With all the rain we had this week, I knew there would be lots of rivers running this weekend. In the end, I joined a group for a run on the Quinapoxet River, or the “Mighty Quin” - a nice class II/III stream located close to home in central MA.
We would be running the 3-mile section of the Quinapoxet River from River Street in Holden to the Wachusett Reservoir in West Boylston. It’s a trip that can be tough to catch, and this would only be my third run on the river. The minimum level for this trip is about 8.5-feet. I had run it before at around 10-feet. On this trip, the level would be just under 11 feet – high and fast.
The river starts off with a two-foot drop at an old broken dam. There is a large standing wave and play hole at the bottom. We all ran the drop, but only Andrew ventured into the play hole to try his luck at surfing – his luck was good.
As we headed downstream, the river twists and turns though a pretty hemlock forest. We enjoyed the class II waves and rock-dodging down to the Springdale Mill. At the Springdale Mill is a class III rapid at another broken dam. The easiest line is to stay left and catch the big eddy just downstream of the dam. I went through last, and just caught the tail-end of the eddy – a close call averted.
Below Springdale are more class II rapids down to the Interstate 190 crossing, where there is an abrupt 3-foot drop. The kayaks ran this drop down the middle, blasting through the large standing wave at the bottom. I found a drier line on the right, which avoids the big wave. It’s a short run, so we were done in about an hour. I opted out of a second run, but I shuttled the crew back to the put-before heading home.
Few pictures here:
River Description from American Whitewater