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Westfield River - Knightsville Dam to Crescent Dam Hydro Station Reach 4

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Last Updated: 12/2017
 Knightsville Dam to
                      Crescent Dam Hydro Station
 
Description
            This section of the Westfield River includes all the start locations for the Westfield River Races.  See more below.

​       
STATISTICS
 
Skill Level:          Class 2 and 3 when high.  Scrape and bump when low.
Estimated Time:   Keystone Arches to Huntington -  
Distance:            29.8 - 23.9 = 5.9 miles
USGS Maps: Chester, MA, Blandford, MA,
[4] Huntington Jacob's Ladder Launch -
                                                             Mile 24.7
Position: 42-13.53 N 72-52.25 W
Altitude: 333 feet
Access: 
Paved Rest Area with Jacobs's Ladder Kios.  Launch off grass area.  Room for 20 plus vehicles.
Nearest Launch Address:  
67 Russell Road, Huntington, MA 01050
Put-In Directions (12.6 miles, 19 minutes):
From the Mass Pike Exit 3, Westfield, MA:
  1. At the end of the ramp, turn right at the stop light.
  2. Head southwest on Southampton Road toward Westfield center on Route 202 South.
  3. At mile 1.5, turn right onto Franklin Street, Route 20 West, toward Russell/Pittsfield.
  4. Continue on Route 20 West through Russell to Huntington.
  5. At mile 12.6, turn right into the Rest Area.
A Map of Jacob's Ladder
[1] Below Knightville Dam - Mile 29.6 - East
Position: 42-17.28 N 72-51.85 W
Altitude: 465 feet
Access: 
Picnic area offers East Branch river access just downstream from Knightville Dam. On-road parking available adjacent to site with additional space in parking lot ¼ mile north of site. Available restrooms a short distance away.
Note: Potentially dangerous rapids at the launch area and both upstream and downstream. Read more below
Nearest Launch Address:  
1 Army Corps of Engineers Road, Huntington, MA 01050
Put-In Directions (17.8 miles, 30 minutes):
From the Mass Pike Exit 3, Westfield, MA:
  1. At the end of the ramp, turn right at the stop light.
  2. Head southwest on Southampton Road toward Westfield center on Route 202 South.
  3. At mile 1.5, turn right onto Franklin Street, Route 20 West, toward Russell/Pittsfield.
  4. Continue on Route 20 West through Russell to Huntington.
  5. At mile 13.4, turn right onto Route 112 North crossing over the river.
  6. At mile 17.3, turn slight right onto Knightville Dam Road.
  7. At mile 17.8, continue onto Army Corps of Engineers Road and immediately arrive at the launch area.
 Start of Expert Race 
{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2DStartFragment%2D%2D%3E          The Expert Race starts just below Knightville Dam and, due to the controlled release of water, has much more predictable conditions. There are class II rapids throughout most of the course until it joins the Novice Race course in the center of Huntington.{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2DEndFragment%2D%2D%3E
{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2DStartFragment%2D%2D%3EA few notable sections to watch for are: {cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2DEndFragment%2D%2D%3E
  1.  The hard right-hand bend about a half-mile downstream of The Rapids restaurant.
  2. The "Drop" in the Gardner State Park gorge - the only class IV section on the race course
  3.  "Boulder Patch" - a long stretch of class III rapids, beginning at the Norwich Bridge and continuing for almost a mile to the swinging bridge.
  4. The West Branch joins the main river a quarter-mile below the swinging bridge. See the Novice Race description for the balance of the course.
Park roadside outside the barrier or down the road.
There are picnic tables and grills available.
The river is low here but in the Spring or during releases it is High.
[5] Crescent Dam - Portage - Miles 24.0 - 23.9
Positions
       Take-Out: 42-13.32 N 72-51.55 W
       Altitude: 331 feet
       Put- In: 42-13.27 N 72-51.49 W
       Altitude: 298 feet
Description: 
Watch for the signs directing you to the portage on the left (east) bank. The portage is steep and apt to be slippery.  Once on the downstream side of the dam, be careful of the strong eddying currents as you put in. The river turns sharply to the right almost immediately, with a ledgy outcropping jutting from the outside bank.
Nearest Launch Address:  
Crescent Dam Hydrostation
1190 Huntington Road, Russell, MA 01071 ‎
(413) 862-3888  ‎
Put-In Directions (12.0 miles, 19 minutes):
From the Mass Pike Exit 3, Westfield, MA:
  1. At the end of the ramp, turn right at the stop light.
  2. Head southwest on Southampton Road toward Westfield center on Route 202 South.
  3. At mile 1.5, turn right onto Franklin Street, Route 20 West, toward Russell/Pittsfield.
  4. Continue on Route 20 West through Russell to Crescent Mills area.
  5. At mile 12.0, turn right into the closed down mill.
A Close up of the Portage
The Take-Out above the barrier - River Left
The river drops 33 feet over the dam.
The natural rock formations are quite beautiful.
[2] Charles M. Gardner State Park -
                                                    Mile 28.1 East
Position: 42-16.25 N 72-51.90 W
Altitude: 465 feet
Access: 
Park at the state park with room for 20 vehicles.  A 200-yard portage required from parking area which includes a set of stairs.
{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2DStartFragment%2D%2D%3ENote: There are potentially dangerous rapids nearby both upstream and downstream.
Nearest Launch Address:  
2 Parkridge Dr Huntington, MA 01050
Put-In Directions (16.4 miles, 26 minutes):
From the Mass Pike Exit 3, Westfield, MA:
  1. At the end of the ramp, turn right at the stop light.
  2. Head southwest on Southampton Road toward Westfield center on Route 202 South.
  3. At mile 1.5, turn right onto Franklin Street, Route 20 West, toward Russell/Pittsfield.
  4. Continue on Route 20 West through Russell to Huntington.
  5. At mile 13.4, turn right onto Route 112 North crossing over the river.
  6. At mile 16.4, turn left into the State Park entrance.
[3] Novice Race Start - Mile 25.4 West
Position: 42-16.25 N 72-51.90 W
Altitude: 352 feet
Access: 
There a grassy area with plenty of parking.  Follow the trail to the left of the hill and down to the river.  Launch your car top boat there.
Nearest Launch Address: 
{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2DStartFragment%2D%2D%3EFrieght Yard Road, Huntington, MA 01050{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2DEndFragment%2D%2D%3E
Put-In Directions (16.4 miles, 26 minutes):
From the Mass Pike Exit 3, Westfield, MA:
  1. At the end of the ramp, turn right at the stop light.
  2. Head southwest on Southampton Road toward Westfield center on Route 202 South.
  3. At mile 1.5, turn right onto Franklin Street, Route 20 West, toward Russell/Pittsfield.
  4. Continue on Route 20 West through Russell to Huntington.
  5. At mile 13.4, turn right onto Route 112 North crossing over the river. Make an immediate right on Freight Yard Road.
  6. At the bottom of the ramp on the right is an entrance into a grassy area.  Park there and follow the trail to the river.
 Start of Novice Race 
{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2DStartFragment%2D%2D%3E           The Novice Race begins in the West Branch of the river, at the MassDPW yard, just off the "Green Bridge" in the center of Huntington. Because the West Branch is uncontrolled, the water conditions vary widely from one year to the next.{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2DEndFragment%2D%2D%3E
{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2DStartFragment%2D%2D%3EA few notable sections to watch for are: {cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2DEndFragment%2D%2D%3E
  1. There is a gravel bar shortly before the West Branch joins the main river that's apt to be scratchy.
  2. Once out in the main river, the paddling is fairly uneventful until you reach the Texon Dam, about 1½ to 2 miles into the race.