This paddle is a strong paddle down river to long Island Sound. This Paddle starts in fresh water and not effected by tides to all salt and tidal. I have done this paddle in the summer, fall and also in late winter. Best done in summer and fall. There is great foliage through the heavily wooded river valley. As you paddle down river you will see many towns and houses and also areas where you don't see anything but trees and sky.
Gillette Castle is a highlight. You can see for miles front the top. It is quite a hike up to the castle so pack alternate foot wear. there are a few state parks along the way to camp at make sure you practice the LEAVE NO TRACE ethics. Watch the tides and plan to paddle on outgoing tides and with the flow of the river.
In the Winter this is a very large wintering area for bald eagles.
Head south out of Middletown on RT 9 and take exit for 9A. Follow 9A to RT 154 (Middleesex Turnpike) turn left on 154. Stay on 154 which also turns into Saybrook Rd. Left turn on RT 82, bridge rd. Over bridge and left on Main St. Drive slow very populated area. Boat launch is about 1 1/4 miles up main st on the left. Large dirt parking lot. Overnight Parking is allowed.
Southern End CAR DROP:
A few locations are:
Boat launch under I95 off Exit 69. Take first right, Floral Park Rd. Right on Essex Rd which turns into Old State Rd and then back into Essex RD.
Right onto Ferry RD and parking/launch is under highway on left.
Rocky Neck State Park.
Old Lyme, Niantic
This is my choice. Longier paddle and you also get open water paddling on the Sound after you come out the mouth of the River. WATCH the TIDES
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