Housatonic River Reach 7

Last Updated: 9/2017
Route 20 Bridge Lee to Willow Street Bridge and Dam
     This section of river is extremely popular with fly fishers.  It is designated as catch and release only.
          After putting in by the Route 20 bridge, you will have some quick water as you pass through the heart of town of Lee.  Woods on your right and homes and some commercial property line the river on your left.
        After passing under the railroad bridge and Park Street bridge the river turns left and then around a small island as it approaches the Mass Pike bridges.  Pass under Route 102 then from here until the end of the reach, the paddle becomes wooded and farmland with little sign of people except for a short stretch with a road on your left.
       The meandering of the river makes for a pleasant paddle with very little current.  The Meadow Street bridge should be a signal that the paddle is coming to an end.  You can use an alternate take-out at the Housatonic Valley Association building in South Lee.  Your other choice is to continue to the dam barrier and take-out on the right bank and portage around or to your vehicle at the Willow Street Bridge.

Skill Level:            Class 1
Estimated Time:    2 hours
Distance:               5.9 miles
USGS Map: Stockbridge, MA (7.5’x15’)
Route 20 Bridge in Lee, MA
Position: 42-18.64 N 73-15.26 W
Nearest Launch Address:
1 W Center St, Lee, MA 01238​
Boat Launch:
Roadside launch on busy road onto grassy area.  You can park on a nearby side street or designated parking on the street in town.
Put-In Directions (1.3 miles,  3 minutes):
From Exit 2 of the Massachusetts Turnpike (Rt. 90):
  1. At the end of the ramp turn right at the stoplight onto Route 20 West.
  2. Follow Route 20 West, Housatonic Street, toward the center of Lee.
  3. At mile 0.7, Route 20 turns right onto Main Street.
  4. At mile 1.1, Route 20 turns left onto West Center Street.
  5. Cross the Railroad Tracks and stop on right before the bridge that crosses the river.
Drop off near the bridge and park in town.  Launch off the bank just upstream of the  bridge.
Looking upstream at remnants of a dam.
Willow Street Bridge below Dam - Mile 119.3
Position: 42-16.97 N 73-20.53 W
Boat Launch:
Car Top launch near the bridge.  Park on street because ONYXY does not allow parking in their lot.  The take-out is above the bridge and dam on private land near a Gazebo. 
Nearest Launch Address:  
31 Willow St, South Lee, MA 01260
Put-In Directions (3.1 miles, 5 minutes):
From Exit 2 of the Massachusetts Turnpike (Rt. 90)
  1. At the end of the ramp turn left at the stoplight onto Route 20 West then right onto Route 102 West toward Stockbridge.​​
  2. At mile 3.1, stop at the corner of Route 102 and Willow Street.
ONXY Dam that needs a portage trail.
Informal launch below Dam