Deerfield River Reach 12

Last Updated: 2/2018
Route 2 Power Dam No. 4 to Gardner Falls Dam

      This section is hardly worth paddling with 3 dams and almost no access.​

  • Mile 19.6 - I have not found any way to portage around this dam and power plant.  Most water by passes through an aqueduct to the power plant at mile 18.1
  • Mile 18.1 - I could find no public access anywhere near the Power Plant.
  • Mile 17.6 - Route 2 bridge passes over the river.  The river becomes slow and deep with year round homes and road lining both sides of the river.
  • Mile 17.0 - Pass first under "The Bridge of Flowers" and then the Bridge Street bridge.
  • Mile 16.9 - Shelburn Falls Dam located right in town.  I could find no designated portage around this dam.  No Tresspassing signs are located below the dam to prevent swimmers entering.  Apparently there has  been problems in the past so the local government has stop all access.
  • Mile 16.3 - From the dam to this outlet for the power plant is shallow and impassable.  The water then deepens.
  • Mile 15.5 - Gardner Falls Dam - I could find no Put-In below the dam and power plant.
  • Mile 15.3 - Wilcox Hollow - A easy put-in located on opposite the power plant down river.  See the next reach for details.

Skill Level:            mostly Class 1
Estimated Time:    1.5 hours
Distance:               4.1 miles
USGS Map: Clorain, MA-VT and Greenfield, MA (7.5’x15’) 
Route 2 Power Dam No. 4 - Mile 19.6 
Mohawk Trail  Take-Out is a public boat ramp - Mile 20.3
Position: 43-37.28 N 72-45.30 W
Boat Launch:

The Take-Out can be hard to find.  This is a unmarked road with a single house on it.  After making the turn go straight toward the house and the road turns 90 degrees left. Follow to the end to the boat launch.
Nearest Launch Address:  
2143 Mohawk Trail, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370
Put-In Directions (10.8 miles, 13 minutes):
From exit 26 of Interstate 91:
  1. Take Exit 26 - Greenfield Center/North Adams Routes 2 & 2A
  2. Exit the traffic circle to take Route 2 West toward North Adams.
  3. At mile 9.4 you will pass over the Deerfield River.  To your left side is Shelburn Falls.
  4. Pass over the river a second time.  On you're right you will see a big Indian Chief at a store.
  5. At mile 10.8 turn left into a small paved road to the Take-Out.
       The Bridge of Flowers was once a trolley bridge built in 1908 by the Shelburne Falls & Colrain Street Railway. As the nearby Iron Bridge had only a 20-ton weight limit, the five-span, 400-foot concrete arched trolley bridge, connecting the towns of Shelburne and Buckland, was constructed to help deliver heavy freight from the Shelburne Falls railyard to the mills on the 7 1/2-mile line along Route 112 North to Colrain, as well as passengers and local goods, such as milk, apples and cotton. 
     The trolley was a "social and commercial connection" to area residents at that time. The railway company, however, was unable to keep up with progress, such as the invention of the automobile, as goods began to be hauled by truck and the company eventually went bankrupt in 1927. The railway's treasured history is maintained by the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum.
       Antoinette Burnham had the vision to take a community problem of a discontinued trolley bridge and turn it into a beautiful Bridge of Flowers.
       The Shelburne Falls Women’s Clubsponsored this project in 1928. In April 1929, 80 loads of loam and several loads of fertilizer were put on the bridge, all by donated labor.  The Women’s Club and other organizations in town raised $1,000 in the early spring of 1929. 

See the complete story and details about the bridge today by clicking below:

Bridge of Flowers
Gardners Falls Dam - Mile 15.5
Position: 42-35.48 N 72-43.82 W
Boat Launch:
Take out above the dam and barrier.  A portage can be make down the service road past the brick powerpland and well below the dam.  
Nearest Launch Address:
9 Gardner Falls Road, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

Put-In Directions (10.5 miles, 18 minutes):

From exit 26 of Interstate 91:
  1. Take Exit 26 - Greenfield Center/North Adams Routes 2 & 2A
  2. Exit the traffic circle to take Route 2 West toward North Adams.
  3. At mile 8.6, turn left onto South Maple Street at the "Sweetheart Restaurant" sign.
  4. At mile 8.9, turn left onto Bridge Street.
  5. Cross over the bridge and at mile 9.4, turn left onto Bridge Street.
  6. Go a short distance and make aslight left onto Conway Street which keeps you close to the river.
  7. At mile 9.3, at the stop sign, turn right onto South Conway Road/South Street.
  8. At mile 9.6, make the first left onto Gardner Falls Road.
  9. Follow the road to just above the dam.

Dry season taken September 2010
Spring taken April 2005
LongCap Lamson
       LongCap Lamson Products, LLC, (formally Lamson & Goodnow), maker of LamsonSharp™ cutlery, is the oldest cutlery manufacturer in the United States. Lamson was established in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts in 1837, and rapidly became the premier cutler in the United States. We manufacture both stamped and forged cutlery, kitchen tools and trade tools. As the American passion for home and hearth grew, so has Lamson Products.
       In 1869, the company presented President Ulysses S. Grant with a 62 piece dinner set. Half of the pieces had ivory handles while the other half had mother-of-pearl handles. Pieces of this set are now on display at the Smithsonian Institute. 
       We invite you to come visit our Factory Outlet Store located in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. Here you can find discounted cutlery, kitchen tools, BBQ tools and so much more!
LongCap Lamson Products Factory Outlet Store is located at:
           45 Conway Street, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

See the complete story and details about Lamson by clicking below: