Thursday, June 23, 2005

Aaron River Reservoir (Hingham MA)

When We Went:

Late June 2005. It was another after work adventure. This one didn't turn out as planned, but was interesting.


The Aaron River Reservoir is part of the Wompatuck State Park which is located in Hingham, MA. Aaron River Reservoir is actually a reservoir for Cohasset, MA. From looking at their mass Department of Recreation Web Site, one would think that Kayaking was allowed and promoted at the reservoir. It appears not to be the case, but we'll get to that in a little while. The state park has a main entrance in the north western corner. This road (Hingham's Union St) appears to connect to a number of smaller roads. It does in fact connect to these roads, but none of them are open. They are all closed off to motor vehicle traffic.

When we arrived at the roads that connected Union St to the main road we decided that it was too long of a walk to carry our Kayaks, so we decided to walk to the Reservoir to check it out for next time. This was a long, and very buggy walk. It was about a mile in each direction. The mosquitoes were ferocious.

Along the road we met a park ranger on a bicycle, asked about the reservoir, and were told that only "flat bottom" boats were permitted. She said Kayaks and Canoes were not permitted. This made the trip to the park particularly given the text on their web site "Fishing is allowed in the Cohasset Reservoir. A boat ramp is provided for car-top boats, but no boat trailers, please." and under Recreational Opportunities both "Nonmotorized boating" and "Boat Ramp" are listed.

When we did get to the reservoir it looked very nice. Very clean water as you would expect, and looked like some interesting terrain, some houses on hills above the water, and lots of shoreline. We also found a small pickup truck parked at the boat ramp and were left wondering how they got the truck in there given all the gates off the main road we saw were closed. Just another fustration to add to the list.

Needless to say we plan on calling the Park and understand their rules better than the quick conversation with the ranger on the walking trail (781 749-7160) if you are interested.
That said, we are not overly excited at the moment about returning. The issues are 1) The Long walk would require wheels for our Kayaks to allow us to roll them / carry 1/2 of their weight instead of carry them outright which wouldn't be practical 2) the bugs were just ridiculous and 3) the ranger either not knowing what Kayaks are or the website is wrong and we can't Kayak there at all..

Put In Details:

The put in area was nice, had space for a few cars to park, and offered what seemed like a nice area to get in with a gentle slope. The problem is access to the area is extremely long walk to carry of cart your Kayaks. Maybe a update will be in order if we contact the Park and see if there is a way that we can drive in to the boat ramp. This would really change the complexion of the access to the Reservoir.

Link to Map:

The DOR website provides a nice map of the park itself. Here is a link: The map is a little misleading in that Union St. Does not connect to the local roads at the south entrance. The road is blocked by another of the infamous gates.

Here is a link to Google's MAP of the area.



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