| Taunton River,
Cherry St. To Green St
The Taunton River watershed has long been used for travel. The first settlers in these parts used the rivers to ferry supplies and equipment upstream from the harbors on the south coast to homesteads and farms that soon dotted the countryside.
The spring run of herring that sustained the Native Americans and early European settlers is still very much alive. Once used for food and fertilizer, this precious resource is being protected by government agencies to insure itís existence for future generations.
Starting can be done at any number of points along the river, today we put in at the landing on Summer Street in Bridgewater. One thing you notice is the bad condition of the bridges along the way. So watch for falling concrete just in case.
Right off the bat came a troupe of friends who had been camping upstream. They were riding the river down to the pickup spot having fulfilled their Spring Ritual. They have been returning as steady as the herring for the last 17 years.
Early spring along the river is a great time to see the early arriving birds and painted turtles along the banks. Soon the new growth will hide most of their comings and goings. Garter snakes and common water snakes slither along the edge seeking a nice spot in the sun to warm their winter weary bodies. The Nemasket River joins along the way and you can take a side trip that way if you want. It does get narrow in spots.
One exciting spot is at the Titicut Street Bridge where the river drops over a small cataract of 12-18 inches. This little drop could mean an early swim if you donít pay attention. Returning upstream, there is a portage along the side of the bridge but a large bush at the upstream side makes life difficult. Carry them up an over if you need to. A little extra work, but certainly dryer. Enjoy
Chief enjoys the trip just as much as I do.
story and photos by "Elmer & Mare-E"