To paraphrase the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, the canoe trip of 410 miles begins with a single paddle stroke.
Why 410? That’s the length of the Connecticut River Paddlers’ Trail, which now hosts two new campsites built by volunteers from AMC’s Berkshire Chapter and members of AMC’s Roving Conservation Crew. With so many miles of waterway to explore, weary paddlers are already pulling up for a night.
The new riverfront sites—Whately Oaks in Whately, Mass., and Hatchery Brook in Montague, Mass.—opened in August and September, respectively, on Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation land in Connecticut River Greenway State Park. Their creation closed an 85-mile gap between campsites on the paddling trail, which includes 49 other campsites on its run from the river’s headwaters in Pittsburg, N.H., to the Atlantic shore in Connecticut.
Camping at the new sites is free, and each accommodates up to 10 campers and four tents on tent platforms. Stays are limited to two consecutive nights. Registration is recommended and can be made online. Campers must bring their own water or means of water purification.
“These sites provide paddlers with the chance to get a good night’s rest after a day on the river,” says Kristen Sykes, AMC’s director of conservation strategies. “We’re really excited about these new recreational opportunities and so grateful to the chapter volunteers and Roving Conservation Crew.”
The Berkshire Chapter will maintain the new sites, which were funded by a Massachusetts Recreation Trails Program grant and the Bafflin Foundation.
The 410-mile trail is managed by the Friends of the Connecticut River Paddlers’ Trail, a consortium of more than 40 partner organizations. AMC coordinates the group’s work in Massachusetts and Connecticut.