Arch Street Bridge Put-In trail

Millers River Reach 5

Last Updated: 3/2017
Crecent Street Dam Athol to South Main Street Dam Orange

  This reach is available almost year round because the river level is maintained by dams.

    You should use the Alan E Environmental Park as the Put-In.  This is at mile 19.0 so if you wish to paddle the entire reach, you will need to paddle up river.  This one mile distance is beautiful and the river will eventually prevent you from reaching the dam at mile 20.0.
     This section of the river is probably the most popular reach!  Read the section on the Millers River Blue Trail and about the Athol-Orange River Rat Race for details.  Consider printing out the pdf file of the blue trail for use while paddling.

April 8 & 9, 2017

​     The city of Orange has provided excellent access at their riverfront park.  They strongly encourage the use of the river.  There are also plenty of places for lunch or dinner locally.
Skill Level:            Class 1
Estimated Time:    2.5 hours
Distance:               6.3 miles
USGS Map: Orange, MA 

         A blue trail (also known as blueway or water trail) is a dedicated stretch of river that enjoys special clean water safeguards and is a destination for fishing, boating and other recreation. Just as hiking trails are designed to help people explore the land, blue trails help people discover rivers. Blue trails provide a fun, exciting way to get kids outdoors, connect communities to treasured landscapes, and are economic drivers benefiting local businesses and quality of life.
      In the summer of 2011, MRWC inaugurated the first segment of the Millers River Blue Trail (MRBT), which runs between Cass Meadow in Athol and River Front Park in Orange. A Blue Trail Guide with map and information on points of interest was created. This six-mile Blue Trail offers a relaxed paddling opportunity on flatwater–great for families and people of all ages.
For more information click below:
Athol-Orange River Rat Race
Alan E. Rich Environmental Park - Put-In - Mile 19.0
Position: 42-35.61 N 72-14.36 W
Boat Launch:
Alan E. Rich Park, adjacent to Cass Meadow, is a launch point on the Blue Trail. There is parking for at least 10 vehicles.  Only car top launch.  Take the trail at the back of the parking lot to the Put-In.  Show consideration for a bordering house and their yard.
Nearest Launch Address:
24 Main Street, Athol, MA
Put-In Directions (18.3 miles, 24 minutes):
From Route 2 at the French King Bridge
  1. Travel East on Route 2 through the town of Erving.​​
  2. At mile 14.5, take exit 16 for route 202 toward Athol  and Belchertown.
  3. At mile 14.8, at the end of the ramp, turn right onto route 202 North Daniel Shays Highway (signs for Athol)
  4.  At mile 17.1, at the stop light, turn right onto South Main Street.
  5. Follow South Main Street until you cross over the Millers River at mile 18.2.
  6. At mile 18.3, turn left into the parking lot for the park.
Alan E. Rich Environmental Parking Lot
Alan E. Rich Environmental Park - Trail to Put-In
Alan E. Rich Environmental Park - Put-In Area
Orange Riverfront Park (above dam)  Put-In or Take-Out - Mile 13.8
Position: 42-35.32 N 72-18.50 W
Boat Launch:
The three-quarter-acre park provides canoe and kayak access to the Millers River.
Nearest Launch Address: 
8 East River Street, Orange, MA 01364
Put-In Directions (12.0 miles, 16 minutes)
From Route 2 at the French King Bridge
  1. Travel east on Route 2.
  2. At mile 10.2, take exit 14 toward West River Street/Orange Center/Lake Mattawa.
  3. At mile 10.4, the road curves left, continue onto West River Street.
  4. At mile 11.9,  continue straight at stop light across South Main Street.
  5. Orange Riverfront Park will be on your left with plenty of parking and a convient concrete boat ramp at the far end.
Orange Riverfront Park
Orange Riverfront Park
Orange Riverfront Park Boat Ramp

Take-Out: Orange Riverfront Park (above dam)  Mile 13.8
Put-In:       Below South Main Street Dam            Mile 13.7
Portage Distance: 0.2 miles
  1. After taking out at the Riverfront Park Ramp, walk west on the sidewalk.
  2. Use the crosswalk at the stop light and continue west.
  3. At the end of the first red brick building and across from the Post Office parking lot, turn down the gravel driveway.
  4.  Follow the gravel service road along the river and behind the second brick building.
  5. The service turns a lite right following the river.  As you start passing behind the next building, look for a small trail down to the river.
  6. Follow the trail to some rocks at the rivers edge.  Launch your car top boat here.
Looking toward Arch Street Bridge - Put-In Trail before bridge on right