Lotsa folks on the Northeast Paddlers' Massage Board enjoy this spot when spring rains bring it up. It's a mile or two upstream of the Holyoke Dam in Holyoke, along Route 5.
Don Williams gives the beta: Look for a small parking area off of Rte. 5 with a kiosk and sign saying "Dinosaur Footprints Reservation." (Editor's note: that would explain the name.) It is 2.1 miles North of the intersection of Rt. 141 and Rte. 5 in Holyoke (exit 17 off of I91) or 5.1 miles South of the Rte. 5 exit in Northampton (exit 18). The playspot is only there when the Connecticut is at or near peak during the spring snowmelt season. Last spring we even had a couple of people show up with surfboards and do quite well.Lat/longitude coords courtesy of Angela Baldo.
See more photos in the NPMB Photo Gallery.
At high flows, expect a sweet wave here.
Below the Holyoke dam, a series of bedrock ledges and large rock/block debris create interesting looking opportunities at what may be a wider variety of flows (compared to when Wave-o-Saurus is 'in').
5 years ago
by David Su
Chris Towles says that the wave begins its playful range at 35,000, butt at 50,000 it starts to rock. At 90,000 the wave becomes awesome.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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the two minute wave
surfing long time on wave o saurus
10 Oct 05
10 Oct 05 @ 25 ft
A Little Speed
Sun after the Rain
Surfing the Wave-O-Saurus 2
look Ma: no hands...
what not to do
Holyoke Dam and old mill
Another view of the rapids below Holyoke Dam
Big Hole below Holyoke Dam
Holyoke below the dam - high water
Holyoke Dam - 89700 cfs 30ft.
Connecticut River below dam...main chanel below fish ladder - Holyoke
Connecticut River below dam...block and shelf - Holyoke
Holyoke Dam - high water
high water over Holyoke Dam
Holyoke below the dam
Connecticut River below dam to 202 bridge - Holyoke
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
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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