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Connecticut River Reach 19
​Turners Falls to Sunderland

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Last Updated: 3/2018
 Turners Falls to Montague Put-In
     
The area just below Turners Falls dam is very dangerous.  In spring flood and giant world-pool develops and the waters are completely unpredictable.  Take into account the power release and you have a possible death trap for boaters.  For these reasons, boating is not allowed in this area.  Use the link for the Montague river level on the river main page for predictions.  Avoid navigation above Smead Island.
Montague Put-In
 
  Just up stream of the put-in is where the Deerfield River enters.  Unusual currents can be expected.  If you wish to paddle up stream to view the the road bridge use great caution and consider staying close to the shore.
​​
Turners Falls Dam in Spring.
STATISTICS

Skill Level:            Class 1 & 2
Estimated Time:    3 hours
Paddle Distance:  9.1 miles 
Reach Distance:   9.1 miles
USGS Map: Greenfield, MA and Mount Toby, MA (7.5’x15’)​​
Railroad Bridge - Mile 116.4       
      Pass under the large Railroad bridge.  After this the river is almost straight all the way to Third Island.

Saw Mill River Enter - Mile 113.8
         On river left (east) bank you will see this small river entering.

Third Island - Mile 113.5
        Third Island is a 4-acre island in the Connecticut River in Deerfield, Massachusetts. The refuge was established when this island was donated to the Service from the Connecticut River Watershed Council in 1997.  The island is mostly hardwood forest, with some shallow water habitats. In recent years, bald eagles have nested here, and because of that, the island is closed to public entry from January 1 through July 31, until young eagles have fledged. Along with the other two islands, Third Island provides valuable shallow water habitats for spawning Atlantic sturgeon and both American shad and blueback herring. Mussels are common on the river bottom near Third Island.
        At mile 112.2 on the left (east) bank you can just makeout a small waterfall coming out of the small Whitmore Pond

Second Island - Mile 110.7
     This island can be passed on either side.  It is about 0.4 miles long and being a much larger island than Third, a short stop to explore might be fun. This is owned and managed by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.
      As you leave the island behind, look to the west at the rising land.  This is Sugarloaf State Reservation.  The furtherest steep peak has a summit house.

First Island - Mile 109.5
       This is also owned and managed by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.  Being 0.3 miles long it is smaller and not as wide as Second Island.

Sunderland Bridge - Mile 109.1
        The current Sunderland Bridge is a deck truss bridge completed in 1937. Reconstruction of the bridge was completed in 1994. Replacement of the original art deco railings by modern ones was controversial.
[1] Montague Launch - Mile 118.2
Position: 42-34.80 N 72-34.50 W
Boat Launch:
Car top boat launch provided by Power Company.
Nearest Launch Address:
101 Poplar Street, Turners Falls, MA 01376
Put-In/Take-Out Directions (3.9 miles, 9 minutes):
From Interstate 91 Exit 26 Greenfield 
  1. After getting off the highway, travel around the rotary and head northeast on MA-2A E toward Miner Street.
  2. At mile 0.4, at the stop light, turn right onto River Street passing under a railroad bridge.
  3. At mile 1.0, cross over the Green River.
  4. At mile 1.2, turn right onto Bank Row/Deerfield Street (Route 5 South).
  5. At mile 2.3, turn left onto Cheapside Street towards Turners Falls just before Route 5 South bridge that crosses the Deerfield River.
  6. Cheapside Street becomes  Montague City Road.
  7. At mile 3.1, turn right to cross over the Connecticut River.
  8. At mile 3.6, turn right onto Greenfield Road.
  9. At mile 3.7, turn right onto Poplar Street.
  10. Go to the end and enter the dirt parking area and car top launch area.
 
Plenty of parking.
Follow the trail down under the old railroad bridge to the launch.
Use caution when the river is high.
        Heading south the shoreline is covered in woods and farms. Much of the land on either side and the small island you pass is part of the new Connecticut Greenway State Park. One exception is just above the railroad bridge where East Deerfield Railyard is located.  You may here trains moving around from the water.  Check out the box and links on it below.
 [2] Sunderland - Mile 109.1
Position: 42-28.04 N 72-35.00 W
Boat Launch:
Paved State Boat Ramp. Parking for at least 5 vehicles with more at the library.  Popular launch.
Nearest Launch Address: 
542 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375
Put-In/Take-Out Directions (2.1 miles, 5 minutes)
From Interstate 91 Exit 24 Deerfield
  1. At the end of the ramp take Route 5 North toward Deerfield.
  2. At mile 0.1, at the stop light, turn right onto Route 116 South.
  3. At mile 1.6, Route 116 South crosses the Connecticut River.
  4. At mile 1.9, turn left onto Route 47 North.
  5. Almost immediately, turn left onto School Street.
  6. Pass the Library on your right and make a left down a gravel road that takes you to the boat ramp very close to the road bridge you just crossed.​​
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Sunderland Launch just upstream of the bridge.
          The Put-In is fairly easy to find.  Parking may be difficult.  I suggest getting your boat(s) ready and then parking in the Library parking lot.
There are rest rooms and plenty of parking at the library.
East Deerfield Railyard
     The site is located on Railroad Yard Road in a commercial/residential section of East Deerfield, Massachusetts. The Pan Am East Deerfield Rail yard property is approximately 129 acres, and is bounded to the north and east by open land and the Connecticut River, to the south by River Road, and to the west by the Deerfield River. Pan Am Railways owns the majority of the East Deerfield Rail Yard; however, a portion of the property is currently leased from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation and Construction (EOTC). The property has been a rail yard since the late 1800�s. Prior to its current use, the disposal site was either undeveloped or used as farmland. Check out the links below for more information.
E Deerfield Railyard
Railyard action on Youtube
Mount Sugarloaf State Reservation
          Mt. Sugarloaf offers a commanding view of the Connecticut River, the Pioneer Valley, and the Pelham and Berkshire Hills. Consisting of two peaks, North and South Sugarloaf, the Reservation offers picnicking, scenic viewing and hiking. An auto road winds to the summit, making South Sugarloaf Mountain accessible by private automobiles. Available on the summit is a pavilion for scenic viewing and picnicking.
         Mt. Sugarloaf, composed of a prominent sandstone rock called Sugarloaf Arkose, is a fine example of the Connecticut Valley's geological history. From its summit can be seen some of the best scenic views of the broad agricultural landscape of the Connecticut River Valley.
Mount Sugarloaf
East Deerfield Railyard - Mile 117.0
     The site is located on Railroad Yard Road in a commercial/residential section of East Deerfield, Massachusetts. The Pan Am East Deerfield Rail yard property is approximately 129 acres, and is bounded to the north and east by open land and the Connecticut River, to the south by River Road, and to the west by the Deerfield River. Pan Am Railways owns the majority of the East Deerfield Rail Yard; however, a portion of the property is currently leased from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation and Construction (EOTC). The property has been a rail yard since the late 1800�s. Prior to its current use, the disposal site was either undeveloped or used as farmland. Check out the links below for more information.
East Deerfield Railyard
Railyard on Youtube