Bridge Street Bridge
This is a site for launching hand-carried boats such as canoes or kayaks.
Description & Overview:
The landing at Bridge Street provides good access to the Satucket River just above the Bridge Street bridge. Paddling the Satucket is only recommended when the river is relatively high and even then it is best undertaken by more adventurous paddlers since you will encounter many downed trees, at least some of which you will have to lift your canoe or kayak over, and in some cases this lift can be challenging. If the river is low, there may be barely any water at all in the Satucket and you will have to lift your boat over every downed tree (and drag your boat much of the rest of the time). At higher river levels you should be able to float right over many of the trees.
WARNING: If the river is so high that there is a strong current paddling the Satucket is not recommended as the downed trees will become dangerous strainers that could trap and hold you underwater. At least some of the trees are likely to be traps if the current is strong: too high to go over, too low to go under, and hard to get out and lift over if the river is pushing you into them and the banks are not good for landing.
Below the Bridge Street Bridge the Satucket winds through a dense forest and the only signs of human presence are very occasional houses and occasional trash in and along the river. With enough water in the river it should be a pretty paddle.
In 4.5 miles you will come to the Plymouth Street Bridge. If the river is high and you cannot fit under the bridge you will have to take out here on the river right, go around the fence along the road, carry along MA 106 past the mill buildings and put in from the parking lot. However, as of this writing, the sluicegate in the dam just below the bridge had been opened meaning that there should be plenty of space to fit under the bridge. Approach this dam carefully! If the river is low you will probably be able to go right through the sluicegate but make sure the way is clear and the current light before proceeding. If you have any doubts find a way to portage around the dam.
Below the dam the river goes right under part of the mill and then goes back into the forest. Once again the river winds through deep forest, with few houses visible from the river but many downed trees to deal with. 1.4 miles below Plymouth Street the Satucket River joins the Matfield River and finally the river becomes deep enough that there should be enough water to paddle even in a dry summer. Downed trees are still a bit of an issue but much less than above here because the riverbanks become more marshy and so there are fewer trees near the riverbanks that can fall across the river.
In 1.4 miles you will come to Bridge Street where there is a bit of quickwater under the bridge and then the river slows down again for 0.8 miles to the High Street Bridge. Again there is some quickwater under the bridge. There is no good access from the road down to the river at either of these bridges.
2.8 miles the below the junction of the Satucket and Matfield Rivers is the junction with the Town River and the start of the Taunton River. Turn left at this junction to continue down the Taunton. In 0.3 miles you will come to the MA 104/Plymouth Street bridge, which can be used as a take-out (on the right before the bridge), but it is not a very good one due to the lack of parking and steep riverbanks.
A few hundred feet below the MA 104 bridge you will come to the broken-down remnants of the old Reynolds Dam. If conditions and the experience level of your group allow, this dam can be run (with care) on the left. If the river is not too high it can also be portaged on the right, going right over the old dam remnants. If the right side of the dam is underwater then you will have to run the dam or undertake a portage through thick brush and poison ivy.
Below the dam the river slows down again and enters the deep forest through which the Taunton River flows for much of its length. It is 2-1/2 miles from the Reynolds Dam to Cherry Street, the first bridge and the first possible take-out. There are no houses or buildings or even roads visible from the river in this area and in many areas you would have to go a long ways back from the river to find the first road or house. There are quite a few trees down across the river but in most cases you can go around, over or under them without getting out of your boat, except when the river is especially low, when many of these trees block the river all the way across, meaning you will have to get out and pull your boat over a log. The river is deep and slow moving, and as it winds its way through the thick forest you can feel like you have been transported back to some other century.
The take-out at Cherry Street is below the bridge on the left side of the river. It is somewhat muddy and steep but is usable. For more details, see the description for Cherry Street.
This site provides access to the following water bodies in the Taunton River watershed: Satucket River.
Town: East Bridgewater
Nearest Town Center: East Bridgewater
Driving Landmarks: From MA 106 (Plymouth Street) head north on Bridge Street. 0.6 miles up Bridge Street, look for a wood sign on the right for "Frank Johnson Memorial Riverfront Area," next to a short road that leads to a small parking area next to the river.
Access & Waters:
Water 'Features' At Site: flatwater/slow moving river
Note: Because one boat launch can access, say, both a lake and a river or both the upstream and downstream portions of a river, not all paddling trips at a given site will necessarily encounter all of the features listed.
Type of Access: Boat launch for hand carried boats
ADA Accessible Boat Launch? no
Shoreline: Gravel. When the river is low the last couple of feet to the river are a bit steep. When the river is high, much of this steep area will be an underwater drop-off to be aware of.
Approximate Length of Carry between Car Access and Water: 75 feet
Parking: parking lot, 10 spaces, no overnight parking
ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? no
Public Restrooms: No
Sources for More Information:
AMC River Guide: 4th Edition, page 156
Ecological, Cultural & Recreational Attractions:
There is a picnic table in the woods between the roads, the river and the parking area.
The data on this website come from many sources, including volunteers and organizations across the state of Rhode Island and nearby parts of Massachusetts. We have done our best to make sure the data are accurate and up to date, but any information critical to the success of your trip should be confirmed before you start. The maps and information on this website should not be substituted for nautical charts, topographic maps, or other more detailed maps and guides. We welcome corrections and additions. To send a correction or provide other feedback, please use our feedback form (see link above).
This site report was last updated on August 2, 2010