Connecticut River

The Connecticut River

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 65.5 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.

Quick Links

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.

Al Gore, American Heritage Rivers announcement (video), C-SPAN

Section List

(North to South, miles to the mouth of the river)

  • Nearest boat launch north of Connecticut is 2.4 miles away at Riverfront Conservation Area in Longmeadow
  • 65.5 miles – Massachusett’s Border
  • 63.5 miles – Barnes Boat Launch in Thompsonville
  • 61.5 – Kings Island Boat Launch
  • 61 miles – Kings Island
    • Camping Area
  • Windsor Locks Public Ram – 1530 Palisado Ave Windsor, CT
  • Linear Park Launch – 4 Vibert Rd South Windsor, CT
  • Windsor Meadows State Park
  • Riverside Park
  • Great River Park
  • Charter Oak Landing
  • Wethersfield Cove Public Ramp
  • Keeney Cove
  • Glastonbury Rivefront Park
  • Rocky Hill Public Ramp
  • River Highlands State Park
    • Camping Area
  • Harbor Park
  • Hurd State Park
    • Camping Area
  • Haddam Meadows State Park
  • Salmon River Ramp
  • East Haddam Town Landing
  • Chester Town Boat Landing
  • Chapman Pond
    • Camping Area
  • Gillette Castle State Park
    • Camping Area
  • Deep River Town Landing
  • Selden Neck State Park
    • Camping Areas
  • Pratt Cove
  • Lyme Town Boat Access
  • Little Point Street Ramp
  • Bushnell Park
  • Essex Town Dock
  • Novelty Lane Water Access Area
  • Scholes Lane Sater Access Area
  • Middle Cove, Essex Town Park
  • Nott Lane Open Space Access
  • Alt Water Access
  • Mack Lane Access Area
  • Essex Town Dock
  • Baldwin Bridge State Boat Launch
  • North Cove Town Ramp
  • Lynde Point Light
  • Saybrook Breakwater Light

River Highlands State Park

★★★☆☆

41.619244, -72.630702

River Highlands State Park Connecticut State Park 177 acres in Cromwell, CT Parking: Medium sized lot near 115 Field Rd Cromwell, CT Trail Map      Trails: 8…

Barnes Boat Launch

★★☆☆☆

41.998262, -72.605292

Donald W. Barnes Boat Launch Connecticut River Boat Launch in Enfield, CT Parking: Medium sized lot near S River St, Enfield, CT Trail Map Barnes Boat launch… Read more…

Hubbard Brook Preserve

★★★★☆

41.520788, -72.560650

Hubbard Brook Preserve / Scovill Loop Trails CFPA Blue Blaze Trail 75 acres in Middletown, CT Parking: Medium lot near 3606 River Rd, Middletown, CT  Trail Map…

Hurd State Park

★★★☆☆

41.521777, -72.543105

Hurd State Park Connecticut State Park 991 acres in East Hampton, CT Parking: Small lot near 1 State Hwy 439, East Hampton, CT Trail Map     …

George Dudley Seymour State Park

★★☆☆☆

82 Clarkhurst Rd, East Hampton, CT, United States

George Dudley Seymour State Park Connecticut State Park 222 acres in Haddam, CT Parking: Small lot at the end of Clarkhurst Rd near 82 Clarkhurst Rd East…

Selden Neck State Park

★★★★☆

41.400831, -72.418437

Selden Neck State Park Connecticut State Park 607 acres in Lyme, CT Parking: Accessible by water only closest access is from the Hadlyme Ferry Boat Launch near… Read more…

Chapman Pond Preserve

★★★☆☆

41.445753, -72.435977

Chapman Pond Preserve The Nature Conservancy and East Haddam Land Trust Property 700 acres in East Haddam, CT Parking: Medium sized lot near 187 River Rd, East…