First Beginners Paddle of the Summer a Success!

Photo by John Coulbourn

Last Thursday was our first Beginners Paddle of the summer, it was very successful and a perfect day to be on the river. The weather was ideal for paddling; starting at 5:30 pm, the sun was starting to get less harsh than earlier with clear skies and not much wind. I hosted a small group of 4 people, all of which paddled in kayaks that we provided to them.

Once we all got situated in the water we headed upstream towards Hamilton and Topsfield. Since we were heading up stream first, we started off battling against the current. Thankfully, even when heading against the current, paddling is not that difficult because the current is not very strong in most stretches. It’s one of the enjoyable things about the Ipswich River, and what makes it so great for beginner paddlers. We were able to have a leisurely paddle at our ease to take in the surroundings of the river and its beauty. With this being said, there were a few challenges on our paddle, due to the bridge that extends over the river and allows the current to pick up more due to narrowing. Although tough, everyone was able to make it through this rough patch and we continued on. We spent about 45 minutes going upstream until we turned around and decide to go back. The ride back to the dock was effortless. Going downstream, you almost did not need to paddle at all.

Once we returned to the dock, I gave the group the option to go wherever they wanted for a little free time on the river and also offered a guided paddle downstream towards the dam in the center of Ipswich. Some paddlers stayed and some decided to leave. Me and a couple sign-ups headed downstream towards the dam and then again headed back to the dock for departure adding about another hour onto our allotted time.

This paddle was a great time; it allowed some to gain more paddling experience and also allowed to see stretches of the Ipswich River that they had never seen before. The journey upstream, especially, allowed some new eyes to see a section of the river full of peace and almost untouched by humans. This area really is an oasis of nature, one that can be accessed by getting out on a boat and exploring the river, hearing the birds and counting the turtles passed by.

This event was open to all levels of experience; whether you’ve never been on the river and want to try out a paddle, if you are really experienced but you want to explore a new section of the river, or if you just don’t want to go out alone. No matter what the reason, the Beginners Paddle Series is a great chance to relax at the end of your day, forget about the business of life and just enjoy the simpleness of nature.

Please sign up for the other series that will be happening this summer:
July 11th and 25nd, and August 8th and 22nd, all sessions starting at 5:30 pm and lasting anywhere from an hour to two depending on your comfort level.


  1. Daniel Broderick - July 28, 2017

    hi rachel looking to reserve a spot on august 8th beginners paddle, I will need a kayak for this event, I was a member of last tuesdays paddle and appreciated the fun event, as a beginner the river and available kayaks are a non-threatening way to be introduced to river and kayaking
    I also hope to attend the aug 22 event and will keep in touch for that event
    dan broderick

  2. Daniel Broderick - July 18, 2017

    hoping to join the beginners paddle on July 25th @5:30 I am a member of Ipswich Watershed and look forward to hearing from you concerning my reservation for next week Dan Broderick

  3. Rusty Russell - July 7, 2017

    Wow Rachel sounds like fun!