The Monatiquot river takes a 5 mile course through the city of Braintree as it makes it way to the ocean at Weymouth Landing. The river has 3 distinct rapids located at the Put-in, Mckusker Drive, and Shaw Street separated by lots of flatwater and narrow class I-II. Where the river flows out of Hollingsworth Pond near the Braintree RMV is where the first real rapid is. There is an old mill that obstructs driving directly to the put-in, so access is a bit tricky, however there are plans being made to removal the mill which may improve things in the future. Park behind Shaw’s or The Chateau and hike up over the railroad tracks up river right to put-in above the first rapid. This rapid is the best feature of the run and would warrant park and huck laps given the amount of flatwater after it. It is a fairly straightforward 100 yards of class III with 2 options left or right with 3-4 foot drops at the end. This rapid requires the most water compared to other features on the run and you should look for >200 cfs to run it, however could be scraped down as low as 170 or so. From here you’ll go under the railroad through an old stone bridge where the river flows behind Shaw’s through a narrow wooded area consisting of fast moving class I-II, however be on the lookout for river wide trees and over hanging brush given the constricted nature of the run and fast moving current.
Once the river goes under John Mahar Highway it is meandering flatwater that takes you through marshlands under route 3 and runs adjacent to route 3 on the east side for a while. As you approach the River Street Bridge current picks up and is back to class I-II boogie water. You’ll pass under a railroad bridge and the Middle Street overpass, however the first Adams Street Bridge directly after Middle Street is too low to clear so plan to portage. The other dozen or so bridges you pass under all have plenty of room with normal runnable flows. Moving downstream is more flatwater and intermittent class I-II until you get to the Mckusker Drive rapid at the entrance for Braintree Village apartments. This rapid has a nice river-wide ledge drop to start with fast moving constricted class II that follows taking you under the bridge. More boogie water takes you to the last rapid after you pass by the gauge at Commercial Street. The Shaw Street rapid is probably only there with low tide as high tide more than likely causes it to be washed out. It is a straightforward class II rapid with a small surf wave at the end. The takeout is at the boat launch off of Commercial Street on river right.
This is far from a world class run, but if you live in Southeastern MA and are looking for a close after work river it’s worth checking out. The river could benefit from some wood removal as there are currently (4/2017) several portages through thick brush and some overhanging limbs that require ducking and face protection.
likely washed out with high tide
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Whitewater boaters from Maine to Pennsylvania gather each June in Charlemont, MA to celebrate whitewater boating and American Whitewater's river advocacy to protect, restore, and enjoy our northeast rivers. While we can't gather in-person this year, we'll be having a virtual Deerfield Fest Membership Event this Friday, June 26th at 7 pm (EST) . We'll be giving away some fun AW merchandise and other prizes for those who JOIN or RENEW their AW Membership and join us on Friday, so REGISTER for the virtual Deerfield River Membership Event today and join us for this fun event in support of AW. (Photo by Alan MacRae)
In response to requests by American Whitewater, several affiliates, and other stakeholders, FERC directed Brookfield Renewable to study the impact of its hydropower operations on whitewater boating on the Deerfield River in western Massachusetts. Boating groups and our supporters are seeking to determine optimal whitewater boating flows from the Fife Brook Dam and whether changes in hydropower operations would enhance boating opportunities, access and navigation.
American Whitewater, along with other paddling groups and outfitters, filed comments with FERC responding to the Whitewater Boating Evaluation at Turners Falls on the Connecticut River. The study showed that there is strong demand for boating on this section of the Connecticut River if sufficient flows, scheduled releases, better access, and real-time information are provided. The groups filed the comments in order to provide additional information for the environmental review and to respond to the unsupported statements by FirstLight, the utility performing the study, claiming that there is little demand for boating at Turners Falls.
A hardy group of northeast boaters climbed into the natural river channel below a hydropower dam to participate in a flow study designed to assess whether whitewater flows should be restored to this dewatered river reach on the Connecticut River. While significant obstacles remain, this site has the potential for providing instruction, playboating, and a big water feature that that could be run throughout much of the year and provide a much needed boost to the local economy.
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