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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cruising Down the Connecticut

The Quinnetukut II is a 44-seat African Queen-style riverboat that makes a 12-mile round-trip cruise along the Connecticut River starting in Northfield.  The cruise is narrated and full of history, geology, biology, and ecology -- plus, there's a lovely view the whole way. The cruise is run by FirstLight Power Resources as part of the recreation programs offered out of the Northfield Mountain location.

Mr. Madley and I made the cruise on Saturday for the first time, though we had tried, unsuccessfully, to get tickets a few years ago.  The cruises run July-mid-October, three times a day on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.  As we witnessed, it is important to call ahead for reservations: (800) 859-2960, and to arrive early at the Northfield Mountain Visitor Center to pick up tickets (sometimes you can find discount coupons here:; tickets run $6-12 depending on age.

I was in love from first sight.  The Connecticut River is beautiful, and I always love riding on a boat.  Being out on the water makes me unreasonably happy, and to be on such lovely waters on such a lovely day was wonderful.  Along the way, the guide discussed the history of the rocks on the shore, the European and native histories of the location, and some of the wildlife we did and didn't see (we saw swans and a juvenile bald eagle -- which shows up in one of the pictures -- and some dead fish).  We passed under the French King Bridge and made our way down to Barton's Cove then made the return.  Pictures included below.

The trip takes about 1.5 hours from start to finish, and I definitely recommend it for nice low-key excursion.  Just make sure you make reservations!

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