The headwaters of the Connecticut River start in a small pond 300 yards south of the Canadian Border in New Hampshire and runs 406 miles to Long Island Sound. The Connecticut section of the river is 71 miles from the Massachusetts border to the headwaters at Old Saybrook Point.
“Connecticut” is a French corruption of the Mohegan word ‘quinetucket’, which means “beside the long, tidal river”. The first document exploration was by Adriaen Block in 1614 who made it as far north as what is now the Enfield Dam.
I kayaked the Connecticut section over three days in the summer of 2019 starting at the Massachusett’s border to the Old Saybrook lighthouse camping along the way.
The Connecticut was named an American Heritage River on July 27th, 1998 by then Vice-President Al Gore. As an American Heritage River, the Connecticut and surrounding environs (most notably wetlands) received federal protections, and future cleanup and conservation efforts became eligible for special federal funding.