If you are thinking of your next kayaking adventure, Connecticut may not be the first place that comes to mind.The state has many beautiful national parks that offer lakes and rivers that are ideal for all levels of kayakers. Kayaking in CT is well-known for its and horseback riding.
This article will cover 10 of the most popular places to kayak in Connecticut.We’re happy to help you find the best places to kayak in Connecticut, no matter your level of experience.Connecticut’s kayaking opportunities are great for any type of trip, whether you’re on vacation with your family or with friends.
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The historic town of Mystic is located on Connecticut’s coast and offers many options for kayakers looking for their next adventure.As you paddle out onto the Mystic river, there are many islands and islets in the vicinity, including Sixpenny Island and Mason’s Island.The waters can get quite choppy on Mystic River so if you don’t have a lot of experience kayaking, you may not be prepared.
Kayaking on the Mystic River offers a tranquil way to enjoy the many historic buildings and monuments of the town.The Mystic can be paddled either way, so if you have been before, it may be worth a second attempt in the opposite direction.You can launch from a quiet area just near the highway bridge.You can also follow local boats onto the water.
There are many options for kayak rentals in Mystic. Adventure Mystic also offers equipment rental and tours at affordable prices.It is located on the banks of the river with easy access to the launch points.
Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven, CT
Lighthouse Point Park is the perfect place to find idyllic and peaceful scenery for your next kayaking trip.This park is located near New Haven CT and offers a variety of activities for families with young children as well as novice kayakers who are looking for a peaceful getaway in the great outdoors.
After a long day on the water, you can rent an area in the park to host a barbecue or participate in one of the marine biology programs.Lighthouse Point Park’s waters are relatively calm throughout the year.It is a good idea to consult a park ranger before you go out, to ensure your skills are up to the task.
You don’t need a kayak to participate in the New Haven Parks and Recreation and Trees Department Outdoor Adventure tours.You can learn everything you need about kayaking from safety to proper technique while out on the water with our qualified rangers.
Farmington River, kayaking in CT
Farmington River offers a variety of activities to suit all levels of experience.It is a tributary to the Connecticut River with several water types including calm and raging up until Class 3 rapids.
The Farmington River’s most popular launch point for kayakers is Satan’s Kingdom Recreation Area. We swear, despite its name, that it’s child-friendly!In the summer, the river can be quite busy with kayakers, whitewater rafters, and tubers.You should arrive early so you can hit the water before tour groups arrive!
There are many options for renting a kayak along the Farmington River.Collinsville Canoe and Kayak is one of the most highly rated. They offer full-day rentals at very affordable rates.Please tell them that we sent you!
Bigelow Hollow State Park & Nipmuck Forest, CT
Bigelow Hollow Park and Nipmuck State Forest are two other amazing national parks in Connecticut. They offer many water bodies that you can explore by the boat launch.This area includes Mashapaug Lake is awooded park, Bigelow pond, Griggs, and Breakneck ponds. It is located just south of Massachusetts’ border.
It is the largest water in Eastern Connecticut at 300 acres. Kayakers have plenty of room to explore.After a few hours of kayaking, you will be able to return to the land and enjoy a relaxing nature hike on one of the many trails.
You won’t find many places to rent kayaks near the park so bring your own to enjoy the lakes and ponds.This spot is great for larger groups so make sure you invite your friends along!
Pattaconk Lake Recreation Area in CT
The Pattaconk Lake RecreationArea, which is located in Connecticut’s Cockaponset State Forest and the second largest forested area of Connecticut, is a popular spot for anglers and kayakers.The calm waters are ideal for catching largemouth bass, channel catfish, and yellow perch.
Pattaconk, a great place to learn if you are new to kayaking is a good choice.Clear days are peaceful, but rainy days can present a challenge.This park is not for those who want water that fights them every step of their way.There are many things to do in the park, whether you want to relax on a kayak or hike the forested nature trails with your friends.
There are more than 100 launch points on the water. You can also rent small kayaks from small rental companies to get you out there.You can choose one closer to your parking lot so that you don’t get tired later in the day.
Quinnipiac River, Connecticut
This river is one of Connecticut’s most iconic rivers. It runs from Dead Wood Swamp to New Haven Harbor.This is a popular spot for novice kayakers who want to enjoy the unique ecosystem and historic scenery of the area.
Generally requires very little skill.It is perfect for beginners but has enough length to be interesting to experts.Many locals say it is a unique experience each time they go out on the water in New Haven Harbor.
Many kayak rental options are available because the Quinnipiac River is so popular with tourists.The Quinnipiac River Marina offers the best kayak rental service, offering half-day or four-hour rentals.
Squantz Pond State Park, CT
Squantz Pond State Park, located about ten minutes north of New Fairfield is a popular spot where families and friends can enjoy the beauty of nature all year.The large, calm pond in the park’s middle is a great place for beginners to learn how to kayak.
With a kayak in your hand, you can easily head out to the beautiful beaches and onto the water sports. There is no need for you to drive through the park.Keep in mind, however, that the park has only 250 parking spaces and closes once they are full.You should plan to arrive early to avoid the crowds and have the entire pond to yourselves for a while.
There are not many options for renting a kayak in the immediate vicinity of Squantz Pond.Gerard’s Marina is located just outside Bridgewater.Gerard’s Marina is just outside Bridgewater and has all the necessary staff. It’s also a short drive from the shop to the park.
Candlewood Lake, CT
Candlewood Lake is Connecticut’s largest lake and is a great spot for beginners and veterans alike.There are many inlets and smaller lakes, making the experience fresh and exciting every time.You can also find your own private bay here, so get some friends together to chart a new route to this hidden paradise.
Experts might not experience this problem but beginners frequently have trouble in Candlewood Lake due to wake from the boats.This problem can be solved by using the Latins Cove boat launches.You and your friends will be able to head out in a very easy manner because it’s a no-wake zone.It’s a large lake so you may want to launch from a different location if you have more experience.This will allow you to take on the challenge that you are looking for.
It is simple to rent a kayak on Candlewood Lake.You can easily rent a kayak at Candlewood Lake from Gerard’s Marina, which is located right next to Squantz Pond.Be there early to beat the crowds
Mount Tom State Park in CT
Just outside of Litchfield is Mount Tom State Park.It is a popular spot for swimming and picnicking during the summer months.
It is known for its hiking trails that lead to Mount Tom Tower.Mount Tom’s summit is home to the stone observation tower, which stands at 125 feet higher than its Massachusetts counterpart.The walk to the tower takes less than one mile.From the tower, you can enjoy views of Long Island Sound, Mount Everett, and the Catskills.
Mount Tom, one of the oldest parks within the state system, was established in 1915.
Kayakers, however, are always looking for water.Mount Tom Pond is where they’ll find it.It is a popular spot for canoeing and kayaking as well as fishing and swimming.
Mount Tom can be crowded at weekends so make sure you get there early for holidays.On-site kayak and canoe rentals are available.
Bluff Point Coastal Reserve, CT
Bluff Point State Park and Coastal Reserve are located in Groton, across the Poquonnock River.The parking itself is not much, it’s a lot of parking at the boat ramp.If you’re looking to get out and about before or after your paddle, there is a nice nature trail and hiking trail.
The scenery changes dramatically once you get to the water.You’ll find shifting sandbars as you head downriver towards Long Island Sound.The river is protected by a thin barrier island.You can easily land on this beautiful island and walk to your heart’s delight.You can easily explore the Sound’s most beautiful and pristine spots, including Bluff Point Beach or Bushy Point Beach.
Pine Island is located opposite the University of Connecticut Southeastern Branch if the weather is good and you want to go further into the sound.
Continue to the east and you will find Mumford Point.Beautiful flats and winding Sandbars are at the entrance of the cove.
You can either load up on Groton Long island sound Point Main Beach or take a ride if you are tired.
Bluff Point Park does not have a rental kayak or outfitter, so you will need to bring your own boat to enjoy these peaceful and beautiful calm waters.
Shelton, Indian Well State Park
Indian Well State Park is a great place to go if you love kayaking and have some experience. However, the western banks on the Housatonic are a wonderful spot for beginners who want to experience the thrill of paddling.The Indian Well State Park’s Housatonic River is a beautiful place.You will pass houses and docks on private property as you kayak down the Housatonic.Shelton is an excellent spot for admiring nature.Pine trees are the most distinctive feature of Indian Well State Parks’ nature.You can smell the pine trees as you paddle down the Housatonic River.
Indian Well State is an excellent location to park and launch a boat along the coast for those who want easy access.You will find many locals and visitors here in summer.The Housatonic River offers a wonderful place to enjoy Mother Nature.It’s a wonderful place for families.Kayaking on the river with an assistant is a great option for children.
The Best Places to Kayak In Ct
This list is intended to help you plan your next big kayaking trip.You should visit Connecticut’s lakes, rivers, and streams with some friends.
Contact any of the listed rental companies.They will provide all the equipment that you need to get started paddling.You won’t have to rent a kayak again if you invest in a high-quality kayak.
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My name is Max Richardson and I am 29 years old. As an athlete, I can say that rowing and fishing have made my life happier. I fully harness the thrill of the paddle by endlessly strapping a kayak to the roof of my car and heading out to the waters. More details
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The three golden rules are a set of rules that, when followed, will let you paddle the most efficiently and help keep you safe on the water: You need to use the power of torso rotation for all your strokes. You need to choose an appropriate paddling location. You need to have a plan in case you capsize.Do you need a permit to kayak in Connecticut? ›
Connecticut Kayak Registration – Any vessel that is propelled only by oar or paddle is exempted from registration. Motorized Kayak Registration – It is unlawful for any person to operate or use a motorized vessel on the waters of Connecticut unless it's registered.Can you paddle the entire Connecticut River? ›
Whether you want to ride the entire 410-mile river and portage your canoe or kayak around dams, or just float down small sections, Lewis assured the Connecticut River can be great for paddlers of all levels.Does a canoe need to be registered in CT? ›
All vessels must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Evidence of ownership must be submitted at the time of registration.What do I need for first time kayaking? ›
- Spare paddle.
- Appropriate clothing.
- Helmet or hat.
- Whistle or signaling device.
- Drybag with necessities.
- Water and snacks.
- Proper footwear.
Canoeing and kayaking are low impact activities that can improve your aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility. Specific health benefits include: Improved cardiovascular fitness. Increased muscle strength, particularly in the back, arms, shoulders and chest, from moving the paddle.What season is best for kayaking? ›
Spring, summer, and autumn are perfect times to enjoy a comfortable ride. Warm weather is generally more appreciated than cold temperatures. For recreational and sport kayaking, this makes for great conditions to explore a region or to tackle the excitement of the sport along challenging or complex routes.What is the 120 rule for kayaking? ›
A good rule of thumb to follow is the "120° rule." This means you should wear a wetsuit or dry suit whenever the sum of the air temperature and water temperature is equal to or less than 120°F. Warm weather does not cancel out the danger of cold water, wearing lighter clothing on a warm day increases risk.Should I wear pants or shorts for kayaking? ›
Bottoms: You can wear whatever is comfortable and quick-to-dry on your bottom half; board shorts or comfortable quick-dry pants are good options. Avoid things that bind or chafe.
If one passenger in your kayak is physically stronger than the other, that person should sit in the back of the kayak. This allows the passenger up front to dictate the pace, and allows the stronger paddler to keep paddling if the person up front would like to take a break to view the sights.Can I wear jeans kayaking? ›
Instead of cotton, wear synthetic materials such as polyester, fleece, or Gore-Tex. This means you shouldn't show up for your kayak trip in jeans and a cotton T-shirt unless you like being cold and wet.Do I need a life jacket to kayak in CT? ›
From October 1st through May 31st, you must wear a Life Jacket (state law). All children 12 and under must wear a Life Jacket. Don't stand up in a manually propelled vessel, such as a canoe, kayak or rowboat.Can you drink on a kayak in CT? ›
The following is excerpted from the 2021 Connecticut Boater's Guide, published by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). Under Connecticut law, no person may operate a boat or watercraft on Connecticut's waterways while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.Do you need a Licence to use a paddle board on a river? ›
Yes, the use of a paddleboard, or any other portable, unpowered craft on the majority of inland waterways, requires a license obtainable from the relevant authority. On Regent's Canal, there are two license options: Short term or 30-days explorers' license from the Canal and River Trust.Do you need a life jacket on a paddle board in CT? ›
WEAR A LIFE JACKET! The majority of paddlers that have died in Connecticut were NOT wearing a life jacket. If they had been, the outcome of these accidents could have been much different. Connecticut law requires there be a properly fitting life jacket for everyone onboard a manually propelled vessel at all times.How long does it take to paddle 20 miles? ›
You could canoe 20 miles in a day, taking into account our example speed and mileage of 3.5 hours to paddle 10 miles. That would account for 7 hours of straight paddling plus a few breaks in between, about an entire day.Can you carry a canoe by yourself? ›
Surprisingly, one of the easiest and most efficient ways to carry a canoe is by yourself.Can one person control a canoe? ›
The Difference Between a Solo and Tandem Canoe
A solo canoe is a canoe designed to be paddled by one person. And example is the photo at the top of this article. The paddler is on a seat in the center of the canoe for the most control. Solo canoes range in size from 10-16 feet.
Anyone can use a canoe, of any age or ability. Canoes are often favoured by families and people who prefer to sit or kneel in a boat for accessibility or comfort, rather than sit down like you would in a kayak. Canoes are also favoured for multi-day adventures as you can fit a lot in them!
Try to avoid clothing with zippers or metal parts to them as they will rust when exposed to salt water. It's essential to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) at all times when kayaking. This means that whatever clothing you decide to wear will have to work around the PFD.What food to take kayaking? ›
- Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter and Banana. ...
- Energy Balls. ...
- Trail Mix. ...
- Homemade Beef Jerky. ...
- Salt and Vinegar Roasted Chickpeas. ...
- Pitas. ...
- Backcountry Smorgasbord. ...
- Dehydrated Yogurt.
Kayak gloves are essential for kayakers who want to protect their hands from the rigors of the sport. The extra layer will extend the pleasure of kayaking adventures while preventing calluses and blisters. Kayak gloves also provide a better grip for holding on to the paddle when it is wet.Should you shower after kayaking? ›
This is because showering with warm water and soap immediately after recreational water activities helps remove bacteria from your skin's surface and your hair. Even if you are participating in a secondary recreational water activity such as paddling, boating or fishing it is important to shower.Do you wear sneakers when kayaking? ›
While you can definitely wear a pair of sneakers or rubber slippers on a kayak tour, keep in mind that these pairs aren't meant to go on slippery and rough terrain. Not only will you feel uncomfortable, cold, damp, and moist, you'll be more at risk of slipping, chafing, bruising, abrasions, and cuts.What are risks of kayaking? ›
- Shoulder – the muscular force required to push the paddle through the water can cause an injury, such as a strain or sprain.
- Wrist – the repetitive motion of moving the paddle can, over time, lead to overuse injuries of the wrist joints.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
The quick, repetitive motions of kayaking elevate your heart rate and is largely beneficial for your heart. This type of exercise, when done often, strengthens your heart's muscles and makes it easier for this particular organ to supply your body with a healthy supply of blood.
An hour of kayaking happily through the waters can help anyone burn four hundred calories. To elaborate on that, three hours of kayaking can burn up to 1200 calories. It is for this reason that kayaking is one of the top exercises that burn more calories than the traditional weight loss workout which is jogging.Do you wear socks when kayaking? ›
If you're kayaking in cold or cool weather, it's a good idea to wear a pair of warm snowboarding socks beneath a pair of waterproof calf- or knee-high boots. That way, you can launch your boat without getting your feet wet.Where should the heaviest person sit in a kayak? ›
If there are three people, the heaviest person should be in the middle. It is imperative that the extra people sit on the floor of the canoe and not the crossbars--known as thwarts or the yoke--which serve as support and for carrying. Sitting up high will raise the center of gravity and almost guarantee a flip.
Generally, kayaks are safe and don't just tip over for no reason. Most of the time when someone experiences this, it's due to a lack of balance or conditions on the water outside of their control. For example, it's rather difficult, even for a beginner, to tip over in a recreation kayak on a calm river.When should you not kayak? ›
Avoid kayaking in bad weather or challenging water conditions unless you have the skills and experience to do it safely. Don't head out alone; it's generally best to paddle in groups of at least three people. Watch your hydration levels, and be sure to drink plenty of water.Do you sit or kneel in a kayak? ›
For most paddlers, sitting on the seats is often the most comfortable position. However, kneeling in the boat is the best position if you are looking for more stability. By kneeling, you lower your center of gravity and get more intimate contact with the kayak. As a result, you enjoy more control over your boat.What shoes do you wear kayaking? ›
Water shoes are arguably the best kayak shoes. They have a sole that's stiffer with more grip than normal shoes. So wearing them in wet areas allows you to keep your footing and balance better than other shoes.Is it better to kayak in the morning or evening? ›
Kayaking in the morning is usually better than in the afternoon as winds can pick up in the afternoon making kayaking more difficult. For the first half of your trip, head into the wind, if possible. That way when you're tired later on, you can then kayak downwind and get a little boost.Where does the heaviest person sit in a canoe? ›
As a rule, the heavier, stronger, and more experienced person should sit towards the stern of the canoe while tandem paddling, while the lighter and/or less experienced paddler sits at the bow.Who steers the kayak? ›
1. Know your roles. The more experienced paddler sits in the rear position and follows the stroke timing of the front paddler. The rear paddler is in charge of steering.Do I wear a bathing suit for kayaking? ›
Yes, you can wear a bathing suit for kayaking. They are a great option for warm weather. If the weather is colder, you may need to wear a specialized kayaking suit.Should I wear sunglasses while kayaking? ›
Sunglasses are important for anyone who spends time outside, but especially for those—like kayakers, canoeists and paddle boarders—who are on water, snow and other highly-reflective surfaces. Just like we opt to protect our skin from the sun's harmful UV rays, our eyes need protection, too.Are leggings good for kayaking? ›
Kayaking requires constant shifting in your seat, so super thin materials like yoga pants, just don't hold up. Jean on the other hand are too binding and chafe.
- Bluff Point Coastal Reserve. Depot Road, off US Route 1 Groton, CT, 06340 Phone: 860-444-7591. ...
- Lake McDonough Recreation Area. ...
- Bigelow Hollow State Park & Nipmuck State Forest. ...
- Cockaponset State Forest and Pattaconk Lake Recreation Area.
- Norwalk Islands. I think that Norwalk Islands offer some of the most unique kayaking in the state. ...
- Long Island Sound (Several Launch Points) ...
- Huntington State Park. ...
- Saugatuck River. ...
- Mianus River. ...
- Squantz Pond / Candlewood Lake. ...
- Indian Well State Park.
It is strongly recommended to wear a 50 newton life vest when kayaking. Find our tips for choosing the right one. If you fall in the water, it will allow you to float effortlessly, so that you can get back to your kayak and climb back aboard easily. Itiwit recommends you different kinds of buoyancy aids.Are Sharks a danger to kayaks? ›
Though they are rare, true shark attacks on kayaks do happen. According to the Global Shark Attack File, 21 have been recorded since the early 1900s.Can I kayak at 300 lbs? ›
Here's how to choose the right size kayak for your weight. But simply put, most kayaks that can support big people should have a weight capacity of well over 300 lbs.Do you need a boating license for a kayak in CT? ›
Do I Need a License or permit of any kind in order to canoe or kayak in Connecticut? Any vessel that is not powered by an electric or other motor, does not need licensing, registering, or titling in Connecticut.Can you canoe the Connecticut River? ›
Paddlers Trail History: New England's longest waterway, the Connecticut River, provides over four hundred miles of canoe and kayak exploration.Can you use a canoe in a lake? ›
If you're looking for a quiet and serene experience, canoeing on a lake is ideal. Lakes provide the best place to learn to paddle a canoe and the best place to enjoy the true freedom a canoe represents.Can I use my canoe on the Canal? ›
As long as you hold a licence, you can paddle on any of the 2,200 miles of canals and rivers administered by the Canal & River Trust. An additional licence allows you to paddle on other rivers which are maintained by the Environment Agency, including the non-tidal Thames west of London.Can you kayak on reservoirs in CT? ›
Chestnut Hill Reservoir is a great place to bring a row boat, canoe or kayak. It is a “carry-in only” waterway as defined by the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) which means that no motors of any type are allowed and only watercraft that can be carried by one or two persons are permitted.
Twelve full days of paddling covered 383 miles from Pittsburg, NH to Long Island Sound. Paddle speed averaged 2.7 mph on reservoirs with no current and headwinds, and between 3.5 and 4 and up to 5.0 mph from Pittsburg to Canaan with whitewater for a total of 105 hours of paddling.Can alligators get you in a canoe? ›
In a few incidents, alligators have actually bitten canoes and kayaks, resulting in minor injuries to people and damage to their boats. The best way to protect yourself if you are paddling is to keep your hands and feet inside the boat and to be cautious and aware when entering or leaving the water.Is kayaking good for seniors? ›
Kayaking is a perfect non-snow season sport for seniors. Outdoors, exercise, skill, and cool equipment combine to make an attractive sport. Kayak touring is one of the best recreational activities for seniors. It is low impact.Do you sit on your knees in a canoe? ›
Kneeling remains the best choice for classic soloists and paddling most technical whitewater, but if you don't want to kneel, learn to paddle properly when seated.