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.
Put in elevation........553'
Take out elevation......447'
River width average.....20' ???
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.
Go here for a NOAA weather forecast.
Local Map - Quinapoxet River and surrounding area of Holden and West Boylston
A wonderful play wave is found at the put-in.
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.
10 years ago
Quinapoxet Gage is located about 25 feet upstream of the put-in.
Permits are not required for this reach.
Take Route 2 (from north) or the Mass Pike/I-290 (from south) to Interstate 190 exit 5 north of Worcester (Route 140 exit). Take Route 140 south approximately 1 mile. Continue straight onto Thomas Street when Route 140 turns left. Approximately 1/3 mile down Thomas Street turn right on River Road. There is a flatwater take-out on the right near the intersection of Thomas and River; the whitewater take-out is one-half mile up where the river runs next to the road.
Take Interstate 495 to Interstate 290 in the Hudson/Marlborough area. Follow I-290 west to Exit 23B in Boylston (Route 140). Take Route 140 north 4.8 miles to the Routes 140/12 Intersection (Route 140 turns right here). Continue straight onto Central Street (ie, get off Route 140). Follow Central Street, which becomes Crescent Street (after crossing Goodale Street), for 0.85 miles. Then continue straight onto Thomas Street when Crescent Street bears left. Turn left 0.9 miles up Thomas Street onto River Road. There is a flatwater take-out on the right near the intersection of Thomas and River; the whitewater take-out is one-half mile up where the river runs next to the road.
From the take out, follow River Road along the river which becomes River Street after passing under Interstate 190. River Street turns right about 1.5 miles from the put-in where it meets Harris Street. The Put-in is about 200 feet beyond this intersection just past the River Street Bridge and a few feet below the gage. There is a small roadside parking area for the rail-trail and for river access.
Play wave at put-in.
Quinapoxet River and Surrounding Area
Map of Holden and West Boylston Area
Boaters on Springdale Mill
Springdale Mill Rapid
Play Wave at the Mill
Second Rail-Trail Crossing
First Rail Trail Crossing
Photographer at the Gage
Play Wave at the Put In
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.
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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