#1) Rte 115 Site
This site is on Rte 115, near the Millis Norfolk town line. This launch site is located on the down stream side of the river. The entrance is just over the bridge going south. This site gives access to one of the best downstream floats on the Charles River. From this point you can float down the river to another launch site at forest road.
The only problem with this site is at low water conditions. You may have to wade the river for a few yards till you pass the shallow flat stretch, before there is enough water to float along. This stretch of river is relatively free of fallen trees in the water so it is an easy trip for beginners. The current is also rather weak so if you plan on paddling back up stream, the task is not so daunting. Take your time and enjoy the sights, and you can do this trip down and back in under 4 hours. There is ample parking for 5 or 6 cars.
#2) Forest Road Site
This site is on Forest Road, on the down stream side of the road at the bridge between Millis and Medfield, on the Millis side of the river. This is a new site just improved by the Army Corp of Engineers. The stretch of river downstream gives a good long float trip downstream to the launch site on Rte 109.The water here is deep with high embankments. This stretch will take you from a wooded shoreline to an extensive marsh type of habitat. This float is a good half day trip one way, to Rte 109. The current is lazy and you will have to paddle to make any progress. One problem with this stretch (first ¼ mile) is the amount of fallen trees in the river. This can be daunting at times, but experienced paddlers should have no problem navigating them. There is ample parking for 6 to 8 cars.
#3) South End Pond
This pond is located off of Rte 115 near the Sherborn town line, by way of a dirt road. This is a great place to spend a few lazy hours fishing, or just floating along the shoreline. From this pond you can canoe up the Boggestow Brook, from its inlet for a short distance. The stream does get rather narrow and you will find turning around with a canoe longer than 12 feet rather difficult.
This side trip will be worth it though, because on this part of Boggestow Brook, there is usually a family of Kingfishers living along its embankments. Also on this stretch of stream, beavers, muskrats and otters have been observed. Great blue herons are present here, as well as at the shoreline of the pond itself.
From the pond you can also access the Charles River by paddling through the outlet stream. This can be tough to do in low water conditions, but will let you float some of the upper Charles and then you can return to the pond. At this site, you will have to carry your canoe and items for a short distance, because the road is gated to protect our public water supply well. Park along the road and don't block the gate.
Remember to always wear your flotation vest
Pack it in --- pack it out
Take your time and enjoy the wonders of nature
Mr. George W. Trumbour III
Millis Conservation Commission
25 February 2007 (rev. 8/6/13)