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Chicopee River Reach 2

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Last Updated: 7/2017
STATISTICS

Skill Level:            Class 1
Estimated Time: 
   1 hours
Distance:
              2.6 miles
USGS Map:
 Ludlow, MA (7.5’x15’)


Red Bridge Pool Boat Launch
Position: 42-10.63 N 72-24.46 W
Boat Launch:
A steep, paved launch ramp suitable for trailers and including a parking area for approximately 10 cars is provided.   Car top boats are easiest launch by placing your boat off to the dam side of the launch where the bottom gets deep gradually.
Nearest Launch Address:
2 Red Bridge Road, Wilbraham, MA 01095

Put-In/Take-Out Directions: 4.3 miles, 9 min.
From US Route 90 (Mass. Turnpike) take Exit 7:
  1. After the tollbooths, turn right on Route 21 North
  2. At mile 0.5, turn right at stoplight onto Chapin Street.
  3. At mile 1.6, turn left on East Street.
  4. At mile 4.1, the road becomes Red Bridge Road just before pass over the Chicopee River below the Red Bridge Dam.
  5. At mile 4.3, turn left into the boat launch area.

Red Bridge Put-In below Dam
Position: 42-10.46 N 72-24.61 W
Boat Launch:
There is parking for about 6 vehicles.  Follow the portage trail about 0.1 miles into the woods to a small pool where the Dam water and Power Plant water meet.  You cannot driver from Red Bridge Pool Boat launch because the bridge is closed to vehicle traffic.  You must drive around several miles.
Nearest Launch Address: 1600 East Street, Ludlow, MA 01056

Twelve Mile Brook Launch
Position: 42-09.17 N 72-24.51 N
Boat Launch: 
This is a roadside Put-In with parking for not more than two vehicles.  This can be used to paddle both up and down the river.
Nearest Launch Address:
3067 Boston Rd Wilbraham, MA 01095

Put-In/Take-Out Directions: 4.6 miles, 10 min.
From US Route 90 (Mass. Turnpike) take Exit 7:
  1. After the tollbooths, at stoplight, turn right on Route 21 North
  2. At mile 0.5, turn right at stoplight onto Chapin Street.
  3. At mile 3.4, at stop sign, the road becomes Cottage Avenue and crosses the Chicopee River.
  4. At mile 3.9, at stop sign, turn left onto Route 20 East.
  5. At mile 4.6, arrive at Put-in/Take-Out on your right.  Pass over the brook and it is a grassy pull-over at the end of a guard rail. Note that Maynard Road is just past this on your left.​


Collins Dam above Cottage Avenue Bridge - Portage
Position: 42-09.46 N 72-25.36 W
Boat Launch: 
There are no signs for portage.  Take-Out on river right above the blue barrels barrier.  There is a private road here with a small gravel parking area.  Follow around the dam and Put-In below the dam but above the Cottage Avenue Bridge.
Nearest Launch Address:
8 Cottage Avenue, Ludlow, MA 01056

Put-In/Take-Out Directions: 3.6 miles, 9 min.
From US Route 90 (Mass. Turnpike) take Exit 7:
  1. After the tollbooths, at stoplight, turn right on Route 21 North
  2. At mile 0.5, turn right at stoplight onto Chapin Street.
  3. At mile 3.4, at stop sign, the road becomes Cottage Avenue. 
  4. At mile 3.5, turn left onto a private road just before the bridge/dam.
  5. Go a short distance to a gravel parking area next to the dam.
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Red Bridge Dam to Collins Dam above Green-Towne Bridge

Description
 
Mile 15.0 - Red Bridge Dam Portage
     After climbing the boat ramp, walk along the road and over the bridge below the dam.  The bridge has been closed to traffic for some time.  It is available to foot traffic and boats are easily carried.  Walk past the power plant on your left and continue to a small parking area.  Follow the portage trail into the woods for about 0.1 miles.  Launch for Reach 2 in a small pool where water meets from over the dam and the power plant.

    After launching, the river moves along in smooth motion of Class 1.  Forest is found on both sides of the river with only slight glimses of some houses set back from the river.

Mile 13.7 - Route 90 Massachusetts Turnpike Bridges

Mile 13.4 - An alternate boat launch is available in Twelve Mile Brook just off the river into the  brook.  Look for the brook down river from the bridges on river left (East).

      The rest of this reach is lake-like behind a dam.  Route 20 follows the river closely on your right.  On your left is most forest with a short view of a Natural Gas operation.  Several small islands can be passed on either side.  It is shallower on the right side.  After the islands the dam barrier is visible so stay right for the portage.

Mile 12.6 - Collins Dam above Green-Towne Bridge - Portage 
There are no signs for portage.  Take-Out on river right (west) above the blue barrels barrier.  There is a private road here with a small parking area.  Follow around the dam and Put-In below the dam but above the Cottage Avenue Bridge.

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The Collins was a covered bridge built 1852
It was damaged by flooding from hurricane 1938
Finally, it was dismantled and replaced 1939

The photo below was taken by Max R. Nippell for
The Historic American Buildings Survey May 15, 1937
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Collins Dam Portage
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#1 Take Out above the blue barrel barrier on river right
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#2 Put in just below the dam but above the bridge as you see here
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A view of the dam from the Green-Towne Bridge
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#3 Put in just below the dam as seen here
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A 1852 Covered bridge "The Collins" was replaced with
the Green-Towne Bridge
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