The recently updated Weir Village Park, with a new, concrete boat ramp and floating dock, provides access to the Taunton River in Taunton. While the river here in Taunton is rather industrial you do not have to go far either way to find more wooded riverbanks and a more rural landscape.
Paddling downriver to Weir Village Park, look for the boat ramp on the left about 1/4 mile below the Plain Street Bridge, in a long straight section of the river where the right bank is largely a vertical bulkhead.
On this part of the Taunton River the tides are typically more important for planning a trip than the river's current. The tide rises and falls by as much as four feet in Taunton and the resulting current can either help or hinder you. Paddling downriver to Weir Village Park the tidal current is unlikely to slow you down much but especially on an incoming tide it is reasonable to paddle upriver for miles. In about 3/4 mile the riverbanks become more wooded and generally stay that way through the rest of the river corridor, with occasional exceptions.
Paddling downriver from Weir Village Park you only have to go 1/2 mile to find yourself paddling between wooded hillsides. As the river slowly gets wider, salt marshes replace wooded hillsides and the river starts to feel distinctly coastal, even thought it is fourteen miles below Weir Village Park before the river flows through Fall River and into Mount Hope Bay. There are occasional industrial facilities such as a sewage treatment plant and power plant that intrude into the scenery but they are the exception rather than the rule.
A one-way trip downriver from Weir Village Park to Berkley Bridge (4.1 miles downriver) or Dighton Rock State Park (5.9 miles downriver) can be made at any tide but will be much easier on an outgoing tide. On an incoming tide you can also paddle upriver from Berkley Bridge or Dighton Rock quite easily making various round trips and one-way journeys possible. Especially in the lower reaches, low tide will expose mud flats, which often attract interesting birds but can make launching and landing messier. Below Taunton paddlers should also expect to encounter motorboats and as the river gets wider near Dighton Rock the wind can kick up a dangerous chop, especially if the wind is blowing against the current.
Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 3:00pm Eastern Time
Sunday, Jun 27, 2021 at 1:00pm Eastern Time
Friday, May 7, 2021 at 11:00am Eastern Time
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