Welcome to our website.

- Here you can learn about the Hoosic River, the environment that surrounds it, and the group that maintains it.

Walloomsac Headwaters Park & Natural Area

Stream Crossing Surveys

BEAT (Berkshire Environmental Action Team) is working to survey culverts and bridges around Berkshire County in an effort to make every major road repair an opportunity to improve ecosystem and habitat connectivity to help wildlife cross roads safely. The HVA (Housatonic Valley Assoc.) and now HooRWA will be working with them in this effort. MassDOT (Dept of Transportation) will provide a list of crossings in Berkshire County that they would like surveyed right away. Eventually the intent is to survey every stream crossing.

As roads are repaired, all crossings must be “suitably culverted, bridged, or otherwise designed to withstand and to prevent the restriction of high flows, and so as not to obstruct the movement of aquatic life indigenous to the waterbody” in order to receive a Category 1 (non-reporting) Army Corps of Engineers permit. What this jargon means – to get the easy permit, your crossing must allow highwater flows and aquatic wildlife to pass easily under the road. All the data will be put into the UMass Stream Continuity database that MassDOT will use as well.

BEAT believes that to meet the standard above, the crossing must meet the General or Optimum Crossing Standards of the Massachusetts River and Stream Crossing Standards. Additionally, they would like to see provisions made for terrestrial wildlife appropriate to the wildlife in the area, the size (volume of cars) of the road, and the topography. Often it appears that putting in a larger crossing just makes obvious sense to keep deer or other animals off the road.

Please contact HooRWA if you wish to find out more.

State of the River Conference

The HooRWA’ s 2012 State of the River Conference:

“Irene + 1″

What actually happened when Tropical Storm Irene hit our area, August 28, 2011? What relationship did the encounter have with Global Climate Change? How can we prepare for future storms? These are questions the Hoosic River Watershed Association’s 2012 State of the River Conference addressed. The Hoosic is a three-state watershed, as the river flows through northwestern Massachusetts, southwestern Vermont and eastern upstate New York before joining the Hudson River at Stillwater. The river rose quickly to record heights and, with its tributaries, damaged roads, bridges and homes. The conference can be seen in three segments. Simply click on the titles of the segments to view the videos at Willinet.

“The Effects of Climate Change.”Jerry Jenkins of the Wildlife Conservation Society and author of Climate Change in the Adirondacks: The Path to Sustainability,” speaks on Climate Change and what happened in the Hoosic watershed. Although it is not possible to tie Irene directly to a warming climate, it is part of a pattern of unusual weather events that warming will continue to influence.

“The Aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.”A panel describes local effects. HooRWA’s aquatic biologist, Kelly Nolan documents loss of biological life in the river. Carol Zingarelli relates a personal experience of losing a home in The Spruces Mobile Home Park. Rev. Carrie Bail considers the community’s effort to respond though organizing Higher Ground. Bill Botzow gives the perspective of a Vermont state legislator.

“River Restoration Strategies”James G. MacBroom, a leader in the field of water resources engineering involved in post-Irene reconstruction in eastern New York and southern Vermont, and consultant on the proposed improvements to the flood control chutes in North Adams, addresses mistakes made and corrections needed.

Riverworks Past

Riverworks is an integral part of HooRWA’s annual Riverfest, consisting of art works along the banks of the Hoosic. Below are several of the artist’s creations from past years. You can also download a Power Point presentation of these images by clicking on “Riverworks Past” to download the file. If you do not have Power Point on your computer, there are free Power Point viewers available. Just do an internet search for same.

Hoosic River Ride

Hoosic River Ride 2013

Saturday, August 24

Williamstown Youth Center, Williamstown, Massachusetts

For the latest on the 10 Annual Hoosic River Ride, to be held Aug. 16, 2014, please click here.


The Ninth Annual Hoosic River Ride, this year sponsored by Donovan and O’Connor, LLP, promises to be the biggest ever. You can view a short video describing this year’s ride by clicking here.

BikeReg_reg200BLKThe Hoosic River Ride is a one-day (rain or shine) event that benefits the education, research and advocacy programs of the non-profit Hoosic River Watershed Association (www.hoorwa.org). For the last nine years, riders have responded very positively to the routes, the aid stations, picnic and just about every facet of the event. Locals riders have loved the challenge of new routes and the novelty of having their workout catered, while visitors have seized upon the cultural opportunities, everything from world class art to great theatre and music, offered by the region, to make the ride part of a great getaway weekend.

spokelogoThe venue this year has changed. The rides will begin and end the Williamstown Youth Center on School Street in Williamstown, MA. The Ride will offer five new scenic route options, including a 100-mile ride, that traverse primarily secondary roads with scenic views, historic landmarks, and follow alongside many of the rivers and streams in the watershed.

Clif PictureEach group of riders will roll out together to start their chosen route. There will be well-stocked aid stations along the way, and routes will be marked on the road and cue sheets will be available to all. Additionally, roving tech support will exist on each route, although all riders should come prepared with bikes tuned up and ready to go and a spare tube, tire irons and air to support your bike if need be. A complimentary tech check will be available at registration. A wonderful post ride picnic will start at 11:30 and run until 3:30 p.m. to help you celebrate your day.

After August 1, registration fees rise by $10 and an additional $5 on the day of the ride so sign up early! Commemorative ride jerseys are available for $65, or you can raise $250 to get one free, along with a 1-yr. HooRWA membership. For route maps of the routes, you can click on the route name below and download a pdf file.

The Flatlander Family Loop. This is a 7 mile route.

The Green River Ride. About 30 miles along the Green River all in Massachusetts.

The Hoosic 50. 50 miles at the name says, covering parts of all 3 states in the watershed.

The Hoosic Highland Tour. A 75 miler through the watershed.

The Tri-State Century Challenge. And the 100 miler to see even more of the Hoosic River watershed.

Paddle & Float

A new event this year, the Hoosic River Paddle and Float generated lots of interest but no cooperation from the river. Some rain, good, but too much rain as happened the day before raised the river too much for a safe outing. hopefully next year.

Join us at the Hoosic River Paddle and Float!

Help HooRWA and the Williams College Outing Club set a record for the greatest number of boats on the Hoosic River in one day! Saturday, May 17′s the day; assemble at Cole Field, Williams College, by 9 a.m. Bring your own kayak or canoe, drop it off, and then leave your vehicle at Mack Molding on Route 346 in Pownal. Return by shuttle and float down the most scenic portion of the Hoosic to learn about your backyard river. Take out at Clayton Park, Pownal, Vermont, about midday. Register by May 12 at 413 458-2742 and leave your name and number or register online at hoorwa.org using PayPal. Your $10 fee provides you with shuttle service, picnic and a great experience. Wild Oats will provide sandwiches and fruit; Higher Ground will provide lemonade; Williams College Dining Service will provide pastries. We can almost guarantee sightings of an eagle, blue heron or kingfisher.

In thanking our business partners, we may ask you to carry on your boat a pennant with the logo of MountainOne, our lead sponsor, or one of our other sponsors including Nature’s Closet, Elhannon Nurseries, the Spoke or Alton and Westall Realty.
Bring your canoe or kayak and life jackets. If HooRWA determines that river conditions are not conducive to boating, and you choose not to join us for lunch, upon request we will return your registration fee. Please be certain that we have your contact information.

In conjunction with the Float, we are holding a raffle, drawing to take place at the picnic. (Winners need not be present.) Prizes are a kayak from Berkshire Outfitters, a mountain bike from The Spoke, a 15-foot shade tree delivered in the watershed from Elhannon Wholesale Nursery, a hand-made fishing rod by craftsman Stuart Duffield and $150 worth of clothing from Nature’s Closet. Raffle tickets at $5 are available at the Williamstown Savings Bank, from HooRWA board members, at Nature’s Closet on Spring Street, or at the HooRWA office at the First Congregational Church, Williamstown.

Hoosic River Greenway

In partnership with the Village of Hoosick Falls, HooRWA proposes to create a Greenway extending for about 2.5 miles along an abandoned rail corridor adjacent to the Hoosic River. The Greenway will run through the Village, and will provide abundant opportunities for walking, biking, running, and winter uses; for floating and fishing access; for historical and nature interpretation; and for other outdoor recreation; as well as affording access to shops and restaurants in the Village’s commercial business district, thereby promoting the Village’s economic development.

For the latest information on this project you can visit the Greenway website at http://www.hoosicrivergreenway.com/. You can also get there from here.

Greenway Path

Greenway Path

The Greenway will provide access to the Hoosic River and surrounding areas so that residents and tourists can enjoy the region’s beautiful environment through recreational and educational exploration. To this end, both land and river access points are to be included in the design elements.

Building the Hoosic River Greenway is a multi-year project with several distinct components, i.e. the design of the trail, including layout of the trail and its access points, design of parking lots at access points, placement of educational kiosks and signage, placement of benches and other amenities, and landscape design. The southern section was resurfaced in 2012. The northern section will be resurfaced later this year. Before and after photos of the southern section can be viewed by downloaded the following pdf file.
Southern section pictures

Community Conversation

On Saturday June 26, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at St. Elizabeth’s of Hungary Parish Center, Milone and McBroom, an engineering, landscape architecture, and planning firm will lead a discussion on the flood chutes in North Adams – how to preserve their flood control functions while, at the same time, making them recreational and cultural amenities and drivers of economic growth. Many communities around the nation have been able to create 21st century flood control systems that also benefit fish and other aquatic organisms, allow for appropriate river access, and promote waterfront developments of many kinds.
Read more »

The Hoosic River Revival Coalition

Contact: Judy Grinnell Phone: 413.822.2376 Email: HoosicRiverRevival@gmail.com
The Hoosic River Watershed Association (HooRWA) is a 501(c)(3) fiscal agent for the Hoosic River Revival Coalition.
Phone: 413.458.2742 Email: office@hoorwa.org

For the latest information on this project you can visit the Hoosic River Revival Coalition website at http://www.hoosicriverrevival.org. You can also get there from here.

We are working to make the Hoosic River and its surrounding area a vital part of downtown North Adams.

A group of local residents has come together to say it is time to reconnect the Hoosic River with the City of North Adams.

Imagine a downtown North Adams where both branches of the Hoosic River are lovely to look at, suitable for fishing, boating and swimming, bordered by trails running through parkland, and where people come for business and socializing.

This coalition of citizens and public officials believes that the enhancement of the river, as it flows through our downtown, would complete this picture of a city with outstanding recreational, cultural, and business opportunities.

Find the Hoosic River Revival Coalition on FaceBook

Area of project


Basin Planning

A basin plan provides an overview of a watershed’s health and a description of the prospective and ongoing steps to restore and protect its waters. With the purpose of improving both water quality and aquatic habitat, a basin plan presents the recommendations of local watershed residents, stakeholders from varying interests and natural resource professionals from many agencies. By identifying local concerns, known pollution problems and threats to water quality, actions can be taken to address issues, prevent or stop pollution and improve existing conditions.

The basin planning process involves myriad voices, local landowners, business interests, farmers, foresters, municipalities, regional planning groups, environmental organizations, natural resource professionals and state and federal agencies. The concerns identified have been brought to the table by individuals and are addressed by the entire group in the hope of seeing and promoting options from all possible sectors. A sediment-laden stream may be addressed by dealing with streambank erosion, road improvements, construction runoff or a fallow farm field. All these must be examined and the thoughts and perspectives of the many people involved in this plan have fostered this approach.

Currently HooRWA is working with the planning partners in Vermont on a basin plan that covers the Hoosic, the Walloomsac, and the Batten Kill. The draft plan is currently being refined and a survey to establish priorities for the numerous recommendations in the plan is being prepared. The survey document will provide a means for local watershed residents to help set the priorities.