WILMINGTON, MA — Residents in our Headwaters Communities (and the public at large) can now enjoy an improved landing close to home where you can put in your kayaks, canoes or tubes this summer!
Most people don’t realize that the Ipswich River starts in Wilmington, just 12 miles north of Boston. Just a few minutes off I-93 is a brand new kiosk at Jenk’s Bridge on Woburn Street. From the kiosk, you can walk your boats or inner tubes below the bridge and plop into the river.
From this point, you can paddle the winding river through the marsh, under I-93, and right into the Reading Town Forest. Depending on water levels you can portage around the beaver dam and continue on through the Town Forest to Lob’s Pound Mill.
The new kiosk officially opened this week. During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Wilmington Town Manager spoke about the importance of creating more outdoor spaces for residents to use and enjoy with their families.
Executive Director Wayne Castonguay says, “We are so excited to have a newly refurbished Jenks Bridge Landing. As the first put in on the 40 Mile Long Source to Sea Ipswich River Water Trail, Jenks is the gateway to the River and a wonderful way for people in the headwaters communities to witness the source of the River firsthand. This project was the culmination of many years of planning by a large group of dedicated people and partners. We cannot thank them enough for making this incredible resource more welcoming and accessible. Mostly, we would like to thank the Town of Wilmington Staff, Valerie Gingrich, Mike Woods and Jerry Lawrenson who provided local assistance in myriad of ways to make this project a reality.”
Attending the ribbon cutting ceremony were
Shannon Lane, Landscape Architect, Halverson Design
Paul Charos, River Warden & Ipswich River Board
Martha Stevenson, Riverwatch Monitor and Headwaters Stream Team
Bradlee Stevenson, Headwaters Stream Team
Judy Schneider, Middleton Stream Team & Ipswich River Board
Cameron Lynch, Wilmington Conservation Agent
Jeffrey Hull, Wilmington Town Manager
Want to explore this stretch of the river? Tune in on June 5th for our Virtual Paddle of the Jenk’s Bridge to Lob’s Pound Mill section of the Ipswich River. Be sure to check out river levels before going. Due to excessive water withdrawals made worse by climate change, sections of the river run dry especially when we don’t get much rain. While the situation can get bad— American Rivers has placed the #EndangeredIpswich on it’s list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers— you can help simply by checking out different parts of the watershed with your family or friends. The more ways people find to learn about and spend time on their rivers, the more our community leaders, our businesses, and our state officials will want to help work on solutions that will benefit all of us.
And if you don’t have your own kayak or canoe but would like to check it out, all of our members get unlimited use of our boats at our Riverbend headquarters up in Ipswich. Family membership starts at just $50. See you on the river!