The Taunton River provides many wonderful opportunities for recreation. Canoeing, kayaking, fishing, bird watching, photography, hiking, snowshoeing, and camping are among the most popular along this beautiful river.

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Photo Credits:
Canoe Passage Outfitters,
National Park Service,
Photographer
Greig Cranna,
Fly Fishing
Connection,
Dept. of Environmental Management,
runwmac.com,
Bill Napolitano

Canoeing and Kayaking

The Taunton River is a great place to canoe and kayak. With over
40 miles of river, trip selections range from day trips of two to eight hours, to overnight trips two to three days.

Put in and take out locations are all along the river usually next to bridges. Water quality is very good, class B, which is clean enough to swim and eat the fish found in the river.

Because the land along the Taunton River is largely undeveloped, and the drop in elevation very small, the Taunton provides a beautiful place for everyone to enjoy. The ecology of the Taunton River makes it by far the most beautiful river to view the fall foliage anywhere.

The numerous types of trees mixed with the golden brush, create a colorful pallet second to none. Many maples reach out over the river, their brilliant foliage reflecting in the water. Half a dozen species of oaks are here too, including several gigantic swamp white oaks. There are groves of beeches, birches, pines, and hemlocks, and a great many hickory and walnut trees. The free nuts are another bonus on fall trips. Fall is the time for seeing the relatively rare tupelo or blackgum tree also, for then its leaves turn a fiery scarlet.

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Fishing on the Taunton River

The Taunton River is a fascinating site for the adventuresome angler to float-fish via canoe or kayak. The network of streams and rivers comprising the Taunton River basin drains 526 square miles of the southeastern part of the Bay State and is the second largest watershed in the state.

The Taunton River offers a chance for solitude and the possibility of catching all sorts of fish while floating a sheltered scenic waterway. Fly fishing out of kayaks has become a very popular. The Taunton River has such a wide variety of fish species because the river contains such a varied number of aquatic habitats.

From the clear riffles of the headwaters to the sluggish, fertile stretches, lush with vegetation, to brackish and, finally saltwater environments, the Taunton has it all. A fisheries report of the Taunton River, reported a list of over 70 species of fish that turned up with the aid of surveys by seven fisheries experts who sampled the river from the smaller up-stream flow to the saltwater areas. One fisherman reported landing one bass after another, which isn't so unusual except that some were largemouths and some were striped bass.

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Bird Watching

Over 154 species of birds were documented along the river during the breeding season. Many of the marshy river segments support high concentrations or a high diversity of marsh nesting birds (such as Red-winged Blackbirds, Herons, Osprey and Kingfisher).

Several of the agricultural areas along the river provide outstanding grassland bird habitat, supporting breeding populations of Upland Sandpiper, Grasshopper Sparrow,
and Northern Harrier and several populations of the Bobolink, Savannah Sparrow, and Eastern Meadowlark.

Forest birds such as the Sharp-shinned Hawk and Coopers Hawk, Northern Parula Warbler and Long-eared Owl have been documented in locations along the river. The overall bird diversity along the Taunton river will make a wonderful day of bird watching for all.

 

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Photography

The Taunton river is a place of great beauty in any season. Because the Taunton river is largely undeveloped, you will find photo opportunities around every bend in the river of unmatched splendor.

Snap a shot of a doe and her fawn as they move slowly through the shaded woods. Mink, river otter, seals, and many other inhabitants of the woods along the river provide challenges to your photography skills. Capture images of bald eagles, great blue herons, loons, and other nesting birds.

Fall is the best time to photograph the colorful foliage and its double beauty as it reflects off the water. The images of the Taunton River you capture in you photographs will be cherished for years to come.

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Hiking

The Taunton River has an number of informal hiking trails along its shores. An number of groups are working on preserving additional sections of land along the river to eventually provide more trails.

 

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Camping

The Taunton River offers a great place for canoe or kayak camping. You can do a two or three day trip on the Taunton or longer if you paddle the entire Wampanoag Canoe Passage.

There are two formal sites, Camp Titicut and Plymouth Rock KOA. Camp Titicut is a very historical site once occupied by the Wampanoag Native Americans and later a ship building site in colonial times.

This is a natural pine grove site above the river which is absolutely beautiful. There are no facilities there. The KOA is located on the Nemasket River, which flows into the Taunton.

A three day trip can be made with the first stop at the KOA and the second at Camp Titicut. The KOA has tent sites, kamping kabins, hot showers, camp store and a swimming pool.

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Snowshoeing

Part of the magic of winter is in the silence of the forest. Freshly fallen snow muffles sound and creates an intimate setting where you feel you've got the world all to yourself.

An outing on snowshoes can offer a number of pleasant surprises. You might see strange ice formations along a waterfall, or you might venture into a swamp that would be inaccessible any other time of year.

One of the best benefits is finding animal tracks crisscrossing the woods. Perhaps you will spot the delicate steps of a fox, the hops of a rabbit, or the pigeon-toed waddle of a porcupine, dragging its tail of quills. And if you are really lucky, you might come upon wildlife itself, since you can move so quietly on snowshoes.

Snowshoeing is easy to learn and pleasantly aerobic. When you consider how much time we spend inside, you may want to make the commitment that, this winter, you will embrace the snow and get closer to nature the quiet way, on snowshoes.

And what about those winter pounds gained from hibernation? A 175-pound person can burn 1,000 calories by snowshoeing for an hour on hilly terrain. Not a bad payoff for having fun. (Excerpts from Michael Tougias Embracing Winter on Shoes Farmers Almanac 2002).

There are many beautiful areas along the Taunton River to enjoy this magical activity. Snowshoes can be rented at the local outfitter.

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