Millers, Massachusetts, US
|Usual Difficulty||III (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||32 fpm|
|Max Gradient||60 fpm|
|MILLERS R BL BIRCH HILL DAM AT SOUTH ROYALSTON, MA|
|usgs-01163500||500 - 3500 cfs||III||46d12h19m||30.4 cfs (too low)|
Thanks to Will Kranz for the following description.
The river is rated 2-3. My personal description is that it is a moderate sized river with strong current and significant standing waves. There are no places on this run that require technical maneuvering or precise boat control. If you can ferry back and forth across a river with 2-3 foot sanding waves in some locations you should be fine. The biggest risk is that the road is NOT close to the river for most of the run. Once you start you must go the distance (aprox 7 miles).
Thanks to Julie Smith for the following description.
The restaurant people frown upon paddlers occupying their lot (at the put in). Some people put in just above the unused bridge to enjoy the wave train to the gauge, where the usual put in is. The beginning is the most difficult part of the run. There are several busy class 3 drops. The standing waves under the first railroad bridge are big and hearty at release levels. This is a great place to spend some time practicing surfing, ferrying and peeling out. The stretch of flatwater below the busy drops has its usual windy character. Just below the second railroad bridge there are two consecutive big wave drops next to the railroad on river left. Following that is easier stuff and one more technical drop. After that it is easy class 2 stuff to the takeout. The carry to the cars is a walk up and down hills through a sandpit and the woods. Be carefull when parking at the takeout as it is a thickly settled narrow street.
There is a restaurant in the General Store at the put-in; it's a great place to meet up early and have breakfast.
The put in is located in South Royalston, MA
From route 2, take the route 202 North exit. It is the last exit before the divided highway ends.
Stay on route 202 North until you reach route 68. There will be a sign on the left that says BIRCH HILL DAM 4 MILES. Go that way.
Once you cross the river, go left with the road and immediately park on the left between an unused bridge and a restaurant.
People from western NH can take 202 from the north side.
At the putin there also appears to be a parking area on river left above the Rt 68 bridge which could be used if you wanted to run the broken dam which is just upstream of the putin below the restaraunt.
There is a take-out half-way down the run, a short distance below Mile Long Rapid. It's hidden in the woods with a public access parking lot and path to the river; behind and next to a red house along river right. To reach it from the put-in and the center-of-town; follow Route 68 north for about 1/4 mile; bear left onto Prospect Street; go about 1/10th mile, turn left onto Gulf Road. Follow Gulf Road for 1-3/4 miles (it turns to dirt about half-way); then left onto Bearsden Road and into the parking lot. (Note: Very few of these roads are marked.)
Take Chestnut Hill rd all the way north to 68, then back south on 68. Chestnut hill meets 68 at
an acute angle in a little village with a typical new england church and common area. The
alternate approach which might be worth mentioning is to go South from putin on 68 to 202 south
to 2A west to 32 north in Athol. Almost as soon as you get on 32 you cross the river and keep
bearing right. First onto Chestnut hill rd. and then almost immediately onto Cresent which is a
dead end side road. Go up to the end of Cresent were an iron gate blocks auto access to a park
area. A dirt road/path leads to the river and takeout.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|