The Quaboag starts at the Lucy Stone Park as a class II river for almost half of the run then turns into a class III pool drop river with one carry around a dam. This is often referred to as the "Class IV Portage", because it involves descending a steep bank lined with riprap to access the water below the dam.
Putting on at Lucy Stone Park, the first significant drop you come to is Mouse Hole, a short but abrupt III. It is located where Main St intersects with Cross Rd in Warren, and it is recommended to scout it for wood while you are driving by on your shuttle.
The next notable drop is after the portage, upstream of the Gilbert Rd bridge in Warren. This is Broken Dam, which presents itself as a somewhat intimidating river-wide horizon line. Paddling up to the lip, though, you find that it's boat-scoutable and not so bad. Most run just left of center.
As you pass the wastewater treatment plant and the famous outhouse on river right, the next railroad bridge signals the start of Angel's Field, the rowdiest rapid on the river. It's a III+ with a hole at the bottom, into which the boater in the cover photo above is dropping into.
Further downstream you will enter Devil's Gorge, which despite its name is only a III. It does contain a 4-foot-tall river-wide ledge, which can be easily run on extreme river right if you just want to get past it, or you can be more adventurous and experiment with other lines.
Caution: Be on a constant lookout for downed trees. There are a lot of beavers in the area and they're all on steroids. They've been knocking down huge trees that have spanned the entire river. This video, recorded 3/22/2014, is one scary example.
For a complete description refer to the guidebook "Classic Northeastern Whitewater Guide" by Bruce Lessels.
Ran yesterday around 5.7. Highest I've seen it at. River features still very fun. Still no portages required, but combination of low hanging trees that could fall, and some trees we floated over that would be a problem at lower levels will continue to demand very careful attention if you paddle it. As of June 13th, another 1-2 inches of rain is expected later this week.
Ran today at 5.0, plenty of strainers and sweepers to keep you busy, but nothing required portaging. Really fun, all my previous runs were 4.1-4.2 so this was quite an improvement, one wave train in the gorge had ~4' waves. Great day, no swims. Have fun but be careful with all the wood.
Best after paddle food/ice cream: JANINE'S FROSTIE!!! http://www.janinesfrostee.com/ 149 Eat Street, Ware, MA North of the Quabog, on Route 32. Cheap prices, and hits the spot.
8 years ago
Just some info on Quaboag. It keeps going up for about 2 days after any apprecialble amount of rain. Goes up slowly and also comes down slowly. The things got a big and swampy watershed.
Permits are not required for this reach.
Follow route 67 northeast to the town of Warren. Take the first left after crossing the Quaboag River onto North River Road. Lucy Stone Park is on the left just before crossing the next bridge. This is the put-in for the class II section.
For the take-out of the class II section and the put-in for the class III section follow route 67 southwest to a dirt pull-off a little ways before the traffic light in West Warren.
Brett in the Gorge
Jamie at Broken Dam
Dave at the mouse hole
"Sweeper" on Mouse Hole Drop
Quaboag Seal Launch
The Gorilla Line
Randy Sneaks left
Old Broken Dam on Quaboag
Mouse Hole Drop on Quaboag
Mousehole Drop on the Quaboag
Punching the Hole
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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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