Connecticut River Greenway State Park
|Connecticut River Greenway State Park|
|Massachusetts State Park|
Paddling north on the Connecticut River in Sunderland
|Counties||Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire|
|Area||1,048 acres (424 ha) |
|Biomes||Stream, wetland, river, park|
|Management||Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation|
|Website: Connecticut River Greenway State Park|
Connecticut River Greenway State Park is a Massachusetts state park consisting of separate state land holdings, including open spaces, parks, scenic vistas, archaeological sites, and historic sites, along the Connecticut River in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts. The park includes critical wildlife and plant habitat as well as areas providing public access to the river in its run across the state and is intertwined with other protected land including farmland under state-held agricultural preservation restrictions (a type of conservation easement), municipal and conservation land trust holdings, and state and national wildlife refuges.
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, of whom the 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."
River access points
There are over 12 miles of permanently protected shoreline, and numerous access points to the river. The DCR has identified the following places where the river can be tackled:
- Pauchaug, Northfield: One mile north of Northfield Center on Rte. 63. Paved parking area and ramp which can accommodate canoes and motorboats.
- Barton Cove, Gill: Rte 2 east of Turners Falls. Paved parking and ramp for motorboats or canoes.
- Sunderland: North side of Sunderland Bridge in Sunderland. Canoe and fishing access. Limited parking.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- "2012 Acreage Listing" (PDF). Department of Conservation and Recreation. April 2012. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "Connecticut River Greenway State Park". MassParks. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
- "Map of Connecticut River Greenway State Park". MassParks. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
- "Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program (APR)". Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
- Rossi, Dan (21 December 2006). "Blunt receives recognition for work". Daily Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, Mass.).
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