Saturday, May 31, 2014

Assabet/Concord - Acton to Concord – May 31, 2014

Green tunnels
Last Sunday I paddled though Powder Hollow on the Scantic River – site of the Hazard Powder Company.  Yesterday, we put-in below the Powder Mill Dam on the Assabet River in Acton. Fortunately, the gun powder mills on both of these rivers are gone, and there were no explosions on either day.

Yesterday, I led a RICKA trip in the Assabet River from Acton (Acton Canoe Launch, 63 Powder Mill Road) to Concord (Old Calf Pasture, 299 Lowell Road).  We had twenty boats including two special guests – SuAsCo Al and Tommy T. 

Running the broken dam
We met at the Acton Canoe Launch at 9:30 to unload boats and run the shuttle.  The shuttle was actually the toughest part of the trip, but we got back to the put-in at around 10:45, and began launching the boats.  The river was at a nice level – 2.5 feet on the Maynard gage.  About halfway through the process, I looked up and saw Tommy T. paddling upstream.  He had put-in at the Route 225 Bridge on the Concord River, and paddled upstream about 10 miles to meet us. 

We finally got all the boats in the water around 11:00 and began our decent down through the quickwater below the Powder Mill Dam.  About a mile downstream from the Powder Mill Dam is the broken dam at Damondale.  This dam is breached on river right, and we queued up to run the shoot through the breach before continuing downstream. 

Egg Rock
Below Damondale, the Assabet slows and large trees shade the river forming “green tunnels” along several sections of the river.  It seemed too early for lunch, so we passed the usual lunch spot in West Concord and continued downstream.

Folks were starting to get hungry as we paddled through the Leaning Hemlocks section.  We found the memorial plaque to George Bartlett, checked out the plaque at Egg Rock where the Assabet converges with the Sudbury to form the Concord, and stopped for lunch at the Old Calf Pasture. 

Minute Man Statue
From there, it is just a short paddle up into the Old North Bridge and the Minute Man National Historic Park.  We posed for a picture below the bridge before heading ashore to check out the historic sites including the Minute Man Statue, the 1832 Monument and the Old Manse. 

Tourist gathered on the Old North Bridge as we posed for a picture
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