Welcome to the Mass Rivers’ “Explore your Rivers” page. The purpose of this page is to encourage you to do exactly that - go and explore your local river. There are many ways to enjoy a river, and we hope this page will give you a few new ideas, and inspire you to visit some new rivers. Despite the fact that our state is a small one, Massachusetts is unusually rich in rivers and streams, and most of our rivers and streams are fortunate to have at least one local organization working to keep them healthy. While you are learning about the rivers, we hope you will also learn about these great groups, and consider supporting these organizations.
Please click on each watershed to learn more.
A word about this information...The information in this section was collected from a variety of sources, including online and print publications developed by Mass Rivers’ member organizations, interviews with local river “experts,” Google Maps, and excerpts from state and federal agency publications. We have tried to cite all our sources, and provide live links to sources we felt were most useful. All of this information is subject to change, and if you discover errors, please let us know.
As noted above, our small state has a lot of rivers, with close to 300 named rivers alone, and over 8,000 river miles. This resource is a work in progress. Please let us know if there is a river we should include (and if you can point us to some good information about it, even better).
Finally, please be careful when you are out on the water. Boating is one of the nicest ways to enjoy a river, but even our flat rivers can present hazards - high spring flows, dams, and other obstructions such as downed trees can pose serious safety risks, so do your research first to plan a safe trip for your skill level. In some rivers, high levels of bacteria and pathogens prevent safe swimming; some watershed organizations post this information on their websites. During late summer or earlier in dry years, some rivers or river sections may not be navigable. Coastal rivers are tidally influenced, which means you may need to plan your trip around the tides, so you don’t have trouble paddling or become stranded. Make sure you park in a location where parking is permitted, watch out for poison ivy, and wear a safety vest. When in doubt, check in with your local watershed organization before you go - they can usually advise you about whether it’s safe or not to paddle the local streams, and where to put in your boat. Some watershed groups have river conditions information on their websites, such as this page about flow levels on the Ipswich River Watershed Association’s site, and this one about river obstructions on the OARS website. Check to make sure the information is up to date.