Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

Bantam and Shepaug Rivers
Litchfield County, CT
by Bob Rancan

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A good amount of wet snow is not always a welcome sight once mid March rolls around. So the blanket that covered the metropolitan area over the night of March 7-8 had me out early Friday morning so that the snowblower could move the powder before it turned to a heavier slush. The temperature warmed up fast - the melting snow would bring up the creeks - and our planned Saturday trip up to northwestern Connecticut was on.

Five of us met at Bee Brook on the Shepaug River in Washington Depot. We hooked up with three Connecticut friends and decided that although the flow was still on the low side we sould head up to Rumsey School on the Bantam, paddle it about a mile to the Shepaug confluence and run the Class II section of the Shepaug down past Bee Brook to Steep Rock Reservation.

Nice day, snow on the banks, rocks in the river - lots of rocks, many obscured by the sun's glare. We bumped down the river all day but it was worth the trip. Fast water, challenging drops and lots of play spots characterize this run. when there were breaks in the action we got to admire the great scenery and check out the mallards, crows and common mergansers that were all over the river. It was a wonderful day for the first time out.

Thanks to Chris Dubetsky, Henry Degenhardt, Mark and Mikhael Grossman for joing me and to the locals Matt McCay, Scott Waleski and Chris Malik.