Housatonic River Division Street to Brookside Road

Great Barrington, Massachusetts

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This is a fun stretch of river with some runs of easy rapids and riffles between long reaches of flatwater that drift through beautiful countryside. For the most comfortable passage, the depth gauge under the Division Street bridge should read about 3 feet. During low water (below about 2 /2 feet), the line through the rapids is tight. At high water the rapids bump up to Class II or higher, and there is a nasty hydraulic below the submerged dam in Great Barrington. Less experienced paddlers can avoid the rapids by putting in at Bridge Street behind Searles School or at the Brookside Road access just south of the fairgrounds, both in Great Barrington. Just downstream of the Division Street bridge is the first set of many riffles that twist and turn but are easy; most paddlers runriver left. At 0.5 mile the Williams River enters right, adding its energetic, clear outflow to the river. The gravelly bottom and cold clear water of the Williams provides excellent habitat for many species of game fish, including trout.
Discover the Berkshires of Massachusetts

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Discover the Berkshires of Massachusetts

by Charles W.G. Smith & Susan A. Smith (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)

This is a fun stretch of river with some runs of easy rapids and riffles between long reaches of flatwater that drift through beautiful countryside. For the most comfortable passage, the depth gauge under the Division Street bridge should read about 3 feet. During low water (below about 2 /2 feet), the line through the rapids is tight. At high water the rapids bump up to Class II or higher, and there is a nasty hydraulic below the submerged dam in Great Barrington. Less experienced paddlers can avoid the rapids by putting in at Bridge Street behind Searles School or at the Brookside Road access just south of the fairgrounds, both in Great Barrington.

Just downstream of the Division Street bridge is the first set of many riffles that twist and turn but are easy; most paddlers runriver left. At 0.5 mile the Williams River enters right, adding its energetic, clear outflow to the river. The gravelly bottom and cold clear water of the Williams provides excellent habitat for many species of game fish, including trout.

©  Charles W.G. Smith & Susan A. Smith/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Great Barrington
Distance: 6.1
Duration: 4.5 hours
Class: Class I-II
Season: Best spring through fall
Local Maps: USGS Great Barrington, Ashley Falls
Driving Directions: Directions to Housatonic River: Division Street to Brookside Road

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