your paddlesports destination

Rainbow Reservoir in Connecticut

Trip Overview

I am lucky enough to have lived on Rainbow Reservoir, a section of the Farmington River, located in the Poquonock section of Windsor for over 12 years.

I just read a report that gives a false immpression of "The Rez" as we affectionately call it. I own two kayaks, along with a ski boat, a canoe, a paddleboat, and a stand up jet ski. The report I read stated that the paddler had the whole place to himself until a ski boat showed up and "ruined" it for him. He also stated that it usually did not have power boats there, which is false.

I have been using Rainbow Reservoir for over 25 years and it has been used by all manner of watercraft, but in particularly by inboard ski boats that entire time. It has been one of the very best ski lakes in CT because of it's flat water, and is the breeding ground for many barefoot water skiers for that reason. As a skier and a paddler both, I dislike the intollerance by paddlers who think that the water should be for their enjoyment only. I have been amazed at the number of new paddlers going to "The Rez", in light of the number of jet skis that go there.

My recommendation is to utilize the Farmington below the Rainbow dam, especially in the area from Palisado Avenue to the CT River, which has almost no boat traffic at all. I also am amazed that more paddlers don't use the CT river from the Windsor Locks Dam south to Hartford, as it is also very pristine and lacks boat traffic.


Wide steep ramp, please do not use parking spots for cars with trailers.




Rt 75 to Rainbow Rd, left on Merriman rd, left into state boat ramp rd

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip