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Archive for the ‘Chicopee River – Below Red Bridge’ Category

Put-in below the dam

This is another  excellent section of the river.  There is a real nice put in below the dam. There is a little bit of a carry but well worth it. In 2005 we enjoyed a trip all the way from Red Bridge to River Road.  My brother Ray planned this trip as he’s done it previously.

We dropped Ray, Megan and the three kayaks off in the parking lot and then Don and I drove west to drop one of the cars off at the takeout at River Road in Indian Orchard.  Then we rejoined the party below the Red Bridge Dam and we were off…

Putting in below the dam involves a short carry from the parking lot.  At the end of the path at the put-in it’s very picturesque. I just loved taking it in before shoving off.  The water was fairly quick so going down river was easy compared to paddling back up.  I normally like to paddle up river first to have an easier return trip.   Anyway, going down river on our first trip was very enjoyable.  In fact the first trip on any new waterway is always the best.  Wondering what you’re going to see around the next corner and then being surprised by what you find!

Great Blue Heron soaking up the sun!

On this trip floating around a little island, two feet from the bank Megan and I came up close and personal with a Great Blue Heron!  Your looking at him and he at you as you float by!  What a thrill!  You try your best to snap a picture to remember it by without spooking him.  Our next surprise was coming up on a stretch of Route 20.  I’ve driven that stretch of 20 in Wilbraham many times looking longingly at the river wishing I was down there.  Why? Well maybe I longed being on the river because I so enjoyed Huck Finn’s river adventure. So now I’m down on the river looking up at the cars speeding by, thinking how much the drivers might be longing to exactly where I was!  It does get much better than this!

When we got to the Miller St. Dam we looked for the best spot to do the carry around. There was a real nice spot that would have been perfect but,,, private property. So we did honorable thing and did not trespass.  Instead took a carry up a fairly steep bank on the other side.  That was a bit of work but after we shoved off it was time to relax and enjoy again. We were on our way to the next dam at the center of Indian Orchard.

I’ve written already about this stretch to River Road where we had previously kayaked many times. It was a great float back down past the golf course, power lines and the beauty of the trees lining the river.

Beaver Lodge

We’ve put in Below Red Bridge a few times since this trip but not doing carries around the dam.  What really makes the Chicopee River so nice is there is not a civilization you can see.  For the most part it’s water and trees. The Nipmunk Indians called it the River of Birches!  You just imagine them going up and down the river, fishing and hunting. I’m sure the river was their life. Maybe they hunted this ancestor that  built this beaver lodge?

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