Epic Conn. River canoe trip in progress

  • Lou Zeppieri of Contoocook, New Hampshire, who is paddling the Connecticut River is seen here portaging around the Turners Falls Dam with his companion Bo. August 7, 2018 Recorder Staff/Paul Franz—

  • Lou Zeppieri of Contoocook, N.H., who is paddling the Connecticut River, is seen here portaging around the Turners Falls Dam with his companion Bo. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Lou Zeppieri of Contoocook, New Hampshire is paddling the Connecticut River, is seen here portaging around the Turners Falls Dam with his companion Bo. August 7, 2018 Recorder Staff/Paul Franz—Paul Franz...

Staff Photographer
Published: 8/8/2018 9:54:13 PM

GILL — Lou Zeppieri of Contoocook, N.H., is off on another canoe trip. It’s just a little one — down the Connecticut River from northern New Hampshire to Long Island Sound.

Paddling his light-weight Kevlar Wenonah canoe with his 9-year-old companion Bo, he started in northern New Hampshire, picking up the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, a 740-mile marked canoeing trail, from Canadian border in Maine to the Adirondacks in New York, that goes across New Hampshire, where he got on the Connecticut River.

Heading downstream and camping along the way, he arrived at the Gill Boat Ramp to portage around the dam on Tuesday afternoon. With his boat on his portage cart, two wheels strapped to the bottom of his canoe, he was able to move his camping gear and solar panel topped cooler with ease, Bo trotting along side.

First stop was the Wagon Wheel for some comfort food and next was supplies at the convenience store on the corner of Main Road and Route 2. Then he went across the Turners Falls-Gill Bridge before picking up the Canalside Bike Path to avoid the white water below the dam and the plunge over the Rock Dam a little farther down steam.

Zeppieri was planning on putting back into the river at the end of Poplar Street in Montague City, below the railroad bridge that carries the bike path over the river.

Then there would be more paddling, bolstered by a strong current from recent rains. Zeppieri planned on making it past the Sunderland Bridge on Tuesday where there are two Appalachian Mountain Club-sponsored camp sites just past the bridge. He hoped to make the farthest one before nightfall.

If all goes well Zeppieri will make his way around the Holyoke dam and continue the journey to the Long Island Sound, although he admits he might stop short, depending on the water and weather conditions at the mouth of the river.


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