Sunday, November 19, 2023

Ware River Poling Cruise - November 18, 2023

A nice collection of poling boats
I don’t do a lot of poling, but I do try to get out a couple of time a year – usually the Branch in the spring and something else in the fall. Last fall we had a nice group on the Souhegan. This year we were back on the Ware River.

The Ware River flows 35-miles through central MA before joining the Quaboag River to form the Chicopee River. There is a class II section in Gilbertville from Hardwick Furnace Launch to the Ware-Hardwick Covered Bridge that we poled on a snowy day back in 2009. I’d like to do that section in my whitewater boat sometime. Today we would be poling the 6-mile section from the South Barre Dam (42.3864 -72.097) to Hardwick Furnace (42.343812,-72.157774) that we last poled back in 2013.

Below the Wheelwright Dam
I arrived at the put-in at around 10:00 to find Matt, Oz and Bob waiting for us on the river. They had put-in early and poled up from the put-in. The rest of us – me, Chuck, Dan, Chris and Jonathan - still had to run the shuttle. The river was at a nice poling level – 3-feet, 45 cfs on the Barre gage. 

This section of the Ware is pretty with lots of twists and turns down to the backwater from the Wheelwright Dam where we stopped for lunch. As we played in the quickwater below the dam, Kaz, Rick and Dave paddled upstream - they used the put-in at the Wheelwright Road Bridge (42.38012870629823, -72.11359100862931). For us, it was a short trip down to the Hardwick Furnace take-out. 

The crew at Wheelwright Dam

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