The Quaboag River's Western end is a favorite playspot for whitewater paddlers in the spring but the Eastern end is a delightful place of an easy day of flatwater paddling. The flatwater section runs from Quaboag Pond in Brookfield to Lucy Stone Park in Warren. There is usually enough water throughout the season to paddle this river.
The river begins at Quaboag Pond (the outlet is at about 1 o'clock as you look out from the put-in) and meanders through marshes, open lands, forested areas. The river follows route 9 in some fashion, though the road is not close enough to cause noise pollution. There is a train track that follows the river for a ways and you're pretty much guaranteed to see at least one freight train go by, but that is usually an interesting diversion.
There is a rest area near the junction of routes 9 and 67 (and take-out is possible there.) From the rest area, the river flows a little more quickly, though never swift, down to Lucy Stone Park for the final takeout. Be sure to stay left at the Park and takeout well before the bridge or you will soon be joining the playboats, whether you want to or not!!
Depending on the speed at which you paddle, this is a full-day paddle. Hot, summer, cloudless days will leave you exposed to the sun for quite a while going through the marshes before finally finding shade. Windy days can also pose a problem in the long, wide-open area. A cloudy day, or a spring or fall day, is perfect for this trip.
Break area at the route 148 bridge. Rest area as described above. White's Landing is located at the Rt 148 bridge offering canoe/kayak rentals, area maps, tourist info and also the Quaboag Cafe.
No fees or permits required.
Put-in: Route 9 in Brookfield, from the intersection of 148, go East. After passing the State Police barracks, you will come upon the Clam Box drive-in. Take the right immediately afterwards and follow to the state boat ramp on the right. Put in and head along the right-hand shore to the river outlet.
Takeout #1 - The rest area is at the intersection of routes 9 and 67. From the put-in, retrace your steps back to route 9. Follow west through the center of Brookfield and West Brookfield. Route 67 joins route 9 on the right. Continue west on route 9 until 67 turns off (left.) Take the very first right, which is really a break in the guard rail, to the rest area.
Takeout #2 - From the rest area, continue west on 67 into Warren. In the center of Warren, take a right onto River Road. Lucy Stone park is right at the bridge. Parking is available on the left.
The state put-in is a large, paved area with plenty of parking. The rest area takeout is a small rest area with ample parking on a dirt parking lot. The Lucy Stone takeout is small with parking on one side of the road (left) and the park, itself, on the right just before the bridge.