Bigelow Brook

This is a good-sized stream (pictured above) which forms part of the boundary between Ashford and Eastford. Public access can be made at two places in Ashford. The first is at the northeast end of Boston Hollow Road at the bridge that crosses into Eastford. This is the site of a former water-powered mill. The second access point is not far from the first. Turn north (left ) from Boston Hollow Road, just before the bridge, onto Barlow Mill Road. Proceed about 0.6 miles to the site of another old sawmill dam where the brook meanders in an S, crossing under the road twice. Here you will see the brook rushing over the rocks in the old spillway, and the remains of an old beaver lodge in the former mill pond. People have been known to fish here.

October 2023

Happenstance had us speaking on December 12, 2023, to two men completing a shuttle to their car after a paddle on Bigelow Brook from Barlow Mill Road in Ashford to where the brook empties into the Natchaug River along Rt. 198 in Eastford. By road this is 9 miles, but on the water maybe about 7 or 8 miles. Ashford had at least 3.5 inches  of rain starting on December 10 and going into December 11. Streams were running very high after that. These two men rode the high water over some of the snags and portaged around others. Did we mention that it was about 32 degrees on December 12? A chilly ride. 

They put in just downstream from the old dam (northern arrow), not wanting to shoot the falls at the dam and ram a rock right at the beginning of their trip. One of the men, Greg Wilmot, said he had previously done the Bigelow from Boston Hollow Road (southern arrow, about a mile farther south) to the same take-out point. Here's a link to that paddle.