Cart |

Bolton Lakes in Connecticut

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

This was my second visit to Bolton Lake, which is actually a triad of lakes that are separated by both a very small dam (between the lower and middle sections) and a narrow, paved road (between the middle and upper portions). The advantage of paddling here is that you can move from one lake to the other, without much difficulty. The dam has a passageway next to it, while the road is easily crossed by carrying your boat a short distance.

The lower section of the lake is medium-sized. We saw a great deal of ducks, turtles and geese today. The ducks will swim right up to your boat and are very comfortable around people, which I believe can be both advantageous and dangerous for them! There were some fishermen out on the lake this morning, but not enough to dampen the trip. The lake is semi-wooded and lined with riverfront homes. There is an easily accessible boat launch at the lower lake, which also has some chemical toilets and many parking spaces.

I also ventured into the middle section. This lake is smaller and more pear-shaped, but you get much of the same in terms of wildlife and other boaters. This middle section is a little more serene, as it is not utilized as much as the lower section. I enjoyed paddling here with friends; we did some bass fishing without any bites, but the fish are supposedly abundant and clearly seen with polarized glasses. Overall, the water seems very fresh. I did not see any debris in the water, which is an indication that there are conscientious people frequenting the lake. I was tempted to swim and I saw other people doing so, but I didn't have the proper gear with me. There are a number of people who swim the length of the lake for exercise.

On the other side of the middle section is an upper lake, which is small, more murky and is filled with vegetation. Most of the fishermen like this section. I also heard from a reliable friend that this section has a small, narrow passageway that leads to a relatively "secret" fourth area of the Bolton Lakes. I will give it a try next time. You can definitely spend a while here because of the size of these lakes and due to the fact, as stated earlier, that you have three lakes to choose from. I spent about three hours there this morning and did not paddle the upper portion.

I would recommend this location for those seeking a peaceful, enjoyable and very easy paddle. It also appears to be quite safe.


Lower Bolton Lake- chemical toilets, parking lot

Middle/Upper Bolton Lake- parking lot

Both have concrete boat launches.




To Lower Bolton Lake:

Take 384E to the end and continue on Rte. 44 when the expressway ends. Continue for about 1 mile. You will get to a light with a white church on the right and a boat launch sign on the left. Take a left here and you will enter the parking lot.

To Middle and Upper Bolton Lakes:
Take 384E to Rte. 44 (see above directions). Pass the church and boat launch listed above. Drive approximately 1.5 miles and turn left onto Cedar Swamp Road. Continue for about a mile. You will see a boat launch sign on your left and should follow it. This sign will lead you onto Hatch Hill Road. The boat launches for both lakes are here.

Everything is clearly marked.

Trip Details

  • Trip Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water

Trip Location