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  Club Trip on the Assabet/Concord Rivers
  Posted by: eckilson on Jun-02-14 6:11 AM (EST)

When I started getting serious about paddling 10 years ago, I attended a lot of flatwater trips organized by my local club – the Rhode Island Canoe & Kayak Association (RICKA – great group by the way). Wherever the club went, I went. I met a lot of nice people, and paddled a lot of interesting rivers that I hadn’t been on before.

As my skills improved and my circle of paddling friends increased, I began to gravitate to longer, more difficult trips, and I paddled less and less with my local club. I’ve always felt a little guilty about that, so this past Saturday I led a flatwater trip for the club on the Assabet and Concord Rivers in MA. For those of you who remember your Revolutionary War history, it was at the Old North Bridge over the Concord River that the “shot heard round the world” was fired, and the Revolutionary War began.

About 20 paddlers (including P-netter Suasco Al, aka Al the Trash Paddler) met at the Acton Canoe Launch at 10:00 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 boats. About halfway through the process, I looked up and saw P-netter TommyC1 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 started paddling down through the easy 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.

Below Damondale, the Assabet slows and large trees shade the river forming “green tunnels” along several sections of the river. It a pretty paddle down to Egg Rock where the Assabet River converges with the Sudbury River to form the Concord River. We stopped for lunch at the Old Calf Pasture across the river from Egg Rock before continuing down the Concord River to the Old North Bridge and the Minute Man National Historic Park. After stopping for a picture in front of the Old North Bridge, the crew headed ashore to check out the historic sites including the Minute Man Statue, the Old Manse (home to authors Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne) and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

Not the best planning on my part, but the trip effectively ended here as the group scatted to visit sites in the Minute Man Park, or simply headed back to their cars a short distance downstream. As far as I know, everyone made it back home. Few pictures here:

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Messages in this Topic


  Thanks for posting, I had seen only a
  Posted by: ezwater on Jun-02-14 8:37 PM (EST)
tiny bit of the Assebet, when a guy in Stow let me try his Millbrook Defiant. At that time, the Assebet was too low to paddle any distance on it.

I've done a good bit of the Sudbury, but I think I linked you to that previously.
  The Sudbury is a pretty river
  Posted by: eckilson on Jun-03-14 4:37 AM (EST)
but like the Concord it is dead flat – very little gradient. I’ve paddled the Sudbury from Wayland to Concord.

The Assabet drops quite a bit so you’ll find more dams, but also some quickwater, and even a section of easy whitewater where it flows through the town of Maynard. It can get boney in the summer.
  My backyard
  Posted by: wccanoe on Jun-03-14 8:25 PM (EST)
Had I known, I would have met yah with a woody! (canoe of course).
  Nice recap and good pictures
  Posted by: jackL on Jun-03-14 5:48 AM (EST)
Looked like a nice spring day.

thanks for sharing

Jack L
  20 Miles on the Assabet and Concord
  Posted by: TommyC1 on Jun-03-14 12:16 PM (EST)
The Concord runs through the next town over. When I saw that Erik was leading a RICKA trip there I figured I'd join him.
So I put in at Rt 225 in Bedford at 7:20 AM and paddled up stream, hoping to reach Powder Mill Road in Acton by the 10:30 launch time.
The current builds gradually. When I reached Damon Mill I had to line, then carry over the damn. I had to line again just below The Acton Canoe launch. It was 11 AM when I got there.
Erik's crew was just launching so we all enjoyed the float back down with the current. Nice folks and a surprising lack of chaos for some 20 self professed flatwater paddlers.
I left them at the Old North Bridge and paddled the last 4.5 miles into a headwind. Grrrr!
But I did sleep well that night.


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