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Welcome to the Deerfield River! Here are some fun facts and some great resources to help you explore and enjoy this great river.

Towns in the Deerfield River Watershed:

  • Adams

  • Ashfield

  • Bernardston

  • Buckland

  • Charlemont

  • Colrain

  • Conway

  • Deerfield

  • Florida

  • Goshen

  • Greenfield

  • Hawley

  • Heath

  • Leyden

  • Monroe

  • North Adams

  • Plainfield

  • Rowe

  • Savoy

  • Shelburne


  • Whitingham

  • Readsboro

Major Tributaries:

Massachusetts: Cold River, Chickley River, Bear River, South River, Green River (originates in VT)

Vermont: North Branch, South Branch, East Branch, West Branch

Relevant River Information

Environmental Concerns for the Deerfield

As of 2020, the biggest environmental concerns for the Deerfield River include To learn more about environmental challenges currently facing the Deerfield River

Additional Facts

Many influential writers, such as Nathanial Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau, visited the Deerfield and wrote of its stark beauty. An excerpt from Hawthorne’s The American Notebook, writes that “[P]eaks a thousand or two feet high rush up on either side of the river....they are almost precipitous, clothed in woods, through which the naked rock thrusts itself forth to view. I have never ridden through such romantic scenery."

Here are some great organizations that help keep this river clean, healthy and fun to enjoy:

Click an icon below to learn more about Deerfield River activities
Hiking, Walk & Run
Boating & Sailing

To learn more about the Deerfield events, click here. To get involved, click here!

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Where to go Swimming


Is it safe to swim in this river?

  • Yes, it is safe. Water quality levels vary, and more info can be found about the water quality here. To see more specific and updated water quality reports on the deerfield, visit Is it clean?

  • Where can you swim?  When can you swim?  What organization has information about this?

    • Charlemont: Whirley Baths. “The name comes from the gentle whitewater that swirls around the shallow baths here. For more swimming, there’s a large pool at the end of the cascades. Get there: From North Adams, take MA2E past the Charlemont town line sign — the parking area will be 1.3 miles down the road (note the 30-minute parking limit).”

    • Charlemont: Shunpike Rest Area provides a good stop off Route 2 for tubing, kayaking, swimming, etc.

    • Conway: South River State Forest 

    • Monroe: Cascades on Dunbar Brook. These cascades, located on Dunbar brook, are right next to the Deerfield River. It is located on River Road, with a large parking lot next to a sign that says Dunbar Brook Trailhead. For directions, scroll to the bottom of the previous link. There is a 1 mile walk to the cascades. 

    • Rowe: Zoar Picnic Area. Run by the town of Rowe, this well maintained picnic area provides a scenic secluded segment of the Deerfield. It is fairly rocky, but it can fill up if the dam upstream is released. 

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Hiking, Walking, Running

Where to go on a walk, run, hike, or bike ride

  • Interactive map for hiking

  • Drury: Negus Mountain Trailhead. This informal parking lot leads to Negus Mountain in the berkshires. For more info from a blogger, click here.

  • Florida: Raycroft Outlook. Park at the Raycroft Outlook trailhead, and there will be a nice hike up to the Lookout. The view includes the rolling hills of Western, MA and of the Deerfield River. 

  • Greenfield: Temple Woods provides beautiful hiking trails near the confluence of the Deerfield and Connecticut River. For more info, click here. 

  • Rowe: Picnic Area. Beautiful secluded picnic area between the Deerfield and Dunbar brook. 

Where to camp, tube or go on guided trips


  • Charlemont: Mohawk Trail Campground. Although located on the Cold River, this campground is right near the confluence of the Deerfield and the Cold River. There are tons of tent camping sites, as well as for RVs. Additionally, there are 5 cabins to rent year round. They have another location a bit down the river (~2 miles away) as well. Directions here. 

  • Shelburne Falls: Country Aire Campground is a few minutes up the road from the Deerfield. For more info, visit their website here.

Guided Trips




Check out the Deerfield River Watershed Association's tips on tubing!

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Where to go paddling (listed in direction of upstream to downstream)

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Boating & Sailing

Where to go Boating

You can do all kinds of boating. The water is generally more shallow, so Kayak/Canoeing can occur only when the water is higher. 

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Where to go Fishing
  • The deerfield river is home to native trout. For information about fishing on the Deerfield, click here. Also, Deerfield River Trout Unlimited provides extensive information and updates about the Deerfield river as a cold water fishery. 

  • For additional updates regarding the fishing on the deerfield, click here.