The Westfield River

Last Updated: 3/2016
General Description
 
 We are still working on this river.  Please be patient.

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Spring Fishing is Best!
     Truthfully, this river is excellent for fly fishing, especially in the spring.  

Paddling, Poor at best!
      As for paddling, it is somewhat awkward to use most of the year if not impossible.  The main reason for this is river levels and altitude drop.  Most of the river is much to low to paddle nearly the entire year.  Certainly, the branches with their rapid altitude drop contribute considerably to this problem.  Also, remember the branches are almost stream like with a very low volume until they meet in the Huntington area.


STATISTICS

Total Length: 96.0 miles

Main River before branching - 25.2 miles.
East Branch     - 35.3 miles
Middle Branch - 18.5 miles
West Branch    - 17.0 miles

Altitude drop: 1684 feet  (an average of 17.5 feet/mile)

Main River before branching - 331 feet. (13.135 ft/mile)
East Branch    -  1353 feet (38.33 feet/mile)
Middle Branch -  1098 feet (59.35 feet/mile)
West Branch    -   818 feet (48.12 feet/mile)


The Westfield River is a major tributary of the Connecticut River located in Metropolitan Springfield, Massachusetts. With four major tributary branches that confluence in the City of Westfield, it flows 78.1 miles before its confluence with the 410 miles Connecticut River at Agawam, across from the City of Springfield's Metro Center district, and beside Six Flags New England. 
  • Main Branch is 25.2 miles long from Huntington through Russell into Westfield.
  • East Branch (sometimes called the North Branch), which has origins in the Berkshire Mountain hamlets of Savoy, Windsor, Cummington, Worthington, and Chesterfield. It fed by Center Brook and Savoy Hollow Brook near the center of Savoy at mile 60.5.
  • Middle Branch, which has its origins in the Berkshire hamlet of Peru; The head waters is Trout Brook at mile 43.5.
  • West Branch, which has its origins in Washington and Becket. Mile 42.2 at the center of Becket where six brooks are the headwaters.
    • Morgan Brook
    • Savery Brook
    • Watson Brook
    • Shaker Mill Brook
    • Yokum Brook
    • Depot Brook


Known for its whitewater rapids and scenic beauty, the Westfield River provides over 50 miles of whitewater canoeing and kayaking, in addition to one of the largest roadless wilderness areas remaining in the Commonwealth.

 Westfield River Race
       In the winter of 1953, quoting the 40th anniversary race booklet, "a group of friends were sitting around the bar of the Whippernon Club in Russell, regaling each other with tales of their canoeing prowess. Dick Waterhouse, the club owner, challenged the braggarts to prove their skills in a race down the Westfield on the first Sunday in April. The prize would be a cold case of beer, courtesy of Waterhouse. Word of the challenge reached Al Hodges, owner of the Wildcat Springs Restaurant", situated on the West Branch of the river in Chester, about ten miles upstream of the Whippernon.
       Hodges added another case of beer, doubling the prize. With that, the course of the race was set - starting at one bar and ending at the other. Word of the challenge spread and, on race day, a half-dozen canoes with a dozen hardy paddlers congregated in the chilly water. Mostly locals, the racers felt confident that the prize would be won by one of them and shared with the others. Instead, a team from Southwick won and took the prize home, leaving the locals to buy their own beer.

     Today, the race looks much different than in those early days. The participants are a cross-section of the demographics of modern America and technology has changed every facet of race gear from watercraft, paddles and clothing, to timing and communication of the results. It's likely that Dick Waterhouse and Al Hodges would barely recognize it as the same event, but I suspect they'd glow with pride that the race they began with a humble two cases of beer continues to thrive.
​      For more information, click below on the race.


Westfield River Race
Access Points
REACHES
There are few usable reaches described below.

   
Reach 1 – 5.1 mile – 2 hours
Knightsville Dam (Mile 29.8 East)  
Jacobs Ladder Trail Rest Area Launch on Route 20 Huntington (Mile 24.7)
Crescent Dam Hydro Station Portage (Mile 24.0)

Reach 2 – 2.9 miles – 1 hour
Crescent Dam Hydro Station Portage (Mile 24.0)
Indian River Hydro Project Dam Portage (Mile 21.1) Texon Dam

Reach 3 – 2.6 miles – 1 hour
Indian River Hydro Project Dam Portage (Mile 21.1) Texon Dam
Woronoco Dam (Mile 18.5)

Reach 4 – 5.6 miles – 2 hours
Woronoco Dam (Mile 18.5)
Whitney Field, Westfield Launch (Mile 12.85)

Reach 5 – 5.5 miles – 2 hours
Whitney Field, Westfield Launch (Mile 12.85)
Conservation Land Access on Route 20 (Mile 7.4)

Reach 6 – 3.6 miles – 1 hour
Conservation Land Access on Route 20 (Mile 7.4)
Dam at (Mile 3.8)

Reach 7 – 3.8 miles – 1.5 hours
Dam at (Mile 3.8)
Pychon Point at Mouth of River (Mile 0.0)
    
 RIVER LEVEL
National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service
Westfield, MA