Saturday, May 6, 2017 - Sunday, May 7, 2017
Massachusetts North Shore,
Massachusetts, Boston Area,
Paddle Ipswich River for 5 miles each day, camping on the Mass Audubon Sanctuary's Perkins Island in the middle of the Great Wenham Swamp. You need to be capable of portaging around or clambering over the half a dozen downed trees or beaver dams we expect to encounter. The sights in a nutshell: Passing the Essex County Greenbelt Association's Killam Island property, notice the silver maples which dominate the ecologically-important floodplain forest. Note their buttressed (raised) roots supplying oxygen (preventing drowning) during floods. Note also how the drooping branches curve upward near the tips - distinctive of this variety. Past the confluence of Fish Brook on the left, one of the cleanest in the region, and continuing through another floodplain of great meanders, we encounter the Salem-Beverly Water Supply Board's water withdrawal canal, from which 2 billion gallons of water are pumped each winter and spring, filling Putnamville Reservoir and Wenham Lake. Beyond is the 3,000-acre Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, the Massachusetts Audubon Society's largest sanctuary, home to birds and other creatures. Known as the Great Wenham Swamp, this area covers over 2,500 acres stretching to Danvers. The event also features a campfire and Sunday breakfast.