your paddlesports destination

Lake Quinsigamond / Flint Pond in Massachusetts

Trip Overview

My friend and I saw on Google Earth that Lake Quinsig in our hometown of Worcester, MA connects to some other ponds/rivers that looked interesting to explore, so we put our kayaks in at Lake Park on Lake Ave and headed south toward Flint pond.

Lake Quinsig:
After bearing left of the islands (stopping to explore the public ones) and going under the first little bridge by Sunset Beach, we turned left up the outlet of Meadow Brook. Here we saw Great Blue Herons and a family of 10 baby geese as it led to a tunnel/bridge under a road.

Meadow Brook:
We decided to lean back and pull ourselves through the little tunnel with our hands on its ceiling to explore where the brook went. If you want to explore this but you don't like spiderwebs and spiders, maybe try getting out and walking your kayaks across the street. The brook was dirty and murky but also interesting and beautiful. It looked like an eerie old forest swamp where a dinosaur might pop out at any minute. Shallow, thin, winding, and full of broken trees to paddle over and water plants that made for fun challenging obstacles until they just weren't worth climbing over anymore and we turned back around to save daylight for later.

Flint Pond:
Back out of the meadow, we continued south under the rt. 20 bridge into Flint Pond. This is a nice medium pond with two lobes, so we stayed to the left lobe to go see what happens after the dam at the end. Here we saw a hawk and two swans.

Quinsigamond River:
Here we took out on the bank to the right of the dam to eat lunch and walked over the land to put our kayaks back into the river on the other side. This section is a nice slow flatwater section between tall grass/weeds. Not much to see until you go under a cool old train track stone arch bridge, under which the current gets a little fast before re-netering a slow area that leads to Hovey Pond.

Hovey Pond:
A small quiet murky pond with some houses on it. Stopped to talk to a guy fishing in a boat. When we rowed over to the dam at the end it looked and sounded like quite drop so we got out and walked along the dam wall to get a higher vantage point. We were correct. It's about a 20 foot waterfall onto sharp boulders so DON'T PADDLE CLOSE TO THE EDGE! We also didn't see anywhere to carry/walk down to continue down the river.

Return Journey:
Losing daylight, we had to pick up the pace for the trip back across Hovey Pond, up the Quinsig River (against current) which was only a problem at the fast part under the train bridge. We couldn't row up this one little rapid section and put on our shoes, climbed out, and carried our kayaks up over the train tracks and put back in. All of this was very difficult and dangerous (A train came by and beeped at us to get off the tracks). The rest of the return trip was just a matter of traversing 3ish miles back across the relatively large section of Flint Pond and Lake Quinsing with arms tired from 4 hours of kayaking and pretty much no more daylight.

All things considered it was a great trip full of interesting exploration all the way. A total of about 5.5 hours, about 8 miles.

Accommodations:

Lake Park has picnic tables, beach, bathrooms, grills, but like I said I'm pretty sure the staff may prohibit kayak launching in the summer. Oak Island Boat Ramp is probably the nearest public parking/launching for the areas I described.

Fees:

No

Directions:

Google Maps Links:

Lake Park where we put in.
I was informed by another kayaker that starting in June, park employees won't let you put kayaks in here.
https://goo.gl/maps/zC4opXwHYpQ2

Meadow brook Entrance:
https://goo.gl/maps/oAkFzerD2UB2

Flint Pond has the Oak Island Boat Ramp if you want to park there instead.
https://goo.gl/maps/dL2XfMRQaB72

Dam connecting Flint Pond to Quinsig River
https://goo.gl/maps/rWt1e99NHVE2

Hovey Pond
https://goo.gl/maps/CQrvePFFD3S2

Resources:

Google Maps including the map, satellite, 3D, and street views is very helpful
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip