Housatonic River in Connecticut

by  daggermat

A self-supported trip created by daggermat

Trip Overview

The river is very dependent on the release of water from this power plant or a dam in the area, as I've read on some websites. Anyways, the first 400 yards was very fun as we started off with some moderate whitewater. Then things got pretty flat for the next 4 miles or so. The scenery is very nice, very steep hills all around, a few herons and osprey were observed. Water is pretty murky, though.

We got to pass under the covered bridge in Cornwall. A little before this time we could hear the cars at Lime Rock Racetrack, which got me thinking about the afternoons activities...We finally got some areas of moderate whitewater, very technical dodging the myriad of boulders.

This river could use another foot of water to suit my taste. Some spots where very entertaining though. We went off one shelf about 2' in the air without scraping bottom. Canoeing was decent for a while, then down by Housatonic Meadows state park I guess we outran the dam release. We couldn't get off the rocks, absolutely no water for 150 yards. This was our pickup point, so I must say the end of the trip was a disappointment.

Overall however, it was enjoyable, although I prefer clearer water(i.e. Farmington river) and more depth. I think we'll go again in the spring. After we got shuttled back to Clarke and loaded up our canoe, we decided to go up to Lime Rock Park to watch the vintage car races. An excellent end to the day.


Lots of state parks and private camping facilities noted in area.


$15 for shuttle service from Clarke Outdoors - 860 672-6365.

Trip Details

  • Trip Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location