Where Can I Canoe in CT?

Connecticut is a state known for its beautiful waterways, making it an ideal spot for canoeing enthusiasts. Whether you’re an experienced paddler or a beginner, there are plenty of places to explore and enjoy the natural beauty of Connecticut from the water. Here are some of the best places to canoe in CT.

1. Housatonic River

The Housatonic River is one of the most popular spots for canoeing in Connecticut. The river offers a variety of experiences, from peaceful stretches through rural landscapes to exciting rapids and waterfalls. One of the most scenic sections of the river runs through Kent, CT, where you can paddle past picturesque farms and rolling hills.


  • Check the river’s water level before heading out to ensure safe conditions.
  • Be aware that some sections of the river have strong currents and can be dangerous for inexperienced paddlers.
  • Consider hiring a guide if you’re not familiar with the area.

2. Farmington River

The Farmington River is another popular spot for canoeing, with calm stretches perfect for beginners and more challenging rapids for experienced paddlers. One particularly scenic section runs through Collinsville, where you can paddle past historic buildings and quaint shops.

  • Paddle only in designated areas to avoid hazards like dams and other obstructions.
  • Wear appropriate safety gear like life jackets.
  • Respect private property along the riverbanks.

3. Quinebaug River

The Quinebaug River is a great option if you’re looking for a quieter spot to paddle. The river runs through northeastern Connecticut and offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You can paddle past forests, fields, and small towns along the river.

  • Check local regulations before heading out to ensure you’re allowed to paddle in the area.
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks for longer paddles.
  • Be respectful of wildlife and avoid disturbing animals along the riverbanks.

4. Connecticut River

The Connecticut River is one of the most iconic waterways in the state, running over 400 miles from its source in New Hampshire down to Long Island Sound. While paddling the entire river may not be feasible for most people, there are plenty of opportunities to explore sections of this beautiful river.

  • Be aware of commercial shipping traffic on the river.
  • Paddle only in designated areas to avoid hazards like dams and other obstructions.
  • Check weather conditions before heading out, as wind and waves can make paddling difficult or dangerous.

No matter where you choose to canoe in CT, be sure to respect the environment and follow local regulations. With so many beautiful waterways to explore, there’s no shortage of opportunities for adventure on the water in Connecticut.

Photo of author

Lindsay Collins