Desmond decided to get up early today, which ironically made for the most perfect timing for tides as we dropped in the Taunton River on our way to the mouth of the Three Mile River.
As I've mentioned before, Berkley Bridge is a great place to put in on the lower Taunton River. Ample parking, easy path to the water from the lot, a flat beach for easy put in, this place was literally made with paddlers in mind. The bridge has been under construction for what seems like years now. When arriving at the parking lot, it may seem like the area is closed due to all the construction, but it is not. You can still get right in, and if heading up river, you get an up close and person view of the new bridge under construction. There was a big crane on a barge that Desmond was really watching carefully.
I mentioned perfect timing on tides, and that’s because we started paddling up river about an hour and a half before the high tide mark. At this point, the tide really has some force behind it as the current powers up river, which gave us a nice boost as we headed north towards the mouth of Three Mile River. We would follow the rising tide all the way up Three Mile, to our final destination at the dam behind the mill at South and Lincoln St. Upon reaching the dam, the tide shifted and we were able to ride it back to the bridge. Couldn’t have timed it better.
As for the trip itself, it had been quite a while since we were in this part of the river. When we first started canoeing, Jess and I would head down river from Weir Park and explore this part of the river. Going up stream here was something we used to avoid but it made for a nice round trip run today. There are quite a few inlets in marsh area around the end of the river here, and there is a couple which I had explored years ago that Desmond and I paddled up to explore and take snack breaks.
The fish were everywhere today. Huge schools of them had come in with the tide, and at times it looked as if you could walk across their backs along the top of the water. Large fish were jumping out of the water all around us as they chased the schools, enjoying a feeding frenzy. And when you have jumping fish, you have fish hawks. The osprey were circling overhead in crowds, spotting the fish from above and dive bombing into the water to pull out fish right from the surface. It was an impressive sight, as 8 of them flew over our heads. One dived quite close, and caught a pretty big fish. It was resting in a tree as we passed under it with his fish in his claws. He was screaming at us with his high volume caw as if to tell us this was his fish, and to leave him alone. So we did, and headed away from the clan.
Going up Three Mile River is quite tide dependent when it comes to entering its mouth through the railroad bridge. When the tide is low, the current coming out of the Three Mile is incredibly strong and can be a huge hassle to try to pass through. We went upriver as the tide was going up, and left as it was going down, so it was easy for us. Timing is pretty important here. Three Mile is pretty shallow, and requires at least half tide or more to get up to the dam with little trouble. Even at peak tide, we had to be cautious of downed trees and large rocks.
Riding the tide out was great. We made our way back to the truck with little effort, and finally with a nice breeze blowing in our face to cool us down on the 90 degree day. We packed up pretty quick because of how convenient parking is there, and drove off with smiles on our face with another successful trip on the Taunton River.