Connecticut River Greenway State Park Article

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Connecticut River Greenway State Park
Connecticut River Greenway State Park.JPG
Paddling north on the Connecticut River in Sunderland
Map showing the location of Connecticut River Greenway State Park
Map showing the location of Connecticut River Greenway State Park
Location in Massachusetts
Location Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Massachusetts, United States
Coordinates 42°36′27″N 72°32′30″W / 42.60750°N 72.54167°W / 42.60750; -72.54167
CONNECTICUT RIVER GREENWAY STATE PARK Latitude and Longitude:

42°36′27″N 72°32′30″W / 42.60750°N 72.54167°W / 42.60750; -72.54167
Area1,048 acres (4.24 km2) [1]
EstablishedUnspecified
Governing body Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
Website Connecticut River Greenway State Park

Connecticut River Greenway State Park is a protected environment with public recreation features that consists of separate state land holdings, including open spaces, parks, scenic vistas, and archaeological and historic sites, along the Connecticut River in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts. [2] The state park includes critical wildlife and plant habitat as well as areas providing public access to the river in its run across the state [3] and is intertwined with other protected land including farmland under state-held agricultural preservation restrictions [4] (a type of conservation easement), municipal and conservation land trust holdings, and state and national wildlife refuges.

History

The Department of Conservation and Recreation acquired most of the parcels over a period of 20 years beginning around 1986, adding to earlier state holdings including Mount Tom State Reservation, Mount Holyoke Range State Park and J.A. Skinner State Park. Much of the DCR's land acquisition for the park was spearheaded by staff person Terry Blunt (1941-2010), of whom Director of State Parks and Recreation Priscilla Geigis said, "It's really been his leadership and his vision and his drive that has helped to coordinate so many different entities, landowners, towns, organizations, to come together and protect this very special place." [5] [6]

Activities and amenities

The park's 12 miles (19 km) of protected shoreline offer opportunities for motorized and non-motorized boating, canoeing, fishing, and picnicking. Numerous access points are identified by the DCR where the river can be tackled: [2]

Pauchaug Brook, Northfield
One mile north of Northfield Center on Rte. 63. Paved parking area and ramp which can accommodate canoes and motorboats. [7]
Barton Cove, Gill
Rte 2 east of Turners Falls. Paved parking and ramp for motorboats or canoes. [8]
Sunderland
North side of Sunderland Bridge in Sunderland. Canoe and fishing access. Limited parking. [9]
Hatfield
One mile north of the center. Canoes and shallow draft lightweight boats.
Elwell Recreation Area, Northampton
Damon Road at Route 9 and I-91. Canoe and rowing only. Wheelchair accessible dock on the river. Limited parking. [10]
Oxbow Ramp, Easthampton
Interstate 91 to exit 18 south on Rte. 5 in Easthampton. Thirty-five parking spaces and a paved ramp. Customarily used by high-powered recreational craft and larger fishing boats. [11]
South Hadley/Chicopee Boat Access
James St. downstream from the Holyoke dam. Gravel ramp for shallow draft fishing boats. Popular during shad fishing season.
Chicopee Boat Access, Chicopee
Shallow, moderate and deep draft recreational and fishing boats. Easy canoe and rowing shell access. [12]

References

  1. ^ "2012 Acreage Listing" (PDF). Department of Conservation and Recreation. April 2012. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Connecticut River Greenway State Park". MassParks. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  3. ^ "Map of Connecticut River Greenway State Park". MassParks. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  4. ^ "Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program (APR)". Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  5. ^ Rossi, Dan (21 December 2006). "Blunt receives recognition for work". Daily Hampshire Gazette. Northampton, Mass.
  6. ^ Contrada, Fred (October 15, 2010). "Commentary: Terry Blunt's rich legacy flows in Western Massachusetts". MassLive. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  7. ^ "Connecticut River at Pauchaug Brook Boat Launch, Northfield". ConnecticutRiver.us. Connecticut Watershed Council. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  8. ^ "Connecticut River at Barton Cove, Gill at State Boat Ramp". ConnecticutRiver.us. Connecticut Watershed Council. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  9. ^ "Connecticut River at Sunderland Boat Ramp". ConnecticutRiver.us. Connecticut Watershed Council. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  10. ^ "Connecticut River at Northampton DCR/UMASS Boat Dock". ConnecticutRiver.us. Connecticut Watershed Council. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  11. ^ "Connecticut River Oxbow, Easthampton at State Boat Ramp". ConnecticutRiver.us. Connecticut Watershed Council. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  12. ^ "Connecticut River at Medina Street Boat Ramp". ConnecticutRiver.us. Connecticut Watershed Council. Retrieved April 10, 2017.

External links