This will definitely be the longest trip this season. Chad and I decided we were going to take a trip we hadn't done in several years, since back in the canoe days. We were going to take on the full Nemasket River, from top to bottom! 12 miles in total, and by far the longest trip of 2014.
I had a good idea of what we had ahead of us. I'm a seasoned veteran on the Nemasket, having been down it countless times. But, for those who haven't been on every section of this river, I'll give you a low down in this post, since the video will give good reference to what I'm saying. Ill put the video here so you can read along while watching..
We started at the Vaughan St bridge, which has a nice little parking area and an easy put in at nearly the start of the river. The Nemasket is a beautiful river, and the water is especially clear at the upper sections. Here, just after Vaughan St the water is crystal clear nearly 8ft to the bottom. Wonderful and calm, it slowly flows down stream at this point. Youll pass under quite a few bridges and under Rt 495, and you will carry on until you reach Wareham St bridge where you must be very cautious because there is a dam and steep waterfall directly under the bridge. You must turn in about 50 yards from the bridge down a narrow channel through the brush to find the fish ladder that goes around the dam. Here there is a place you can portage to cross the street.
On the other side of Wareham St there is a small park where the other end of the fish ladder lets out back to the river. If you follow the path all the way down, then to the right you will see an area with some large rocks that would be the best spot to put back in for this trip.
The area from here to the next portage is the most shallow and tricky part of the trip. The water, even though shallow, is moving pretty quickly due to the dam. Its also the steepest section of the river, though not really that steep at all. Just be cautious and avoid rocks as much as possible. This area is next to impossible to navigate during times of the year when water levels are low, so stick with Spring or Fall for this section. Even at the time of the year we went, there were still obviously shallow areas that you can clearly see in the video after.
Once you clear the shallow section, its easy going down river to the next portrage. Though I do have to say theres one bridge you go under in this section that Im not 100% sure will you will be able to go under much further in the future since its falling apart, but time will tell. You will reach a large old stone bridge with is your signal that the next portage is coming up. This is at Oliver Mill. Here there are a number of small dams that you dont want to attempt to go over.. So, hug the right, and once again you will see a small path through the brush that will lead you over to a pull out.
From here you will need to carry your kayaks across the park as you will see in the video. On the opposite side of the falls at the end of the park, there is a great little put in under some old pine trees. This is the last portage of the day, and it's straight on to Summer St from here.
This is the longest section of the trip, and by this point you will be pretty tired, so pace yourself. once you get closer to the mouth, the river snakes endlessly back and forth and can take its toll on you, especially if it's windy. But eventually, after all the winding back and forth, you will pass under a railroad bridge which means you are nearly at the mouth. In a short bit you will find yourself flowing right onto the Taunton River, finally reaching the end of the Nemasket.
From here we went upsteam on the Taunton River up to the great Summer St Bridge put in, and finally done after an exausting run.