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Marathon Monday paddle - 26.2 miles on the Sudbury and Concord Rivers


Dan Foster

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I'm looking for a small band of adventurers to join on a marathon-length paddle down the Sudbury and Concord rivers on Marathon Monday, April 18th. (Or that weekend, the 16th or 17th, if the weather is better or interest is higher.) The takeout is at Old Elm St in North Billerica, and depending on water level, the launch would be at Little Farms Rd in Framingham, or Pelham Island Rd in Wayland.

Paddling maps of the Sudbury, Concord, and Assabet are available here: http://www.oars3rivers.org/river/recreation

The rivers run northward, so if strong north winds or foul weather are forecast, the paddle will be rescheduled. We will, however, have the tides with us for the entire downstream run. :) Pace will be pleasant, but deliberate, with a focus on enjoying the river rather than training for speed. There are numerous stopping points along the way, including the Old North Bridge in Concord and the Great Meadows wildlife refuge.

Post here and PM me if interested.

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Light winds and warm temps made for an ideal paddling day on Monday. I launched from Little Farms Road in Framingham at 8:45, and rode the quickwater underneath the "hotdog bridge" carrying the aqueduct over the river.

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Wood ducks erupted into flight around every corner, and two deer watched from the bank as I paddled by.

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The first two miles had a wild feel to them, with lots of wildlife, and some fallen trees to paddle around. After that, things opened up a bit, and the scenery alternated between long stretches of protected riverbanks punctuated every half hour by a road and some houses.

I stopped for lunch at Egg Rock in Concord, where the Sudbury and Assabet come together to form the Concord River. Lots of people were out enjoying the weather and picnicking after the battle reenactments at the Old North Bridge.

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Passing the Concord impoundment of Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, the river turns due north and widens. This stretch of river can be a soul-crusher on a hot day, paddling into an afternoon headwind. But the forecast held, and I ticked off the miles and the bridges and looked forward to more interesting water in Billerica. There, the river narrows again, and in the final mile passes through a rock-strewn gap with some pretty little tree-lined islands in mid-stream. Here I met another paddler and we zoomed through the quickwater together to arrive at the takeout at Talbot Mills in North Billerica at 4:30PM. Total distance traveled: 26.9 miles.

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