|The part that is usually skipped by Section hikers at Robinson State Park|
|Water depth at gauge is 2.8 ft|
It shows the water level at the streamgage was 2.8 feet. But what is the water depth at the ford? I would assume any ford is shallower, that's why it's a ford. I stumbled across page where hiker described the water being up to his mid-thighs at the crossing. I then found historic data for the streamgage on a USGS page. On that page, you can enter a range of dates to generate a hydrograph. Here's one for the past year:
From that graph, it was clear that the river depth at 2.8 feet was very, very low. It looks like it's normally about four or five feet deep at the streamgage, spiking after rains by a couple feet, in some cases more (it was over 12 feet deep in March).
|Robinson State Park|
Confident the river would be no higher than mid-thigh, I threw an extra pair of sneakers in my pack I went back to MA 187 to follow the trail through Robinson State Park. The first part was lovely and easy to follow, following the top of the river bluff. And to think I nearly skipped this!
I missed where the M-M turns left off of the main path to head down the river, and had to use the gps to bushwhack down to the trail. I mumbled a statement of gratitude to the guy who posted his gps track online. As the trail dipped down to the shoreline it became extremely overgrown, although I was able to follow it (barely). Don't try to cross the river prematurely, although it's tempting. Follow the blazes to the end (gps track highly recommend so you know you're at the ford).
|The ford. The shallows angle to the right.|
|This way straight across is deeper. The shallows angle to the far right of the photo.|
|Mussels shells, probably left by a muskrat|
|Live freshwater clam or mussel while crossing the Westfield River|
|The blue line is the gravel bar, about 1.5 feet less than the USGS streamgage.|
The red line is about the same depth as the USGS streamgage.
Crossing to the other side, I was greeted by some Allegheny Monkey Flower, a native of wet places that has flowers that look like they're grinning. Now I can start Section 3.
|Allegheny Monkey Flower|