Deerfield River Reach 11

Last Updated: 2/2018
Shunpike Rest Area to Route 2 Power Dam No. 4

Reaches 9, 10, and 11
          From Fife Brook Dam in Florida, Massachusetts to the Number 4 dam in Buckland, the Deerfield River flows unimpeded for 17.6 miles. This is the longest stretch of the Deerfield River without a dam on the main river, this run is also among the most heavily used by whitewater paddlers.  We have broken this down into 3 separate reaches to make it most understandable.

       In late summer and fall this section can be low. Scraping the bottom is possible where the river is wide and drops quickly.  Fortunately Route 2 follows close by and afford an easy scouting of the river before paddling.

Launch your kayak or canoe.  ​
  • Mile 28.7 - Shun Pike rest area Put-In/Take-Out
  • Mile 27.3 - On you're left will be the Take-Out/Put-In for Zoar Outdoors. 
  • Mile 27.1 - Pass under the Route 8A bridge.  The river is wide and shallow from here to the take-out.
  • Mile 26.5 - Mill Brook enters on you're left at the center of Charlemont.
  • Mile 25.0 - Albee Brook enters on you're right.
  • Mile 24.5 - Hartwell Brook enters on you're left. It passes under Route 2.  You are now in East Charlemont
  • Mile 23.8 - The river narrows and turns right. Pull over on the left (the Route 2 side) and stop for a swim.
  • Mile 22.0 - Wilder Brook enters on you're left.  Note that you are near Country Aire Campground and Oxbow Resort Motel. This section of the river is smooth and flat.
  • Mile 21.2 - You are approaching a sandy island.  If the river is low, look for the best flow so you can decided whether to pass left or right. Below this island it is as smooth as a lake.
  • Mile 20.3 - The Take-Out is on you're left.  This area is grassy and open. Look for you're car that you left there.
  • Mile 20.3 to 19.6 - If the river is flowing slowly and you want to explore, consider paddling down stream toward the dam.  There is a warning barrier for the dam.  Up and back is a little less than 1.4 miles.
For a professional description try the following webpage:
Skill Level:            mostly Class 1
Estimated Time:    3 to 3.5 hours
Distance:             9.1 miles (7.1 to take-out boat launch)
USGS Map: Rowe, MA-VT, Heath, MA and Ashfield, MA (7.5’x15’)
Shunpike Rest Area on Route 2 - Mile 28.7
Position: 42-37.63 N 72-53.13 W
Boat Launch:
The Take-Out or Put-In is directly across from Zoar Outdoors.
Nearest Launch Address:  
1359 Mohawk Trail, Charlemont, MA 01339
Put-In Directions (1.9 miles, 3 minutes):
From the Center of Charlemont on Route 2:
  1. Head west on Route 2.
  2. At mile 1.9 you will see a Rest Area on your left pull in and park.  This a park-and-ride for commuters on week days.
  3. There is plenty of area to launch of a grassy area.
Don't you really hate paying tolls!
Mohawk Trail  Take-Out is a public 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.

 NOTE: Just down river on Route 2 is Power Dam No. 4 - Mile 19.6
This is a gravel launch easiest for car top boats.
ZOAR Outdoor
At-A-Glance description