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Posts Tagged ‘Scantic River’

IMG_8832It’s been awhile since I’ve ventured out in search of something new, so today the Scantic River just hit the mark on this warm September day.  I’ve seen on the Western Mass Meetup several Moonlight paddles over the years but I could never make them. Pictures from the group looked very inviting, my kind of spot.  Even though I’m traveling from Massachusetts it was only about 30 minutes away. Directions were pretty straightforward, take Route 91 south to 190 east to Somersville, CT. In Somersville take a right on Maple St. and the Somersville Pond put-in is right there on School Street.  It’s a nice little park with a picnic table and Gazebo.

IMG_5661As I was new to the area I asked a couple who were also putting in, where the best place to launch was and they said they launched right from the park shore, so I followed. I was advised by an elderly gentleman reading at the picnic table that there was a launch with a dock at the end of the parking lot and I told him I’d check it out on the way back.

The pond, I was sorry to see was fairly thick with that wonderful green growth (OK, slime) that is not so appealing on a hot summer day, I think the duckweed actually ferments.  I made my way across the pond, with some effort due to the growth, to get into the shade of some shoreline trees. I should note here, that I learned on my return trip that had I stuck to the shore that I launched from there would had been significantly less of that local green color that’s great for pictures but terrible to paddle though.  My thoughts also lingered around the fact that springtime would likely be the best time to enjoy the pond. Note to self!!!

IMG_8835Now with the couple I followed in well out of sight, and as it was the first time here, I relied on my GPS to help navigate around the islands and dead ends to get into the river.  Had it not been so hot I may have left the GPS in my pocket. I always enjoy this discovery phase!  I saw a Great Blue Heron take flight and a local man, that just arrived on the far bank, enjoying a morning by the water. After passing a few pleasantries with him I started up river, he told me I was sure to see something interesting on my paddle.

IMG_8852As I rounded the last island and made my way into the river it was as I had hoped.  The water cleared nicely with lush green vegetation along the banks of a slow moving current. With the banks close on either side it was nice to see that someone had trimmed back the fallen trees or lay-downs to allow for easy access. But be aware, caution is needed because if you take it too fast you could flip if you hit an underground branch the wrong way.  I was amused to see a great big deck suspended over the water, what a view they would have from it. The closer I got to the Route 190 bridge the more I enjoyed everything about the river. Once past the traffic noise I began feeling a great serene quality in this river. Even the few fishermen I passed had that look of… “this is my special place and I’m staying all day”  There were a few ducks along the way but they were very skittish and took off before I could get close.

IMG_8847It did look like there was a possible put-in underneath the 190 bridge which might be nice to launch from to be able to focus your trip just on this part of the river. However, it did look like private property nearby.

It was so nice all the way up to where one fisherman pointed out that there was an amusement park on the left, I believe he was referring to Sonny’s Place which has a batting cage, go carts and an arcade.  I couldn’t hear or see anything of it from where sat but I’m sure you could hear it nights and weekends. That fisherman also said that a little further up there were thirteen beaver dams that were not very much fun to get over, he’d done it before.  I didn’t get up that far as I was stopped by a log that I could have gotten over but didn’t try being alone. Better safe than sorry.

 

There’s a real nice small picnic area up in the area past the 190 bridge but sadly there were no trespassing signs posted.  I enjoyed a few songbirds, kingfishers and the great blue heron going up and back but the prize was this Great Egret I ran into back at the Somersville Pond.  I could have watched him for an hour. His patience was incredible but as you can see he was rewarded with a tasty little dragonfly for lunch.

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In all I’d call this river a gem.  One that I’ll return to often.

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