Abutment Rapid, which we ran to the right.  We ran the rapid approaching the play hole on the left.  The old breached dam at Spoonville is gone, but the ledges above make a nice alternative, and there is a nice surf wave (Typewriter) as the river turns left around an island just above the take out (stay left).

Merrie surfs Typewriter
I was the only swimmer of the day in the squirrely water below the island.  I reached over to flip my dry bag back into my boat, and over I went.  The river runs along a ledge here with deep water that makes it difficult to recover the boat.  After a bit of a swim, we finally got to some shallow water. 

I can’t believe it took me so long to get here.  It’s a great place to paddle.

Where's Erik?
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