Quinapoxet - Canada Mills to Wachusett Reservoir

Quinapoxet, Massachusetts, US


Canada Mills to Wachusett Reservoir (The Mighty Quinn)

Usual Difficulty II-III (for normal flows)
Length 2.75 Miles
Avg. Gradient 38 fpm
Max Gradient 100 fpm

Springdale Mill Rapid

Springdale Mill Rapid
Photo by Skip Morris

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01095375 8.10 - 10.50 ft II-III 01h07m 8.89 ft (running)

River Description

The Quinapoxet is a delightful II/III stream located in Central Massachusetts approximately seven miles north of Worcester, getting its start in the hills northwest of Worcester and draining into Wachusett Reservoir.

The run is class II for the most part except for an longish class III stretch past the remains of the 19th century Springdale Mill; plus an abrupt three foot drop just downstream of the I-190 crossing.

The Wachusett Greenways Section of the Mass Central Rail Trail runs along the river for the majority of the run.

Put-on a few feet downstream of the gage. There is a wonderful surfing wave located at the put-in. From then on it is a combination of quickwater to class II down to the mill. After that the pace picks up a bit for the second half of the run.


Technical info

Put in elevation........553'
Take out elevation......447'
Total drop..............96'
Average drop/mile.......38.5'
Distance................2.75 miles
River width average.....20' ???
River geology...........???
River water quality.....Good, clarity neutral to good.
Scenery.................Woods, some old mill and dam ruins being
                        covered up and overgrown.


Nearest Gas.............Intersection of Routes 31 and 122A in Holden.
Convenience Store.......Route 31 by the Manning Street Intersection
                        north of Holden.
Nearest Restrooms.......None near by.

Regional Weather

Go here for a NOAA weather forecast.

Local Map - Quinapoxet River and surrounding area of Holden and West Boylston

Map of Holden, West Boylston, and area surrounding the river.  
Map courtesy of Mapquest  


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2010-09-27 23:58:44


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Put-InPutin Photo
0.0Play Wave at Put-InII+Putin Playspot Photo
0.5First Rail-trail CrossingAccess Photo
1.2StrainersPortage Hazard Photo
1.5Second Rail-trail CrossingAccess Photo
1.7Play Wave at MillII+Playspot Photo
1.8Springdale Mill RapidIIIPhoto
2.8Take-OutTakeout Photo
3.3Flatwater Take-outAccess Photo

Rapid Descriptions


Photographer at the Gage

Photographer at the Gage
Photo of Tom Todd by Skip Morris taken 04/30/07

The USGS Gage is a few feet upstream from the put-in.


Put In

Put In
Photo of Put In by Skip Morris taken 04/30/07

Put-on by a small parking area for the rail trail about 200 feet upstream of the River Street Bridge.

Play Wave at Put-In (Class II+, Mile 0.0)

Play wave at put-in.

Play wave at put-in.
Photo of Skip Morris by Tom Todd taken 05/20/07 @ 9.4

A wonderful play wave is found at the put-in.

First Rail-trail Crossing

First Rail Trail Crossing

First Rail Trail Crossing
Photo of First Rail Trail Crossing by Skip Morris taken 04/30/07

The rail trail crosses the river several times.


Strainer Warning

Strainer Warning
Photo of Strainer Warning by Skip Morris taken 04/30/07

Dangerous strainers on narrow streams in the woods such are a constant hazard. This one is between the two rail-trail crossings.

Second Rail-trail Crossing

Second Rail-Trail Crossing

Second Rail-Trail Crossing
Photo by Skip Morris taken 04/30/07

The rail trail crosses the river again. Take out here and walk downstream to scout the rapid at the ramains of a 19th century mill.

Play Wave at Mill (Class II+, Mile 1.7)

Play Wave at the Mill

Play Wave at the Mill
Photo of Play Wave at the Mill by Skip Morris taken 04/30/07

Just at the beginning of the Springdale Mill Rapid is a nice play wave at the bottom of a small island that splits the river in two.

Springdale Mill Rapid (Class III, Mile 1.8)

Boaters on Springdale Mill

Boaters on Springdale Mill
Photo of Boaters on Sprindale Mill Rapid by Skip Morris taken 04/30/07

This is a longish rapid with several pushy drops. It can be scouted from the remains of the mill. (Note: The mileage is approximate.)

Elevator (Class III, Mile 2.2)

Elevator Action

Elevator Action
Photo of Boaters riding the Elevator by Skip Morris taken 04/30/07

Just below the I-190 crossing is an abrupt three foot drop.



Photo of Take-Out by Skip Morris taken 04/30/07

Park along the road at one of several turn-offs where the river runs along the road.

Flatwater Take-out

Flatwater Take-out

Flatwater Take-out
Photo of Flatwater Take-out by Skip Morris taken 04/30/07

The flatwater take-out is one-half mile downstream from the whitewater take-out. Note that the reservoir is posted against watercraft since it is a public water supply.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
June 4 2012 (2360 days ago)
cozteplitz (154546)
My wife and I ran it on 6/3/2012 at about 8.4 on the gage. Although AW says it's runnable down to
8.1, I'm not sure I'd do it again at this level - it was pretty bumpy. Lots of strainers and
low-hanging trees - although only one that required a portage, if the water were pushier things
could have gotten scary.

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