Sunday April 13, 9:00AM, the Concord River. The put in was a bit flooded over, well that may be an understatement, the put in was a lot flooded over. Just barely enough room to back the SUV in. With all of the snow & rain we have had, the Concord has flooded over it’s banks. My non scientific guess, is about 15 feet beyond where they were last September. A short distance after the put, you come to Minute Man National Historic Park and a replica of the Old North Bridge, famous for the “shot heard round the world” and the start of the Revolutionary War. The current was swift enough that the only way to get the picture of the bridge was for me to “park” in the woods. Once you pass under the bridge there is an area to pull off and walk around the park. In this case the water was so high you had several spots to choose from. In one area a portion of a stone wall, that should have been away from the shore, was partially under water.
The goal for this day was to paddle down to the Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge, to get up close & personal with some Great Blue Heron. The swift current shortened the paddle time quite a bit. Only took about 20 minutes, instead of the usual 45. Never did see any Great Blue, but a lot of Canada Geese, Mallards & Red Wing Black birds.
There are several trips one can take on the Concord. You could start in Concord and head down river to Lowell, stopping in Billerica to portage around a dam. Or go in the opposite direction and head upriver to Billerica and portage around the dam and end in Concord. With the current as swift as it is now, the normal 3 hour trip from Concord to Billerica could probably be done in half the time, and except for keeping the boat straight you may not even have to paddle!
In the warmer months there are fisherman and jet skis about on the weekends, but an early morning put in should not be a problem. The fall, however, is probably the most beautiful time for a beautifully colorful paddle on the Concord River.
Oh, in case you are wondering the return trip from Great Meadows to the put in was just over an hour.