Kayaking in Connecticut: The Best Places to Paddle in CT

Kayaker in water at sunset

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There are over 3,000 bodies of water to explore in this state so if you’re looking for the best kayaking in Connecticut you don’t have to paddle far! This guide details where to kayak in CT and tips for a calm outdoors adventure in the Constitution State. We’ve also included spots of fishing with kayaks!

Best Places to Kayak in CT

Westport With Sea Kayak Connecticut

Sea Kayak Connecticut and its American Canoe Association (ACA) certified instructors is a great plan to kayak in CT for beginners.

Not only do they provide equipment they also offer guided tours such as the Cockenoue Island Tour and the Sprite Island Tour or a Westport Harbor Tour.

If you are unable to make a day tour, Sea Kayak Connecticut offers evening tours, including the Sunset Tour and the Full Moon Tour. 

There is also the option of booking group outings or private tours on a specific day and time of your choosing.

As you might have guessed, this is located on the coast, and, therefore, is a saltwater experience. 

Mount Tom Pond, State Park in Litchfield

Located at the Mount Tom State Park in Litchfield, the Mount Tom Pond is an easy lake for kayaking.

The 56.3 acres of lake is surrounded by trees peppered with private property.

There is a small, well used boat launch ramp into the lake.

This is a popular summer spot with families so arrive early to get a parking space.

Mt Tom State Park features in our guide to Connecticut in fall.

Grey stoned Mount Tom Tower at Mount Tom State Park in Washington, Connecticut.

Hop River, Bolton for Experienced Kayakers

Hop River in Bolton is a popular route, but it does not come without a few obstacles.

With shallow rocky areas and some log jams, we encourage our beginners to give this one a miss.

For our professionals, the route tends to begin where the Skungamaug River enters the Hop River just north of the Hendee Road bridge and ends at the Willimantic River.

Hop River is part of Hop River State Park which used to be a railroad line.

There are 20.2 miles of trails if you want to combine your paddle with a hike.

You may also like our guide to East Coast hikes.

Lord Cove, Lyme

Lord Cove is a small bay area located in Lyme, just off of the Connecticut River.

The bay runs into a five-mile maze of marshlands and is only accessible by small boats such as kayaks and canoes.

Lord Cove public boat landing is adjacent to the Connecticut River Museum parking lot. 

Bantam River, Litchfield

Located in Litchfield, the Bantam River is a flatwater paddle through some marshlands.

You will be presented with the opportunity to paddle upstream towards Little Pond, or downstream where you will find one of the largest lakes in Connecticut, Bantam Lake. 

Look out for beavers.

Morris Creek, New Haven

Morris Creek located in Lighthouse Point Park, New Haven offers guided tours, as well as kayaking lessons, with all equipment provided for you.

A change from the freshwater scene, Morris Creek is a saltwater paddle experience within a bird sanctuary.

If you feel like venturing out, even more, you can make your way down the creek until you reach the Long Island Sound. 

Launch from the beach.

Poquonnock River at Bluff Point State Park, Groton

Another adventure that takes you to the Long Island Sound, is the Poquonnock River in Bluff Point State Park, Groton.

Here you will find several tiny coves, forests and interesting wildlife to take in along your journey.

You will be paddling on open water, and you might even get the chance to see and enjoy the beautiful ocean if you make it to Bushy Point Beach.

Black Pond, Middlefield

Black Pond in Middlefield is another calm and flat-watered experience.

With the mountains as a backdrop, beautiful wildlife and excellent fishing opportunities, we could not leave this one off the list.

The road ramps off into the water where you can launch from.

Gulf Pond & Indian River, Milford

The Gulf Pond and Indian River are located in Milford with a launch from Gulf Beach, Milford Harbor.

The water is pretty flat but can be tidal, therefore timing the tides is essential.

Gardner Lake

Gardner Lake State Park in Salem offers over 500 acres of freshwater to paddle around.

The surrounds also include a residential area of Garden Lake homes – one of which is even rumored to have its own ghost story.

That aside, the lake boasts scenic views and attracts fishermen. 

There is a concrete boat launch.

Salem, CT is not to be confused with Salem, MA.

Housatonic River Indian Well State Park

Housatonic River in Well State Park in Shelton offers paddlers glass-like flat water and rapids for thrill seekers!

Fish kayakers will want to avoid the weekend as it gets busy with noisy jet skies.

You may also like our guide to national parks on the East Coast.

Connecticut River

And finally, we have come to one of the most-kayaked waters in Connecticut.

The Connecticut River is the longest river in New England, USA, running 407 miles (655 kilometers).

It covers four states in New England, (NH, VT, MA, and CT) and it is the longest waterway in the region.

Being so extensively long, there are many points of access onto the river, including Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam. 

This spot is perfect for a relaxing kayak experience while spotting eagles.

There is also another launching spot in Longmeadow, offering beautiful views of Springfield.

Find out more at the CT Paddlers Trail.

Beautiful Connecticut River lined by autumn foliage forest with jetty and oak tree in foreground near Brattlebro, Vermont USA.

About the Author

Jo is a MyCU Graduate who used to be a buyer and reviewer at a big sporting goods store. He now works as a camp instructor and ski coach between South Africa and Colorado. He loves anything to do with the outdoors but is happiest on the slopes or water.

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