According to predictions this date should be close to peak foliage around here. Hopefully we'll have some nice weather too.
We will start from the Petapawag Boat Launch in Groton and paddle downstream through the Pepperell Pond section of the river, which is impounded by a dam in Pepperell and doesn't have much current. I plan on paddling about 2 miles downstream to the area it is widest with a number of islands. It's usually a very nice foliage area, as well as a good place to spot large birds.
There are 2 launches very close to each other each other. We will launch from the main Petapawag launch off Nod Rd, which has a concrete ramp with gravel areas to the sides. When it's not busy you may be able to park close to the water along the right side of the launch area. The left side is marked no parking to allow room for boat trailers to turn around, but it's ok to park there temporarily to drop off your gear, then find a parking spot a little further back along the entry road. (You may also spot a cartop-only launch right off 111/119, but it's a much more awkward spot to carry and launch a SUP so we'll stick to the main ramp.)
Feel free to bring a snack or lunch. I've recently learned of a somewhat hidden Pepperell town launch in the big pond where we might be able to stop and get out, though the bank is steepish and actually getting to it may depend on weeds and water level. If that doesn't work out we can just raft for a break if people want.
(Caveat - we happened to take a walk on the rail trail by the river today and were surprised to see the river was several feet low. Turns out they are doing maintenance on the dam. It was supposed to be a 2 day project and completed today 9/29, with the river starting to refill tonight. We didn't think it looked like they were finished, but hard to tell. I expect everything will be fine in 2 weeks, but if it's not I will probably move this meetup to someplace on the Concord/Assabet/Sudbury.)
To paddle with this group, you must wear a PFD (life jacket) while on the water. Inflatable belt PFDs are fine. As we get into the fall and it starts to get cooler, be sure to dress appropriately for whatever the temps are.
AS A CONDITION OF ATTENDING THIS MEETUP, YOU AGREE TO: Hold harmless, and indemnify the organizers and their relations and heirs, and all members and participants of the Meetup group from any and all claims for injury, illness, death, and/or property damage including those caused by negligence, ignorance, inexperience and other reasons. You also agree to assume all mental, physical, financial, and/or other risk associated with this meetup. Standup paddling and other activities pose inherent risks and dangers. Participation in these activities is voluntary and dependent upon your own personal judgment.