Monday, November 24, 2014

Quinnebaug - Sturbridge to Southbridge - November 23, 2014

Heading down from the put in
I had a couple of paddling options yesterday, but decided to join Tim and Al on the section of the Quinnebaug River from Sturbridge to Southebridge. 

There are a number of good sections of the Quinnebaug River.  I have done the sections from Holland Pond to East Brimfield Lake, and from Putnam to Dayville.  Henry always runs a trip from Fabyan Dam to West Thompson Dam – I’d like to do that sometime.  This section is the racecourse for the Sturbridge Lions All American Canoe Race,which runs each spring in late April.

The farm at Old Sturbridge Village
We put in at Turners Field on Route 20 in Sturbridge and took out at Westville Lake in Southbridge - about 6 miles. The river was definitely low (3.5 feet, 200 cfs on the West Brimfield gage).  I wouldn't run it any lower than this. According to Tim, 300 cfs is a good level.  

The first mile is quickwater as the river twists and turns it’s way down to the Mill Pond at Old Sturbridge Village.  We portaged the Mill Pond Dam on the left and continued downstream. Just downstream of Old Sturbridge Village you can see the extensive damage caused by a tornado that touched down in this area on June 1, 2011. The path of the tornado is clearly evident with dead and fallen trees in a wide swath along the river. 

Tim running the low head dam
At Sturbridge Village begins a 3 mile section of flatwater down to a low head dam above the bridge at Old Mashapaug Road.  At higher water, the next mile is an easy Class II rapid.  At yesterday’s level, it was a rock field. There is one large drop at the end that we ran left to right. 

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