NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Northampton is urging visitors not to swim at the Connecticut River Greenway Park due to the deep water and strong currents in the area.

According to a news release sent to 22News from the City of Northampton, the area is posted as a “No Swimming” site. The unforeseen natural deposit of soft sand formed a beach area next to the boat launch. Visitors have been attracted to the beach area but are urged not to swim at the park and there no lifeguards are present. Officials are concerned about the deep water and strong currents, as well as the dangers to swimmers posed by legal boating traffic through this channel.

The 11-acre park along the Connecticut River is located at 68 Damon Road in Northampton that offers a boat ramp for canoes and rowing (no motorized boats), a wheelchair-accessible walkway, parking, trails, and a beach area.

“It’s such a beautiful waterfront. And as someone who grew up in Northampton, we’ve never had lifeguards. It’s always been common sense swimming ability. My children, three-years-old, I know to make sure my kids are safe,” said Marc Patillo of Northampton.

Police have increased patrols to enforce city ordinances at the Connecticut River Greenway Riverfront Park after several complaints about trash buildup, fires, late-night noise, and alcohol consumption last month. Visitors to Connecticut River Greenway Park are reminded of the following:

  • Consumption of alcohol, building fires of any kind, and littering are forbidden at city parks. 
  • City parks are “Pack In, Pack Out” for trash – please take all trash and belongings with you when you leave. Again, littering is prohibited.
  • There are no sanitary facilities for toileting at the Connecticut River Greenway Park. Do not leave human or animal waste behind.
  • Parking is allowed in designated areas only. Cars illegally parked will be towed, especially cars blocking access to the Northampton Community Rowing Building and the park’s accessibility ramp entrance.

The water quality is not monitored in this area because it is not a recreational swimming site however, the City is working to evaluate creating a swimming area next year.

The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset, dogs are allowed but must be leashed.