This photo needs editing.
Difficulty II(III)
Length 0 Miles
Flow Range 30000 - 120000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 56 minutes ago 9890 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 06/11/2018 5:36 pm

River Description

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.

Rapid Descriptions


Class - II Mile - 0

At high flows, expect a sweet wave here.

Ledges below the dam

Class - II+ Mile - 0

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').


Summary of Gauge Readings

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.

Gauge NameReadingTimeComment
AW Gauge Info
9890 cfs 00h56m n/a

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

Date Flow Result Factor  
2017-06-08 High Near Miss/Rescue Read More




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Deerfield River (MA) Flow Studies to Explore New & Improved Boating Opportunity

2015-12-06 09:54:00-05
Robert Nasdor

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.

article main photo

AW Responds To Connecticut River Boating Study (MA)

2015-11-18 16:18:00-05
Robert Nasdor

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.

article main photo

Bellows Falls (VT) Flow Study Reveals Hidden Whitewater

2015-06-02 15:57:00-04
Robert Nasdor

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. 


Matt Muir


Alex Barham