The river is class III boogie water all the way from the put-in to the sixth railroad bridge. After the bridge there’s a short calm stretch where you can gather up the troops. Right after the next left turn is a short class IV rapid which is best run on the far left. After the rapid there’s a short calm stretch then a second class IV rapid ending at the next railroad bridge. Run this one on the far left also. After the class IV rapids there is a pool where you should take out on the left and walk down to the next drop to scout. Here there is a vertical drop into a hole which is best run on the right edge. At the bottom of the drop Coles Brook enters from the left. Hazard: After Hurricane Irene in 2011 there is the root end of a large tree extending out from the left shore two feet over the lip of the drop. It is possible to paddle around the end of the tree but you had better be sure that you can make the move or you will be in a world of hurt. After Coles Brook it’s all boogie water again until the Bancroft Road Bridge which is the end of the upper section and the start of the lower section. The lower section is easy paddling until Factory Book enters from the left. Below here the river splits. The left channel is usually blocked near the bottom so the right channel is the way to go. This is a short powerful class IV rapid with holes on the right. The rapid changed after Hurricane Irene so the best line now is down the center left. This short section ends with a steep chute in the center then is immediately followed by a class III-IV rapid. The next rapid is a long, complex class III-IV rapid ending at the next railroad bridge. After the bridge the river is mostly class II-III until you get to a river wide ledge called Double Drop. You can’t see the ledge until you’re committed to the rapid so the best way to know where you are is to observe where the river turns. The ledge is located where the river turns left-right for the second time. Enter the rapid on the extreme left and eddy out in a long eddy on river left just above the ledge. Coming out of the eddy punch through a small hole and run the ledge on the far left. From here to the take-out the river is mostly class II. The take-out is located on river left just below the Middlefield Road Bridge.
Westfield River (Huntington) U.S.G.S. gage
7 years ago
by Jim Michaud
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Permits are not required for this reach.
The usual meeting site is at a dirt parking lot on Route 20 in the center of Chester near the confluance of Walker Brook and the W. Br. Westfield.
Take-out:To get to the take-out go north on Route 20 about .2 mile and take a right on Middlefield Road. When you pass over the W. Br. Westfield take a right on Johnsonville Road. Park near where the road turns left.
Put-in:Go back to Route 20 and go right to Route 8. Go right about 6.4 miles on Route 8 until you reach the town of Becket. When Route 8 turns hard left go straight onto a dead end street near a school. The put-in is at the end of the dead end street. The W. Br. Westfield starts here at the junction of Yokum Brook and Depot Brook.
West Branch of Westfield
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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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