your paddlesports destination

French River in Massachusetts

Trip Overview

The French river is a great paddle for a day or afternoon, depending on how far you want to go. Going after some wet weather is best but not necessary, it just makes paddling around fallen trees, etc, easier. There are some beaver dams that are easily portaged or slide-portaged with a little speed. Going from Oxford into Webster is easiest, but if you don't mind a lot of portaging you can easily go down into Connecticut. The problem is that there are a lot of dams after the center of Webster that one must portage around, and which reduce flow. Also, some areas have a lot of litter in the more southern, urban sections of river. A kayak would be easier than a canoe once past the railroad bridge in Oxford where I chose to stop, to make portages and tight water easier. I chose to put in above Hodge's Village dam, which therefore needs to be portaged mid-journey.


Take 395 and get off at exit 5, Depot Rd. Go east to Rt. 12, cross straight over Rt. 12 to a recreational facility.


There is a gated path/road along the left after you enter which you can walk down with your boat, and put in on the right of the foot bridge, approximately 1/10 of a mile from parking in the fields. Take out at the railroad bridge in North Webster, next to Bigelow St. which is off of Rt. 12.

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip