Housatonic River Reach 2   

Last Updated: 3/2018
Hinsdale Public Library to Hubbard Avenue Bridge

Hinsdale Library (152.5) to Hinsdale Road (Route 8) Bridge (149.7)
        Hinsdale Center Dam mile 152.3 is the first dam on the East Branch of Housatonic River.  From here to the Michael J. Casey Sr. Memorial Bridge on Route 8 near the Middle School, there is a altitude drop of 257 feet.  This makes this section too steep to have enough water to paddle.
       If anyone has paddled this 2.8 mile section please write and tell me.  We have never found anyone who bumped and scraped their way through here.

Hinsdale Road (Route 8) Bridge (149.7) to Main Street Bridge (147.8)
    Access on Route 8 is difficut because of traffic and awkwardness in launching.  That be said, this 2.1 mile stretch is the only section of this reach that can be paddled.  You will encounter a couple of blow down trees that may require a portage around, otherwise this little paddle is rather unique.
    The first part brings you past Middle and High Schools on your right.  After passing under Old Windsor Road, the ride is through the golf course where there are three small bridge you must travel under.  After passing under Orchard Road, the paddle is wooded and wetland all the way to the impoundment of Center Pond.  Center Pond is surounded with private land of homes.  Follow the river to the take-out just before the dam on Main Street.  Once again, this is an awkward take-out like the put-in.

Main Street Bridge (147.8) to Hubbard Avenue Bridge (145.3)
           This 2.5 mile stretch has five dams.  If that is not discouraging enough, consider the fact that you must find a way past the security of Crane Paper.  Crane Paper is the sole supplier of money paper for the U.S. Government!  The Secret Service is involved and the plant is one of the most secure places in the country outside of nuclear weapons.  In addition, there is an altitude drop of 121 feet.  Based on these facts, I would rule out this section of the river for paddling.​

Skill Level:            Class 1
Estimated Time:     hours
Distance:               7.2 miles
USGS Map: Pittsfield East, MA (7.5’x15’)

​​​​[3] Main Street Bridge, Dalton - Mile 147.8
Position: 42-28.46 N 73-09.40 W
Boat Launch: 
Nearest Launch Address:
851 Main Street, Dalton, MA 01226

Park along Main Street and unload.
Take out above the bridge and dam.
[1] Hinsdale Public Library - Mile 152.5
Position:  42-26.29 N 73-07.48 W
Boat Launch:
This take-out is right in town.
Nearest Launch Address:  
58 Maple St, Hinsdale, MA 01235 (Public Library)
Take-Out Directions ( 5.2 miles,  12 minutes):

From the Muddy Pond Put-In:
  1. Follow the service road 0.5 miles back to the railroad crossing and turn right onto Upper Valley Road.
  2. At mile 1.2, make a slight right onto Route 8 North.
  3. At mile 5.7, at the stop light in town, turn left onto Maple Street.
  4. The library is on the corner.  The take-out is just before the bridge on library property.
A nice little library with street parking.
Use this easy path opposite the library.
[4] Hubbard Avenue Bridge - Mile 145.3
Position: 42-28.15 N 73-11.80 W
Boat Launch: 
Nearest Launch Address:
560 Hubbard Ave, Pittsfield, MA 01201
Put-In Directions (15.0 miles, 28 minutes):
  1. From Exit 2 of the Massachusetts Turnpike (Rt. 90)
  2. At the end of the ramp turn right at the stoplight onto Route 20 West.
  3. Follow Route 20 West through Lee, Lenox and into Pittsfield.
  4. At mile 11.5, turn right onto East Street in downtown Pittsfield. 
  5. At mile 12.7, the road becomes Merrill Street, continue straight.
  6. At mile 14.5, at the stop light, get in the right turn only lane and turn right Dalton Avenue. (There are many stores and restaurants around there.)
  7. After the turn stay in the right lane.  At the second stop light, at mile 14.8, turn right onto Hubbard Avenue.
  8. Stay on the right and turn right at the next light.  Immediately turn right at mile 14.9, and follow the over to the back where there is parking for Taco Bell.  Unload on the grass and launch nearto Upper Valley Road.  

​​​​[2] Hinsdale Road Bridge, Dalton - Mile 149.7
Position: 42-28.09 N 73-08.55 W
Boat Launch: 
Nearest Launch Address:
201 Hinsdale Road, Dalton, MA 01226​
Unload on sidewalk and park on side road not on state highway.
This section is only high enough after a good rain or in the spring.
Crane Paper
          More than 200 years ago, Stephen Crane decided to make a statement. And it wasn’t with his fashion forward breeches or well-groomed mutton chops. It was, rather, with the name of a paper mill he opened in 1770. He called it the Liberty Paper Mill and, for purveyors of our American heritage, was named so just two years after the British occupied Boston – and just five miles away.
        Always the extrovert, Stephen, along with friends, family and customers, were Revolution tastemakers, expressing their fiery patriotism whenever the opportunity presented itself (a little event called the Boston Tea Party, if you will).
         From patriotic newspapers to Colonial Currency, Stephen’s 100 percent cotton paper was material of choice for all the Boston activist elite, including one Paul Revere, whose engraved banknotes on Crane paper helped finance the Revolution. He would also pasture his horses at the Liberty Paper Mill – just in case he needed to make a midnight ride.  
             You may want to visit a unique museum on paper making.  For more information, try the link below:
Crane Museum of Papermaking