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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dd is just obsessed with the idea of going on a boat (thanks to One Morning in Maine!
). My DH and I paddled a fair amount before dd was born... which was before we lived here (Northampton, MA)!

We no longer have our own boat, so we'd need to rent. We're looking for a great place to canoe near Northampton. Obviously, fairly calm waters are important with a little one. Shade is also nice. We do have the ability to rent a canoe and then transport it to a put-in.

Any ideas?

ETA: we live very near Smith College, so if there is anything available through the college (not sure whom to ask??), that would be especially convenient!

· Premium Member
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Hi Meg,

You should definitely see if the boathouse at Smith is open during the summer. It's a nice little paddle up the river, very shady and mild (and shallow) water. I can't remember exactly what the policy is for non-student/faculty paddlers, but I'm guessing that they rent boats out for a small fee. I used to do it with the kids I baby-sat for all the time when I was a student there and it was free.

Another nice paddle is the oxbow. There's a put-in right after the bridge on Rt. 5 (just before you cross over into Easthampton). It's especially fun when it's flooded because you can paddle through the trees, and it almost feels like you're in the mangroves. Of course, when it's not flooded then it's easier to duck under the bridge and paddle through arcadia, which is also quite nice.

Lena takes the kids out in her sea kayak at the DAR all the time. I don't think it's the nicest place to paddle (I mean, really, it's just a big pond), but the kids love it, and then you have the option of swimming when you're done paddling (I don't know that I'd recommend swimming in the oxbow or the Smith pond--though I've done both!).

We only have a whitewater canoe, so it's not the best for flat-water paddling, but you'd be welcome to borrow it sometime if you'd like, especially after we move.

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