The Hoosic River 

Last Updated: 2/2018
General Description
 The Hoosic River, also known as the Hoosac, the Hoosick (primarily  in New York) and the Hoosuck (mostly archaic), is a tributary of  the Hudson River. The different spellings are the result of varying transliterations of the river's original Algonquian  name. It can be translated either as "the beyond place" (as in beyond, or east of, the Hudson) or as "the stony places" (perhaps because the river's stony bottom).
      The Hoosic River Watershed is formed from tributaries originating in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts, the Green Mountains of Vermont, and the Taconic Mountains. The main (South) Branch of the river begins on the west slope of North Mountain and almost immediately fills the man-made Cheshire Reservoir in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. From there, the river flows north, west, and northwest, through the towns of Cheshire and Adams, the city of North Adams, and the town of Williamstown. It then travels through Pownal in the southwest corner of Vermont, after which it enters Rensselaer County, New York. There, it flows through the towns of Petersburgh and Hoosick, where it passes over a hydroelectric power dam in the village of Hoosick Falls. (There are also dams in Johnsonville, Valley Falls, and Schaghticoke.) The river provides the northwest border of the town of Pittstown, then flows through the town of Schaghticoke with its villages of Valley Falls and Schaghticoke before it terminates at its confluence with the Hudson 14 miles (23 km) above the city of Troy.

Total Length: 84.6 = 52.2 + 21.3 + 11.1 miles
      The miles are numbered from the Hudson River confluence to the headwaters.  Each of the two branches are measured from where they split in North Adams Massachusetts.

South Branch (52.2 to 73.5) - 21.3 miles
  • Mile 73.5 - The South Branch begins along the border of the towns of Lanesboro and Dalton Massachusetts as it climbs into the Mountains north of the center of Dalton.
  • Mile 70.0 - The Branch passes through Berkshire Pond.
  • Mile 69.9 - It enters the south end of the south basin of Cheshire Reservoir.
  • Mile 68.8 - Here is where the water passes under Nobody's Road from the South to the Middle Basin of Cheshire Reservoir.
  • Mile 67.4 - Now the water passes under Farnam's Road from the Middle Basin to the North Basin of Cheshire Reservoir
  • Mile 66.0 - At the north end of the North Basin of Cheshire Reservoir is a small spillway where the South Branch now becomes a distinct river traveling north toward Adams and North Adams.

  • The river now travels along the Ashuwillticook Rail-Trail and then meanders off into wetlands.  
  • Mile 61.7 - The water passes over a dam just north of Harbor Road.  Infact, the area is called Cheshire Harbor.  From here the river is boarder to the west by Route 8 and to the east by the Rail-Trail and a steep hill.
  • After passing through the Town of Adams there is a series of three small dams at miles 58.7, 58.4, and 58.0.  From here until North Adams, the river meanders through farm fields.
  • Mile 52.2 - Finally, the South Branch meets the North Branch.
Cheshire Reservoir

North Branch (52.2 to 64.3) - 11.1 miles
  • Mile 64.3 - The headwaters are found in Stamford Vermont very close to Route 8  just south of the old Dutch Hill Winter Sport Area once was.
  • From here it travels south in a very distinct valley bordered by heavily wooded mountains and staying very near Route 8.  Small brooks cascade off of the mountains adding strength to the small river with every mile.
  • Mile 58.5 - It passes through the center of Stamford.
  • Mile 57.8 - The river enters Massachusetts.
  • Mile 57.2 - A stream from Mauserts Pond in Clarksburg State Park enters the river.

  • Mile 54.2 - A stream enters from the west from Natural Bridge State Park.
  • Mile 52.2 - The North Branch meets the South Brianch just upstream from the Brown Street bridge in North Adams.

Access Points
        There are over 27 access points and portages from the Headwaters of the North and South Branches to the Hudson River.  I have carefully cataloged each access point that is publicly available.  There are many more locations that can be used but we have listed all the public access points.  Select the button below:
The Hoosic River Revival
         The River Revival is a community-based, non-profit, private organization composed of area residents whose mission is to make the Hoosic River the gem in downtown North Adams, by revitalizing the River and its corridor, while simultaneously ensuring the safety of residents from flooding.
         Our Mission is to reconnect the North Adams community to a clean, beautiful, and safe Hoosic River and to enhance the river’s recreational, cultural, and economic vitality while maintaining the level of flood protection provided by the flood chutes. We see the river lined with parklands and paths, connecting our historical and cultural highlights, and serving as a gateway to our many hiking and biking trails. We envision a time when residents will gather along the river to picnic, engage in sports, and listen to music. In short, we want a river that is an integral part of our city, a destination point for friends and visitors, and a catalyst for economic revitalization.

For more information visit the website:
Hoosic River Revival
Mauserts Pond
Access Points
The Hoosic River Initiative
         HooRWA is a  citizens’ group that looks after the river.  We are dedicated to the restoration, conservation and enjoyment of the Hoosic River and its watershed, through education, research and advocacy. We envision a watershed that is ecologically sound and adds to the quality of life of its residents. For more information click the link below:

Hoosic River Watershed Association

       We have broken down the river into 15 reaches numbered from the headwaters to the mouth at the Hudson River.  Each reach has a map with put-in and take-out positions, description, length, difficulty, and information as appropriate.
        Reach 1 is too small and shallow to paddle.  The section above the split is closed to boats
        Reach 2 is just a small brook and cannot be paddled.
        Reach 4, we have no one who has paddled any of these waters.
                   Downtown North Adams is closed to paddlers for safety reasons.
Headwaters North Branch, Readsboro to    River Splits, North Adams
Headwaters South Branch, Dalton   to    Old Stage Road, Lanesborough
Cheshire Reservoir - South, Middle, North  - Cheshire/Lanesboro
Cheshire Reservoir Outlet, Cheshire to   River Splits, North Adams
River Splits, North Adams                 to   Ashton Avenue, North Adams
Ashton Avenue, North Adams      to   Lincoln Street Launch, Williamstown
Lincoln Street Launch, Williamstown to Indian Masacre Road, Petersburg
Indian Masacre Road, Petersburg   ​to   Rock Cut Access, Hoosick Falls
Rock Cut Access, Hoosick Falls         to   Treament Plant Put-In, Hoosic Falls
Treament Plant , Hoosic Falls      to   Buskirk Covered Bridge, Eagle Bridge
Buskirk Covered Bridge, Eagle Bridge to Johnsonsville Dam, Johnsonsville
Johnsonsville Dam, Johnsonsville     to   Valley Falls Dam, Valley Falls
 Valley Falls Dam, Valley Falls            to   Schaghticoke Dam, Schaghticoke
 Schaghticoke Dam, Schaghticoke    to   Brookfield Power, Schaghticoke
Brookfield Power, Schaghticoke       to   Champlain Lock Four Take-Out