Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Sunday, June 23, 2013

An Afternoon on the Ammonoosuc River

This was the weekend for being on the water, warm with increasing humidity. So it was another afternoon paddling on another river. The plan was to kayak from West Milan to Stark, NH. What would seem like a short paddle is actually longer than I thought with this being a very winding part of the Ammonoosuc River.

First bridge at launch site

Steep, rocky bank to the water

Second bridge

Yellow Pond Lilies

The launch site is within walking distance of the house. With a stern in each hand and my son handling the bow of each kayak we made the two minute portage down to the tributary that flows into the river. It was a rather awkward launch with a scramble down over a rocky bank. We got situated and were soon off floating into the current.

In less than a minute we were out into the Ammonoosuc. There was a good flow of water and we were moving nicely down the river. Having passed under one bridge we were coming to another. We would pass under a total of five.

Third bridge

Fourth bridge

After this bridge the river started snaking through the countryside. It was through here that I became tangled in a low lying branch and nearly capsized but recovered and paddled onward.

Approaching fifth bridge

There is certainly nothing extreme through this stretch of the Ammonoosuc during normal flow. It did require watching ahead for rocks, sand bars, lots of fallen trees and the flow of water around and over these obstacles.

We paddled into a small narrow loop of the river that had some shallow water and no current. It became a dead end and we moved back out into the river. So much for exploring.

Not sure what lives in this hole

The only wildlife we saw today was several Canadian geese and their young ones. They moved from the river bank up into some tall brush and they did it before I could get my camera out.


 Indian Paintbrush


The rest of the trip was smooth going and we reached the take-out site just before a sixth bridge. We pulled the kayaks up a steep bank full of wildflowers. There was no time for relaxing, the mosquitoes were hungry. We quickly loaded up and were on our way back home. Another great day of paddling in the North Country!

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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