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Connecticut River in Connecticut

Trip Overview

My son and I spent three days of canoing and camping on the Connecticut River. We put in on the Mattabesset in Cromwell behind the Dunkin Donuts on Route 3. (Note that the Saw Mill Pub no longer exists.) Be sure to leave a note on your car or in the registry if you are leaving your car for a few days. (The Cromwell police actually tracked me down to see if I was OK.)

We put in at high tide (strongly recommended) and paddled out to the Connecticut. Took three leisurely days, exploring various estuaries along the way, visted Gillette Castle and camped at state parks. We came out at the town dock in Old Saybrook.


Hurd S.P., Selden Neck S.P. and Gillette Castle State Parks all have primitive campsites.


17' Northern Paddler Canoe


Camping requires a permit obtainable from:
Supervisor, Gillette Castle State Park,
67 River Road, East Haddam, CT 06423.
Cost is $4 per person.


91 N to 372 E (Berlin Rd., West Street)
Right on Newfield Rd (Rt.3)
Dunkin Donuts is on the left, put in is directly behind it.


Excellent maps are available as downloads from these sites:

Our best guides were Google satellite/hybrid maps.

  • Duration: 2-3 Day Trip
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip