MENU OF STORIES
Whale Watching, 8/31/05
While you're there:
Give bird watching a try. More than 170 species are known to inhabit or visit the North River area. They include the yellow-throated warbler, the yellow-breasted chat, the ruby-throated hummingbird, the black-backed plover and the herring gull.
Enjoy a scenic walk through the watershed area. One of the many places to visit is the Norris Reservation on Dover Street in Norwell.
Find some inner peace and stretch. The North and South Rivers Watershed Association has been hosting its Yoga at the River's Edge program since 1997. For more information and for locations, visit the association's web site at nsrwa.org.
Paddle to victory. Join the North and South Rivers Watershed Association for its 15th annual Great River Race at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20. Registration begins at 9:30.
Lounge in the sun. At the mouth of the North River, visit The Spit, a low-tide-only secluded sandbar accessible almost exclusively to boaters.
It's a water wonderland
Out on the North River, the worries of the world seem to drift away.
On a recent afternoon, brilliant sun rays danced across the water, almost calling out to visitors to put aside their cares and play.
Every year, scores of South Shore residents visit the North River's 12 miles of water and banks to do just that.
Families in motorboats pass by, soaking up the warm sun and enjoying a gentle breeze. Kayakers glide across the waves, resting their paddles occasionally to chat or to admire the scenery.
The river has been designated a scenic river by the state, and it's not hard to see why.
Around low tide, the water near the mouth recedes to reveal sandy shores. Birds swoop down, their feet occasionally skimming the water.
The river is rich in wildlife, from heron and geese to the bass and other fish that lure anglers. For those who'd prefer to take it all in from land, miles of walking paths snake through the watershed.
Although recreation and nature watching may be the primary draws today, the waterway has long played an important role on the South Shore.
The river, which stretches from Hanover and Pembroke to Marshfield and Scituate, once was the site of a thriving shipbuilding industry. More than 1,000 ships were built on the river between 1640 and the late 1800s. One of them, the brig Beaver, was a Boston Tea Party ship.
On this particular day, the river is calm. Waves gently lap against a kayak. But the currents can be treacherous, particularly near the mouth, where the North and South rivers converge and empty into the ocean. Canoeing and kayaking there can be dangerous, so beginners might be wise to stick to the river's upper reaches or try the Herring River, a tributary.
Those who do venture near the mouth are treated to a secluded and pristine stretch of beach known as The Spit. Accessible almost exclusively to boaters, The Spit is occupied by people who toss footballs, play horseshoes or simply lounge the sun.
Whether you sunbathe on The Spit, paddle down the river or take in the sweeping vista from a walking trail, you'll find that the North River is full of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.
If you go
Rentals: Kayaks can be rented from Eastern Mountain Sports, 211 Lincoln St., Hingham, 781-741-8808; and Buckles and Boards, 2148 Ocean St., Marshfield, 781-834-7097. Canoes can be rented from Kings Landing Marina, 80 Kings Landing, Norwell, 781-659-7273.
Paddling launch sites: There are several places to launch kayaks and canoes. For a full list of launch sites or for more information, visit the North and South Rivers Watershed Association web site at nsrwa.org.
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