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Bantam River in Connecticut

Trip Overview

The Bantam River through the White memorial Foundation is a nice leisurely paddle through extensive marshland. This section of the river is flatwater and is mostly in the open.

From the launch, one can paddle upstream for a mile to Little Pond, a 10-acre pond surrounded by marsh, popular with fisherman and birders.

Downstream of the marsh, it's about 1.7 miles to Bantam Lake, one of the biggest lakes in CT. The trip to the lake passes a pine grove picnic area, and a more forested marsh, although most of the trip is in the open. A three-foot high beaver dam has to be crossed about 1.5 miles downstream. It is stable enough to stand on, be careful because the water on the downstream side is deep. I've seen kayakers ram their way across and down the dam.

Once in the lake, a beach is another 0.5 mile to the left or right. The lake, which can be whipped up by wind, is popular with jet skis and powerboats.


From Litchfield center, take South Lake Street to WhiteWoods Road. A parking area is on the right after the bridge. The spot is popular and the lot fills up. The launch is a bit rocky.


Map of the river and white memorial foundation property on kiosk at launch

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip