Monday, January 4, 2016

And now for something completely different – Neponset River - January 3, 2016

SuAsCo Al
After blasting down the class III rapids of the Winni in a shredder on New Year’s Day, this trip was a little tame, but still very pleasant.  I got together with Bill and SuAsCo Al - the Trash Paddler to run the Neponset River. I have passed by this river for years on my way to work in Boston, but until Bill mentioned it, I never thought about paddling it.

The Neponset River arises at the Neponset Reservoir near Gillette Stadium in Foxborough and runs generally northeast to Dorchester Bay. We would be running the section from the Bade Canoe Launch  (100 River Ridge Dr, Norwood) to Pauls Bridge (Neponset Valley Pkwy, Milton) – about 8 miles. Gages were: Norwood – 6’, 32 cfsEast Branch – 1.3’, 36 cfsGreen Lodge Street – 8.3’, 132 cfsMilton Village - 2’, 268 cfs.

Even after the recent rain, the river was shallow at the put-in in Norwood.  It twists and turns though the woods until it enters the marshland on the other side of Route 95. The East Branch enters on
Bill and Erik
the right just upstream of Neponset Street providing more flow to the river, and the Neponset Street Canoe Access would probably be a better starting point at lower water levels.

After crossing back under Route 95, the river returns to the woods and follows the train tracks along University Avenue up to Route 128.  We stopped for lunch at the Signal Hill Reservation, and climbed to the summit to check out the great views of the Boston skyline and the Great Blue Hill.

After lunch, we continued downstream, crossing Route 128, and entering into the Fowl Meadow Wildlife Refuge and the Blue Hills Management Area before taking out at Pauls Bridge.  You can continue upstream another couple of miles before you hit the Tileston & Hollingsworth Dam, but then you have to turn around.  

At the top of Signal Hill with Boston in the background

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