is a class I and class II whitewater trip. Novice level Whitewater is not
Novice level flatwater. Good boat handling skills a must. Helmets
required to prevent serious injury. This is a RSVP trip. Click here for
more information on the
River or the
Charlemont Rain Gauge.
Here is a report
that will update paddlers every few minutes on the Fife Brook Dam
Leader Jim McGrath
Flatwater, quickwater, Class I & II
This year we’ll paddle a shorter
trip than last year. The shorter trip will provide more class I rapids, and
less of class II. We’ll cover about 8 miles, in about 3 hours. Sweeps and
safety boaters needed.
Newbie’s are welcome
to join in! Have some fun, work on
new skills. Proper equipment a must. Spray skirts highly recommended.
Helmets required to prevent serious injury.
Meet time: TBD Meet place:
Shunpike Rest Area, on the left side traveling west on Rt 2.
Co-Leaders please sign
up in advance.
description of river trip-
Paddlers looking for milder whitewater run on the Deerfield river!
The 8 mile run holds both class I and II rapids. It takes about 3 hours and
starts at Shunpike rest area. The best route is down the middle of the
river. There are 2 sections of rapids between the Rt. 8 Bridge and the
take-out. But, for the most part, the river is fast-flowing and
The Fife Brook Dam
release is generally about 3 hours. You can call the Fife Brook Dam voice
recording the morning of the paddle to get the exact release time that day.
It takes 2.5 hours for the water to reach the lower section where we will be
paddling. So, meet time is 1pm that day, unless the release time changes
slightly. We'll know that morning, and need to flexible to the power
company's timed release that day. The Dam release # is 1-800-452-1737, the
Dam code is 255123. This recording will tell you the exact time of release
Take the Mass Pike West, to Rt 91 north to Exit 26, RT 2 west for about 17
miles to the Indian bridge. "Put-in" in Charlemont, Ma at the
Shunpike rest area.
On the left traveling west. There is ample parking there. The rest area is
just before the Indian bridge on Rt. 2. If you reach the Indian bridge
(passing over the Deerfield river), there is a sign on the right side "Rowe/
Monroe". You've gone too far! It’s about 1/2 mile before the bridge. There
is a sign "Shunpike Rest Area". You will see a parking area and picnic tables.
DEERFIELD RIVER: FIFE BROOK SECTION, class
The river begins with some fastwater
followed in a couple of hundred yards by the first class II rapid, Hangover
Helper. The lead-in contains a few moderate-sized surfing waves. On river left
and right, large eddies offer good places to stop and paddle back up into the
rapid to surf the waves. This first drop is an excellent teaching site because
the pool below it makes rescue a breeze and eddy lines and waves are well
defined. A couple of class II rapids follow the abutment. The second, Freight
Train, following the channel left of the island, holds some interesting
surfing waves and a swirly eddyline for squirting at levels around 1000 cfs.
Looking to the right at the base of this rapid, the remains of the mill
building are still visible as stone walls, columns and lintels that have
withstood the weather. After the
railroad bridge follows a section of shoals as the river widens and flattens
out. Choose the deepest channels here since there are several sections where a
boat will easily run aground. As you float through these shoals, you pass
under the Bridge to Nowhere, so named because it crosses from Florida into
Rowe on what used to be a town road leading northeastward into the center of
Rowe. The road is now maintained only as far as the two remaining homes on the
Rowe side of the river, but its former path can be traced by walking up and
over the mountain as it passes a few abandoned farms. About a mile past the
Bridge to Nowhere, the river turns sharply left and enters a
mile-and-a-half-long class II section called Pinball, which is one of the more
interesting rapids on this stretch. With numerous large boulders forming
excellent eddies and a few tight slots, several small surfing waves, and
plenty of places to rest or recover, this rapid is a great play spot for
beginning to intermediate boaters, and makes a perfect instructional area.
rapid in this section ends in a large, deep pool across from a rock
outcropping. The small patch of sand on river left is known as Miami Beach
because of its proximity to Florida, Massachusetts (which happens to be one of
the coldest towns in the state). This is a nice place to stop for lunch or a
breather. A few surfing waves appear in the rapid above the beach at most
Continuing past Miami Beach, stay left
of the large island, since at most levels the right side is too shallow to get
down without scraping. Another class II rapid follows the island around then
back right and ends in a pool with panoramic views straight ahead of Negus
Mountain, named after a colonial British colonel. Past the pool, the river
becomes shoaly again as it prepares for the largest rapid on this section,
Zoar Gap, Class III.
Class II boaters we'll take-out before we get to the Gap, on river right.
Directions to the put-in:
Take the Mass Pike West, to Rt 91 north
to Exit 26, RT 2 west for about 18
miles to the Indian bridge. Once your reach the Indian bridge take the right
just before the bridge onto Zoar Rd. There is a sign there "Rowe/Monroe" also.
Follow Zoar Rd. to the end. Make a left at the end and proceed under the RxR
bridge. Continue on the road you'll
reach the bridge that passes over the Zoar Gap. Continue
on the road for 5 miles. On the right you'll see a white sign and dirt parking
area down a slight incline. The white sign reads "Fishing Access Area". Mostly
likely there will be several cars and boats there just before the dam starts
Directions to the
take-out: Just below Zoar Gap. Take the Mass Pike West, to Rt 91 north to Exit 26, RT 2
west for about 17 miles to the Indian bridge. Just before the Indian
bridge on Rt.2, there is a sign on the right side "Rowe/ Monroe".
Take that right, follow the river till You come to a "T" in the road. Go
left and under the bridge. Travel pass Zoar Picnic Area and the dirt
parking lot on the right before the next bridge, is where we'll meet.
|Any paddle sport is an assumed risk sport.
Some aspects of canoeing and kayaking involve the risk of serious injury or
death. The Rhode Island Canoe/Kayak Association (Rhode Island Canoe Association, Inc.),
although safety conscious, cannot guarantee your personal safety in club
activities. Each participant is responsible for his or her own training in
boating and rescue techniques, equipment, and personal well-being when engaging
in or attending club-organized activities.