Exploring the Ipswich River 6.24.2015

Under the influence of my wife Gillian, I found myself in my Explorer venturing down the meandering and slow moving Ipswich River.  I try to avoid these types of rivers since my love of the salt air and dynamic conditions of the ocean act as a siren song, luring me to the sea and forsaking the river paddle.  I am so glad she convinced me to go.

View of Rt 97 launch

Gillian posing

One of many tranquil settings

Launching out of the canoe launch off of Rt 97 in Topsfield, we headed upstream against the benign current with no one in site.  We took in the sites of various types of birds, from the red -winged blackboard and baby Canadian geese to snow egrets and great blue herons.  The windy river made you want to keep on paddling since you couldn't see what was around the bend, but you had to find out.  After .6nm, we passed under the stone arch bridge holding up Route 1 and continued our journey.

Rt 1 stone bridge

Water reflecting off bottom of Rt 1 bridge

Another, less picturesque, bridge came into view at the .8nm mark, carrying cars traveling on Salem Road over the water of the Ipswich.

Salem Road bridge

We would see no more structures until we came across an arched, wooden bridge at the 1.4nm mark that may or may not have been part of the railroad (not the bridge itself but the foundation of it).
Wooden arched bridge
Demonstrating proper forward stroke

Passing a beautiful property overlooking the river

 At a little over the 2nm mark, we decided to retrace our steps back to the put in, moving a tad faster due to the small amount current present in the river.    A short, pleasant, scenic trip of about 4nm at a sloth-like pace on the Ipswich River.