I was looking for someplace local to paddle for a few hours, and after reading the Neponset River trip report from dk883, thought I'd give it a try. I'm glad I did.
When I arrived at the parking area, I found a sign pointing to the put in, but I had a little difficulty actually finding the put in because the area was mostly concealed by plant growth.
When I found the put in, I was definitely concerned. It was slippery, small, smelled a little funky, and had refuse. I considered heading home, but decided to give it a go.
The put in area is so small that my kayak, from tip to tail, can reach both sides of the river. Just downstream the river was too shallow to consider paddling, so I headed upstream.
After just a few minutes of paddling, I was glad that I made the trip. While the river was narrow, it was mostly quiet (it does run next to the commuter rail for a good stretch), with very slow moving water that was easy to paddle against. Trees line both sides of the river, giving a nice sense of seclusion, and the leaves drifting slowly downstream make me think it'll be even prettier once the foliage turns.
In several places, trees have fallen into the river, narrowing it so that it was just wide enough for me slip my boat past, but it didn't require much skill to do so.
I paddled upstream for almost two hours, seeing turtles, ducks, frogs, and fish, and eventually, some bridges, including one for route 128.
The return trip was an easier paddle, but just as pleasant.
I'll look forward to returning later this Fall.