The Connecticut River
I have thought about this post for a while and struggled with how best to present a story on the Connecticut River. I’ve decided to treat this post as an ongoing story that will include updates as each opportunity presents itself.
The Connecticut River has provided numerous camping, fishing, and boating memories over the years and it will be fun to capture new ones for this post.
I captured a New Hampshire Historical marker here during another post; “Monadnock Region Road Trip.” The First Connecticut River Bridge was completed in 1785 by Colonel Enoch Hale of the American Revolution. The toll bridge connected Walpole, New Hampshire, and Bellows Falls, Vermont. It was 360′ long and charged 3 cents per walking person, 6 cents for a horse and rider, and 12.5 cents for a horse and wagon.
The bridge was utilized until 1840 when a new bridge was built upriver. Enoch’s bridge was determined to have decayed beyond repair and eventually was allowed to be carried away by the very river it spanned.
Walpole to Westmoreland Sept 2020
Fishing and Camping
This first post will include a planned camping/fishing adventure that starts in Walpole and ends in Putney, Vermont. My stepson is an avid fisherman and we had talked about this for some time.
The launch area is a perfect spot that allows you to drive right down to the water’s edge and unload. Be careful to watch the water level and dam activity as things can change in a hurry. Things were calm during our launch due to a current draught and so that didn’t prove to be an issue.
It didn’t take long to land our first nice smallmouth bass of the trip! Smallmouth are great fighters and we couldn’t have asked for a better start. A group of kayakers launched right after us and made their way downriver. The water level was shallow but fast-moving through the first section.
We both commented on how clear the water was this trip. It is normally somewhat stirred but perhaps the lack of recent rain and runoff allowed it to run itself clear? It added to the great fishing as we could see the fish hitting lures and swimming about.
Beautiful farmland on both the Vermont and New Hampshire shores line the Connecticut River as we wind our way slowly downriver. Logjams and signs of high water at the Route 123 Bridge remind us of how violent it can be.
We have a spot along the New Hampshire shore in mind for a camping destination. Mill Brook looked like a good camping spot on the Google aerial view and hopefully provides additional good fishing. It wasn’t until the morning that we realized what a perfect spot it would be.
After pitching the tent, gathering some firewood, and cooking dinner, we settled in for the night. Fireworks were going off in the distance and echoing down the river valley.
The next morning we were rewarded with multiple views of a beautiful sunrise! Our fire popped in the foreground as the sky shifted from pink to gold, to blue.
The fishing tapered off somewhat on the second day but we were treated to the sight of a majestic young eagle, geese, ducks, and other birds. I need to work on my camera readiness skills. I’m still kicking myself for missing the shot on the eagle.
We passed a number of fellow adventurers out enjoying the river. The river tends to get somewhat deeper the further south you travel which lends itself to more boating traffic.
Our meetup destination is “Putney Boat launch” on the Vermont side. We faced some pretty strong headwinds on day two but it was good to test ourselves. The sky was blue and the temperature was perfect.
Add the Connecticut River to your list of New Hampshire treasures. Whether you come out forthe day or make a two-day Huckleberry Finn adventure out of it, you will be glad you did!
Feel free to add comments or suggestions about other sections of the Connecticut River to explore!
To be continued!