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Salmon River in Connecticut

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

This report is for the lower Salmon River up to the Leeville Dam.

The Salmon River is a tributary to the Connecticut River and from that point up to the Leeville Dam, a distance of 4 miles, it is flatwater paddling.

I started at the state launch, which is on the downstream side of the mouth of the Salmon and paddled upstream. As far as the Leeville Dam, the river is freshwater tidal, but the currents are relatively insignificant in most places.

The bottom end is low freshwater tidal swamp that opens up into a broad cove bounded by forested hills. There are some houses, but most of the land is National Wildlife Preserve, State Forest or Nature Conservancy. Most of the National Wildlife Preserve in the cove is "no admittance" (and clearly marked) due to it being a former atomic power plant (it has been remarkably well removed from the landscape).

At the top of the cove, an short but excellent side trip into the Moodus River is possible, and a bit farther up there is another short side trip into Pine Brook.

On my last trip, I counted 7 bald eagles, 1 osprey, 68 mute swans, plus the usual suspects; Canada geese, great blue herons, kingfishers and ducks.

The Leeville Dam can be portaged on river left - about 75 yards.

For my trip reports for the Salmon River (includes photos) check out my blog:


State owned launch downstream side of the mouth of the Salmon on the East side of the Connecticut River off of Route 149 - very easy to find. Parking for a hundred and sani-cans.

It is also possible to launch at the Leeville Dam (parking for less than 5, picnic tables, no toilets, steep bank down to the water).



Trip Details

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

Trip Location