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 about 1.5-2 miles downstream through the Pepperell Pond section of the river, which runs mostly through conservation land and is impounded by a dam in Pepperell. That brings you to the widest section of the river which usually has nice foliage and is a good area to spot large birds such as swans, egrets, and birds of prey. GB Heron are common, and sometimes there are 4-legged creatures along the way, from beavers to cows.
We will see how things are - if we're tired or the wind picks up we will turn sooner. If it's a breezy day we could head upstream instead where it's a bit more protected. Lousy weather cancels, with Sunday as a possible "rain" date.
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.)
Wearing an appropriate lifejacket (PFD) is mandatory when paddling with this group. Inflatable belt PFDs are fine, but if you are planning to push your skills (and get wet in the process), you'll be safer and more comfortable in a traditional PFD, with a leash to keep your board from blowing away when you fall off. As we get into the fall and it starts to get cooler, be sure to dress appropriately for whatever the temps are. Having a towel and change of clothes back at your car is always good just in case.
Consuming alcohol before or during any West of Boston SUP event is not allowed.
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. Each participant is responsible for evaluating all relevant conditions for the trip and determining if their skills and equipment are appropriate for those conditions. As organizers, we make no claims regarding any expertise for this outing. This is not a guided tour.