2017 BRATTLEBORO OUTING CLUB (BOC)
SUMMER PADDLING SCHEDULE
The Pillsbury State Park trip is postponed until October 15. See below.
SATURDAY, April 29th – CT River Setbacks, Hinsdale, NH. (Lake Wantastiquet). Meet at 10:30 a.m. in the Hinsdale, NH, Wal-Mart parking lot (Rte 119). We will drive a few miles east to the put-in, for a peaceful paddle and picnic lunch, off the main river, in the marshes. This often overlooked wildlife area is home to spring birds, big fish and white swans. Be sure to bring something warm to drink, and waterproof to sit on. We were snowed-out of this trip in May, 2002, but it’s usually warm and beautiful. The water will still be COLD. (See BRING)
SUNDAY, May 14th – Herrick’s Cove, CT River, Rockingham, VT. Herrick’s Cove offers a pleasant day of paddling through extraordinary marshes and coves, favorite areas for bird watchers, especially during spring and fall migrations. Expected sightings include muskrat, beaver, kingfisher, osprey, bald eagle, and songbirds filling the alder, dogwood and willow trees. We meet at 10 a.m. in the Hannaford’s parking lot on Putney Rd, in Brattleboro, to car/boat pool. Paddlers coming from the north are welcome to meet us at the Herrick’s Cove boat ramp/picnic area (off Rte 5, near Exit 6, I-91) at 11 a.m. The river water will still be cool; dress accordingly. Bring something warm to drink. (See BRING)
RESCHEDULED due to weather. New date is Sunday, September 10th- ‘Grandparents Day’. Meeting times are the same as before; 10 a.m. in Brattleboro; 11 a.m. at Herrick’s Cove.”
WEDNESDAY, May 17th – Gale Meadows Pond, Winhall, VT. Gale Meadows Pond is a 195-acre gem, just north of Bondville, off Rte 30. An ideal spot for an early season paddle, picnic and swim, it offers seclusion, easy access birding and quiet water paddling. The pond and surrounding land are protected from development, and managed by VT Dept of Fish & Wildlife. A great blue heron rookery existed here for many years, but was almost completely destroyed by storms about 15 years ago. It is slowly rebuilding. Bald eagles have been sighted here, as well as loons and other waterfowl. We’ll meet in Jamaica, on Rte 30, at the Jamaica Country Store at 9 a.m. (See BRING)
WEDNESDAY, May 24th – Grafton Pond, Grafton, NH. Grafton Pond is one of the finest quiet water paddling destinations in NH. This will be our sixth trip to this quiet, well-protected, remote, large pond. There are plenty of islands, coves and marches to explore. Almost the entire 235-acre pond is protected by the Society for the Protection of NH Forests. Since this will be a bit of a trek, we’ll meet at 8:30 a.m., in Hannaford’s parking lot, on Putney Rd, to car & boot pool. Paddlers coming from the north are welcome to join our convoy, as we drive north on I-91, or meet us at the put-in, off Grafton Pond Rd, at the dam. (From Enfield Center, NH, take Rt4A South for 2.2 miles and turn left onto Blue Jay Rd…may now be marked as “Grafton Pond Rd”. After 0.9 miles, bear right at the fork, (Grafton Pond Rd) and go another 0.9 miles. Turn right and you’ll see the dam, in 0.2 miles. NH is not as liberal as VT, so bring swim attire. (See BRING)
WEDNESDAY, June 7th – Tully Lake & Long Pond, Royalston, MA. These two beautiful bodies of water are connected by a mile and a half long section of the Tully River. The entire area is surrounded by a protected greenway, with hiking and mountain bike trails, waterfalls and small lakes. The Tully Lake campground will be open and available, in the event paddlers would like to take advantage of this option. Contact: www.tullylakecampground.org. We’ll meet in the Wal-Mart parking lot, on Rte 119, in Hinsdale, NH at 9 a.m. If you’re camping, or coming from the south, please call Dennis at (413) 824-6613 to coordinate a link-up. For weather related questions, also call Dennis. (See BRING)
SATURDAY, June 17th – Sunrise/Early Bird Paddle & Picnic Breakfast, Harriman Reservoir, Wilmington, VT. This is our signature ‘paddle and nosh’ trip. Come early to enjoy sunrise, on an early summer morning, before the motorboat crowd wakes up. We’ll lay out a light potluck breakfast in the soft early rays of summer, on a secluded beach or island. Bring light breakfast snacks to share; OJ and ‘glasses’ will be provided. Also bring a beach towel, for that early morning dip; bound to wake you up. A warm drink may also be in order. We’ll meet at 5 a.m. at the Royal Diner, West Brattleboro; or 5:30 at the Coffee House, in Wilmington, VT (Jct Rtes 9 West & 100 South). We’ll be off the water in time to make the Brattleboro Farmer’s Market for lunch; although paddlers are encouraged to stay on the lake as long as they want. For any questions, including weather, contact Dennis at (413) 824-6613. (See BRING)
SUNDAY, July 16th –Somerset Reservoir, Somerset, VT. This is the Summer version of our annual Fall paddle trip to the state’s most beautiful place to paddle. Designated as one of only three ‘Great’ reservoirs, Somerset offers a perfect paddling paradise (say that quickly 4 times): secluded, quiet, no development, no high speed powerboats, plenty of places to picnic, swim and sun; also loons, bald eagles, moose and surprises. Good place, and time to take advantage of Vermont’s openness toward skinny-dipping & ‘chunky-dunking’. We’ll meet at the Coffee Shop in Wilmington, VT (Jct Rtes 9 West & 100 South) at 9 a.m. (See BRING)
FYI…SUNDAY, July 23rd– New England Canoe and Kayak Racing Assn (NECKRA) ‘Brattle Paddle’, Canoe & Kayak Race on the CT & West Rivers, in Brattleboro. Start & finish at the Marina Restaurant. Benefit for the West River Trail. For more information go to: www.neckra.org or email Sandy at: firstname.lastname@example.org…or phone (603) 363-4868. This is NOT a BOC event.
FRIDAY, SATURDAY & SUNDAY, August 25–27, Upper CT River paddle & camp trip; 23 miles of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Broomfield to Guildhall, VT. Day One will be the drive up to Broomfield, set up camp and spot cars at the take-out in Guildhall; also day paddling &/or hiking, if time permits. Day Two is entirely on the river; paddling, swimming, picnicking, frolicking, etc. Plenty of sandbars along the way. Highlights include Brunswick Springs (on the VT side), which the Abenaki used for their purported healing powers, and a long stretch of river designated as the only “Natural Section” of the entire CT River, where NO MOTORIZED CRAFT ARE ALLOWED. Islands and beaches will provide ample opportunities to picnic and swim. We will camp at a designated site along the river, on the VT side. Day Three will eventually bring us to the take-out in Guildhall, where we will retrieve the cars left in Broomfield, load up and drive home. This is a ‘flat-water’ trip; paddling with the flow. An extensive ‘BRING’ list will be provided to paddlers signed up, and paid. Time and location for meeting on Day One, will also be sent. We will car pool as much as possible, before leaving Brattleboro. Each paddling ‘unit’, whether one person, or more, must be self-sufficient in all areas: transportation, food, tenting, boating, etc., unless prior coordination has taken place. To sign up for this trip contact Larry at Lmacyak@gmail.com by August 15th. A $10 per person, non-refundable deposit will be required, check made out to: BOC, sent to: BOC Paddle Trip, PO Box 6294, Brattleboro, VT 05302. A maximum of 10 boats will be allowed; priority to BOC members. A wait-list will be maintained. Membership information is available on the BOC website. Paddlers still on the wait-list on August 25th, will have their checks returned.
WEDNESDAY, September 6th – Thimble Islands, Long Island Sound, Stony Creek, CT.
CANCELLED due to forecasted all-day thunderstorms. Trip will be rescheduled for next year.
We last visited the pink granite Thimble Islands in the early 1990’s. Back then, all the islands were in private holdings, and there were no public landings sites available, except at low tide, on exposed sandbars or rock outcroppings. Since then, Outer Island has become a well known, National Wildlife Refuge, open to educational groups, as well as the general public. We will meet in the Price Chopper parking lot at 7:30 a.m. to car & boat pool, before driving south on I-91, to the Stony Creek, CT launch site. Parking is a huge issue on weekend, thus a Wednesday trip, and an effort to take as few cars as possible. We will paddle in and around the beautiful granite islands (which bare a remarkable resemblance to islands along the Maine coast), arriving at Outer Island for a picnic lunch (BYO) and a walk around the refuge. There are restroom facilities on the island. At this time of year, the flyway may be active, with all sorts of winged traffic headed south. This is NOT a trip for small, slow, open kayaks. Weather and sea conditions may require that we dawn foul weather gear and cockpit covers. Canoe paddlers must be proficient in ocean paddling, and are encouraged to have a spray deck and throw bag. Paddlers with ‘shorty’ wetsuits would do well to bring them. We will have on-the-water training in self and assisted kayak and canoe rescues before heading out into the archipelago. Paddlers coming from the south may meet us at the launch site around 10 a.m. (See BRING)
SUNDAY, September 10 – Herrick’s Cove, CT River, Rockingham, VT. (Rescheduled from May 14) Herrick’s Cove offers a pleasant day of paddling through extraordinary marshes and coves, favorite areas for bird watchers, especially during spring and fall migrations. Expected sightings include muskrat, beaver, kingfisher, osprey, bald eagle, and songbirds filling the alder, dogwood and willow trees. We meet at 10 a.m. in the Hannaford’s parking lot on Putney Rd, in Brattleboro, to car/boat pool. Paddlers coming from the north are welcome to meet us at the Herrick’s Cove boat ramp/picnic area (off Rte 5, near Exit 6, I-91) at 11 a.m. The river water will still be cool; dress accordingly. Bring something warm to drink. (See BRING)
WEDNESDAY, September 20th – Spoonwood Pond & Nubanusit Lake, Hancock & Nelson, NH. Spoonwood Pond is about as good as it gets; quiet, secluded, inaccessible by car and off-limits to motorboats. With cool, clear water, and granite slab shoreline, it’s a great place to swim, paddle, picnic and camp. The Harris Center (King’s Highway, Hancock, NH 03449 (603) 525-3394) controls the wilderness lands and campsites, in case anyone wants to connect a camping trip to this day paddle trip. We access Spoonwood Pond by launching into Nubanusit Lake, paddling northwest a short distance to a short, easy carry, up to the pond. Motorboat traffic on the lake can be heavy, even during the week, so we’ll spend very little time on the lake itself. Bald Eagle sightings are common on this trip. We’ll meet at 9 a.m., in the Hannaford’s parking lot, on Putney Rd. Parking is extremely limited at the launch site, so we’ll car & boat pool as much as possible. Paddlers coming from NH are welcome to meet us at the boat ramp around 10 a.m. (See BRING)
FYI…FRIDAY and SATURDAY, September 22nd and 23rd – Connecticut River. 21st Annual CT River Source-to-Sea Clean up. Contact the CT River Conservancy for more information: (413) 772-2020, or www.ctriver.org. This is NOT a BOC event.
SATURDAY, September 23rd, The Ponds of Pillsbury State Park, Washington, NH. — postponed until October 15.
SUNDAY, October 1st – Somerset Reservoir, Somerset, VT. Come for an all-day, fall foliage paddle trip on a wonderful out-of-the-way, protected ‘Great’ reservoir, at a special time of the year. We almost always see loons, bald eagles and migrating waterfowl; and feel the crisp late season air. Four years ago, a pair of moose put on quite a show, and five years ago it was so warm and beautiful, nobody wanted to end the trip till dark. This could be the last swim of the season. Bring snacks, lunch and something warm to drink; it’ll be a beach picnic. We’ll meet at 9 a.m., at the Coffee House in Wilmington, VT (Jct of Rtes 9West and 100South), or the ‘Car-Top’ launch site at Somerset, (very end of he road) around 9:30 a.m. Do not block the trailer ramp with car-top boats. (See BRING)
SUNDAY, October 15, The Ponds of Pillsbury State Park, Washington, NH. These four ponds form the headwaters of the Ashuelot River. We will paddle the three largest: May, Mill and North. If you have a choice of boats, bring the lightest; we will portage between the ponds. Wheels will also work on the portage trails. Working together, we can do the two carries quickly and easily. May Pond is the largest and deepest, and supports a dozen or so campsites, loons and other waterfowl. North Pond will give us the feeling of northern Canadian wilderness, with birds galore, no road noise and an interesting plant species: the insect-eating, Northern Pitcher plant. Look for this reddish plant on the low islands, moss hummocks and shoreline covered with cranberry bushes. DO NOT attempt to remove the plants. Brattleboro area paddlers meet in the Hannaford’s parking lot, on Putney Rd, at 8:30 a.m. NH paddlers can meet us in the State Park (NH Rte 31) in the boat launch area into May Pond, around 10 a.m. (See BRING)