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Connecticut River Paddle with John & Wendy Sinton

July 15, 2017 @ 8:30 am - 10:30 am

Kayaking boat on water



John and Wendy Sinton literally wrote the book on the Connecticut River. For decades, “The Connecticut River Boating Guide: Source to Sea” has been an invaluable resource to paddlers, boaters, and anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the river. Join the Sintons for a guided Connecticut River paddle on July 15, from 8:30 a.m – 10:30 am to learn about the watershed’s natural and human history. Even if you’ve paddled on the river before, you’ll see or learn something new on this exciting journey along the shores of Northampton and Hadley, beginning next to the Coolidge Bridge.

Our paddling route will be determined by weather and river current conditions, but the distance will be about 6 miles total (3 miles each way). We will take one of these two routes:

Trip A. Paddle upriver to Canary and Scott Island — on the way we’ll see the City of Northampton’s new dock built for the public and for the rowing club called Northampton Rows.  This was also the northern terminus of the 19th century Hampshire & Hampden canal that went from Northampton to New Haven in the 1830s.  Farther on we’ll pass the steep banks of Hadley’s Great Meadow, a world-class historic landscape whose field patterns date back to the 17th century.

Trip B. A trip downriver to the mouth of Fort River on the left bank and Rainbow Beach on the opposite bank, which is a great swimming spot, as well as the site of of an endangered insect called the puritan tiger beetle.  We may be able to find the holes where immature tiger beetles, called ant lions, lay waiting for their prey.

RSVP is required and space is limited to 15 participants. Previous paddling experience is required. You may bring your own kayak or canoe, or you may rent a boat that morning at 8 am from Sportsman’s Marina in Hadley. (Single seat kayak rental: $35 / 2-person kayak rental: $60  / Canoe rental:  $40)

RAIN DATE: Sunday, July 16


About the Leaders: John Sinton is a retired professor of environmental studies and land-use planning, and has spent his professional life writing about and helping to manage environmental problems in the US and Europe. He is also an Honorary Trustee of the Connecticut River Conservancy. Wendy Sinton became an avid boater when, at age 14, she fell in love with sailing. Between sailing, canoeing, and kayaking, she has spent many wonderful hours on water from here to Cape Cod to Southeast Asia and New Zealand. When she returned to the Valley after many years away, she was thrilled to find the Connecticut River renewed and vibrant, and enjoyed the work of putting its beauty back in people’s minds through the Connecticut River Boating Guide.


July 15, 2017
8:30 am - 10:30 am
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Elwell State Park
380 Damon Road
Northampton, MA United States
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