Estimated distance: 3.62 miles (not all paddling, as we got up and climbed up the spillway)
Weather: 81°F, scattered clouds
Resources: MDC Farmington River, Colebrook Historical Society, Book: Quiet Water Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island
Highlights of the trip: views
My hiking partner and I decided to go for a paddle in our kayaks today. I had heard about Hogback Reservoir from one of my neighbors and wanted to give it a try. The weather was perfect - sunny, but not too hot (no swimming allowed).
My friend tried entering the boat launch into her GPS without success, so here are some directions: From the center of Riverton (facing the General Store), go left/west on Robertsville Road. This turns into Riverton Road as you enter Colebrook. Turn right on Eno Hill Road. Turn right again on Durst Road (sign for road on pillar). The parking lot for the boat launch is on your left just before the dam. Although the road over the dam goes all the way across to Hogback Road, I think it is gated.
There was a lot of construction going on and, at first, I was not sure whether we would be able to get to the launching area. Then we noticed a gap in the silt fence with a driveway that went down to the launch. You can not launch using a trailer. We unloaded our kayaks and parked in the upper lot. There is a port-a-potty available.
I know, it looks like we paddled over dry land. For some reason the map doesn't show the full size of the reservoir. We parked at what used to be called Hogback Dam, but has been renamed Goodwin Dam. At the other end of the West Branch Reservoir is the Colebrook River Dam with Colebrook River Lake beyond.
We paddled up the west side of the reservoir. There were a couple of spots that looked kind of interesting and may have had trails that went down to them.
|The only island. Someone had stacked a rock cairn on it.|
|Not too sure about climbing this.|
|Looking back down the reservoir.|
|Part way up the hill.|
As we climbed, we realized we were not in the place my neighbor had suggested, and were probably in a place that we should not be. We appeared to be in the spillway for the upper reservoir. It has been very dry here this summer, so I doubted we were in danger of water coming over the top, and when we got to the top, we found that was true. We were faced with a field with the water quite a distance away.
|Looking across field to Colebrook River Lake from top of spillway.|
|Looking back at the Colebrook River Dam.|
|One last look from picnic area.|