The Keswick is one of the rivers closest to my home, one hill west of the Nashwaak. I always knew the river in the upper valley was run by canoeists, but I had never hooked up with anyone else to run it all this time.
I imagined it to be small and wood-choked, and rocky, especially as it flows between Narrows Mountain and Crabbe Mountain, two hills at the southernmost end of the Appalachian Range that runs through New Brunswick. But it was not quite like that.
The water was deep at the put-in where the abandoned rail-bed crosses the stream at Barton, and the river was wide. The current was quick but not rock-choked. Instead, rocky turns followed one after another, prompting us to rudder gently between rounded boulders. Downstream vistas loomed brightly, blue skies with puffy white clouds over gray hills just beginning to green up in the afternoon sunshine of early May in New Brunswick.
The nicest aspect of the Keswick is the complete lack of habitation in its first 20 kilometers or so. Sure, there's an abandoned railway line that runs along its length, but it is invisible from the stream. Although it is an important link in the province's ATV trail network, I heard no gasoline-powered engines all afternoon long.
I enjoyed the company of my two brothers Paul (Calgary), and Laurie (local). We met up with my friend Mark, who had already enjoyed his fifth run of the Keswick a week earlier, and several other keen canoeists.
Nuff said. Here are some pictures.
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