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Summer Street Bridge

41° 56.863' N    70° 56.201' W   See this location in: Google Maps   Map Server   Acme Maps

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This is a site for launching hand-carried boats such as canoes or kayaks.

Description & Overview:

The Summer Street Bridge in Bridgewater provides excellent access to the Taunton River for hand-carried boats. The river here is deep and slow moving and goes through a deep forest, well living up to its Wild & Scenic designation (assuming you read "wild" to mean "natural" rather than "challenging" because the river is general slow moving and easy to paddle).

If you want to, you can paddle upriver for many miles to Cherry Street and beyond. For more details see the description for Cherry Street.

Paddling downriver from Summer Street, the river is broad and slow moving as far as Titicut Street, 1.8 miles below Summer Street. At Titicut Street, if you want to continue downriver or even take out at the usual take-out at Titicut Street you will need to run a short section of class I rapids under the Titicut Street Bridge. After these rapids the river smooths out again quickly and you can paddle all the way to Taunton and beyond if you want to. There are a couple more short sections of rapids between Titicut Street and Taunton but the rapids at Titicut Street are typically the largest of the three. Another hazard to be aware of, especially below Route 44, is rocks just below the surface of the water. These rocks are sometimes visible but often not and if you hit one at the right angle it could flip your boat if you are not careful.

Below the rapids at Pratts Bridge the river starts to become tidal so you can expect the river to rise and fall throughout the day. So, when pulling boats up onto the shore, make sure they are far enough up that a rising tide will not float them off and to be safe, tie them to something secure. By the time the river gets to Taunton this rise and fall can approach 4 feet.

The river throughout this entire area is largely tree-lined with only occasional houses, buildings and pastures visible from the river. For more information on the river below Titicut Street see the description for Titicut Street and the sites below Titicut Street.

This site provides access to the following water bodies in the Taunton River watershed: Taunton River.


Alternate Site Name: Woodward Bridge

Town: Bridgewater

Nearest Town Center: Bridgewater Center and Middleborough Center

Driving Landmarks: From the traffic circle on US 44 just east of I-495 go north on MA 28 & 18 for 2 miles and turn right at the light onto Plymouth Street. Go 1/4 mile and turn left onto Titicut Street. In 0.2 miles you will cross the river (this is another possible put-in/take-out). To get to Summer Street keep going and in another mile, when you come to the stop sign, bear right to stay on Titicut Street. In another 0.6 miles turn right at the stop sign onto Summer Street. In 0.1 miles look for a short dirt road taking off to the left a little before the bridge. The launch is at the end of this road and there are various places to park along the road.

Access & Waters:

Water 'Features' At Site: flatwater/slow moving river

Note: Because one boat launch can access, say, both a lake and a river or both the upstream and downstream portions of a river, not all paddling trips at a given site will necessarily encounter all of the features listed.

Type of Access: Boat launch for hand carried boats

ADA Accessible Boat Launch? no

Shoreline: gravel slope leading down to the river

Float/Dock: no

Approximate Length of Carry between Car Access and Water: 30 feet

Fees: none


Parking: yes: 6 spaces, no overnight parking

ADA Accessible Parking Spaces? no

Nearby Amenities:

Public Restrooms: No

Outfitter: Jim Politano rents canoes, kayaks and paddles from his house a few hundred feet west on Summer Street from the bridge and put-in. Call (508) 846-2193 for more information.

Sources for More Information:

AMC River Guide: 4th Edition, page 153

Website: USGS Stream Gauge at Titicut Street


View Upriver from the Summer Street Bridge

View Upriver from the Summer Street Bridge

Photography by: Bruce G. Hooke

Date of Photograph: July 15, 2010

Looking up the Taunton River from the Summer Street Bridge. The put-in/take-out is the small gravel slope (the brownish-gray area) in the lower left corner of the photograph.

View Downriver from the Summer Street Bridge

View Downriver from the Summer Street Bridge

Photography by: Bruce G. Hooke

Date of Photograph: July 15, 2010

The Side Road Leading to the Landing at Summer Street

The Side Road Leading to the Landing at Summer Street

Photography by: Bruce G. Hooke

Date of Photograph: July 15, 2010

The short dirt road on the left in this photograph leads to the take-out/put-in next to the bridge.

The Path to the River at Summer Street

The Path to the River at Summer Street

Photography by: Bruce G. Hooke

Date of Photograph: July 15, 2010

The short gravel slope leading down to the river at Summer Street. Downriver is to the right in this photograph.


Tidal flow

Submitted by: JeffB; October 12, 2019; 3:43 pm

I've paddled that river since the middle 50's and have now lived on it in Raynham for the last 47 years and can only remember on back and forth trips up or down river the rise and fall being noticeable somewhere just before the Weir..Or maybe I was too busy to notice before..Lot of distractions traveling that river..



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This site report was last updated on August 2, 2010

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