CT Paddling Spots

Here are some great paddling spots around the Connecticut area…

Below each location, we have listed the level of ability you can expect.  If you haven’t seen our Water Class list, check it out here.

Housatonic River

Launching at the confluence of the Housatonic & Naugatuck Rivers at O’Sullivan’s Island, this route heads downstream to Sunny Side — a great place to stop to have lunch or a snack — and then returns to O’Sullivan’s Island. This can be easily be made into a longer trip and extended to the Charles E. Wheeler Wildlife Area, either one-way or with a return trip upstream back to O’Sullivan’s Island. This area is tidal, so plan around the tide charts.

Level of ability:  6 out of 10

The Mattabesset River

….also called the Mattabesset Swamp, launching in Cromwell and kayaking to the Connecticut River in Middletown.  A different and heavily wooded route makes this a nice trip addition, with it’s slow water.  The river ends up out on the Connecticut River, where paddlers can travel along the protected side of the river for a bit and end the trip with a nice lunch at the Mattabesset Canoe Club (formerly Harbor Park Restaurant) for a great finish to the day. We did this with several groups last year and they all loved it. This trip can be extended Northward up river for a bit providing a nice experience on Connecticut’s largest river, with the real chance to see an eagle or osprey.

Level of ability:  6 out of 10

Burr Pond

Nice flat water paddling and and also a great spot to pick blueberries from your kayak if the timing is right!  But, be sure to excersize some caution, as the bears like them as well! Later, enjoy the the beach and have a picnic at the grove! The water at Burr Pond will stay slightly cooler later through spring, so this may not be the best spot for early season paddling.

Level of ability:  4 out of 10


Bantam River

Consisting of safe & slow water, this spot is a great beginner location, and serves as a nice introduction to kayaking for those who are new to the sport.  We do a lot of “on-water” teaching at this location.  Sighting of eagles at Bantam River is common, and this location has the nice addition of lunch or a snack at Little Pond’s sand bar or at the Town Beach.

Level of ability:  2 out of 10


Naugatuck River

Get an introduction or taste of river running & mild white water (Class I and II) on the Naugatuck River.  This is a one-way trip downstream, traveling 6.0 miles from Waterbury to Beacon Falls. You must be a competent swimmer, and a helmet is suggested. The water flow on the Naugy changes daily. We often finish up with a lunch or snack at one of the many wonderful restaurants in Beacon Falls.

Level of ability:  8 out of 10

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