Sunday, May 31, 2009

Photographs: Knightville Dam and the Westfield River's East Branch

Knightville Dam controls the flow of the East Branch of the Westfield River in Huntington, Massachusetts. Built by the Army Corps of Engineers over the years 1939-1941, the project was a response to the devastating flood of March, 1936, and is just one facet in a comprehensive system of flood protection for the Connecticut River Valley.

On a recent visit, the president of Ireland, Mary McAleese, said of Western Massachusetts: "In Ireland we talk about 40 shades of green, but I think here you must have 140 shades of green." President McAleese is right...and they are all represented in living color at Knightville Reservoir.

It's nice to bring a friend on a walk. Or to make one on the way.

The Westfield's East Branch twists and turns southward to a downriver rendezvous with the Middle and West Branches on its constant journey to the Connecticut River, Long Island Sound and the cold, dark Atlantic.

All days are a gift. Some are a treasure.

Without banks, without sentinels of stone playing walls to water's unthinking rush down the path of least resistance, there would be no rivers, no lakes, no seas. People are like that. Some are banks and some are rivers. Each is necessary to the others' existence.

Beauty is good for the soul. Western Massachusetts is an easy place to find visual joy.

Snow and ice and barren branches and earth annually give way to a thick floral carpet tall with trees and grasses and vines as the pendulum swings to Spring in Western Massachusetts. And the river rolls on...

For more information and directions, visit the Army Corps of Engineers Knightville Reservoir web site at:

For general directions, here's a link to a map of the area from Google Maps.

The photographs above were taken along the west side of the river, accessed by going north on Route 112 to Old Worthington Road to the Knightville Wildlife Area Road, as shown on the map. There is parking at the end of the Wildlife Area Road. It is a beautiful walk along the river north from here. The Army Corps web site has directions to the south side of the 1200 foot long dam, which offers a tamer, picnic-tabled and manicured (but no less interesting) section of the reservoir.

And here's a link to an EWM post with autumn photographs of the same area: Photos: The Westfield River's East Branch.

As always, thanks for stopping by and take care.

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Michaelann Bewsee said...

Lovely, lovely photos. Rivers are so amazing-- strong than they look...

Beth Niquette said...

Wow, you live in a beautiful place. I remember how the trees would foam up over the hills. I get homesick looking at your wonderful photography.

Tony said...

'some people are banks and some are rivers, each essential to the other's existence' true.