Archive for the ‘Connecticut River – Oxbow’ Category

There are plenty of places to explore on the Oxbow. Easy to get to with a nice boat ramp right off Route 5 between Holyoke and Northampton.  I’m been here probably over a dozen times. You have to get here early on summer weekends and parking gets a little tight. I remember the first few times in the thrill we had exploring the area.  Take a left under the bridge and your out on the Connecticut River.  We have made a trip or two on this section of the Connecticut but that’s for another blog.

Turning left into the Oxbow I can remember one trip being amazed just sitting in my kayak watching a very tall Great Blue Heron standing straight up on a floating log in the marsh area.  Another morning Don and I happened on another heron standing on the edge of the bank in the same area. Getting close to these big birds never looses its thrill for me.  This area just a short way from the launch can take your breath away when you happen there on a foggy morning.  Being on any river in the fog changes everything.  It’s like looking at a completely different picture. It’s a different season all to itself.

Taking a left paddling under the massive Route 91 Bridge you’re conscious that you’re in the shipping lane!  The boats going in and out do slow down to the posted 5 MPH but you still don’t want to be in the way.  Under the bridge there’s plenty of graffiti on the rocks and concrete bridge abutments. It’s not the normal gang graffiti; it’s the proud signoffs touting the past several years of the Northampton Crew teams.  Their launch area is just ahead in the Oxbow.   Boats follow the channel to the left going in following the markers… “Red, Right , Returning” … I’ll have to remember that!  Well I’m in a kayak; I’ll just cut across that marsh as long as I have 6 inches or water.

The best area to explore while you’re in the Oxbow is going into the Manhan River, well that’s for another blog too…  There is a nice little beach area right there where the Manhan empties into the Oxbow. I’ve often thought that I should bring a beach chair to sit and enjoy for an hour or two… One of these days I’ll bring that chair and a good book.  Continuing into the Oxbow it’s fairly open, you’ll need to decide left or right or in the middle…. I prefer the left. I’ve been down all the way to the Oxbow Marina only once.  I much prefer the rivers that empty into it.  The next one is the Mill River; I’ll get to that in another blog as well.  There is a nice little inlet to the left of the Mill’s entrance.  One Sunday morning I really enjoyed sitting in my kayak under a tree watching a couple of hawks, there was a Red-Tail and a Coopers Hawk.  Really something to see!

On many other Sunday morning trips we get to watch the water shows put on by the marina.  Water skiers here do some pretty good acts.  We’ve seen them going over the ski jump! Here is a short little clip with about ten skiers riding together. Sorry that it’s a little choppy but you’ll have to remember I was in my kayak.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GROAt69oasI


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