If you’re planning your next kayaking adventure in Connecticut and you’re unsure which area to pick, you should opt for one of the many state parks you can find in this coastal state. And to spare you the search, here’s a list of the best spots where you can enjoy kayaking in CT.
1. Squantz Pond State Park, New Fairfield
If you’re the type of kayaker that enjoys sloping woods, hills, and mountains, you’ll love the setting that Squantz Pond Has to offer. With 270 acres of mesmerizing blue water to paddle through, this pond in New Fairfield is a very safe space to catch a breath of fresh air without worrying too much about navigation skills.
2. Mount Tom State Park, Litchfield
At Mount Tom state park, you’ll be getting a complete outdoor activity experience as you can kayak on the breathtaking pond, or you can follow the trail to the stone tower on top of the mountain while enjoying the scenery along the way.
3. Bluff Point State Park, Groton
Ponds aren’t your cup of tea? Then consider going to Bluff Point, where you can kayak in the Poquonnock River or the Long Island Sound.
There’s also a perk for wildlife enthusiasts as they can watch plenty of animals in their natural habitat from one of the many caves in the state park.
4. Lighthouse Point Park, New Haven
Being a waterfront park, the Lighthouse Point Park at New Haven is a good place for water sports, programs for marine life and biology enthusiasts, as well as tours for paddlers. You can even opt for a tour of the lighthouse for a fun activity outside the water.
5. Lake McDonough Park, Barkhamsted
This day-use park gives you the opportunity to enjoy boating, kayaking, and fishing from the shore, along with other water sports. The exceptional thing about it, though, is that it is disabled-friendly with a walking trail that’s Braille-marked.
6. Stratton Brook State Park, Simsbury
Another disabled-friendly park is the Stratton Brook one, which is wheelchair-accessible and offers its visitors kayaking, paddling, and canoeing, along with the chance to take on various activities including hiking, fishing, swimming, and other sports. However, it’s worth mentioning that you shouldn’t expect to find anything but trout when you’re out fishing.
7. Eagle Landing State Park, Haddam
Eagle Landing state park at Haddam is the ideal spot to explore the most remarkable river in the state, the Connecticut River. The area is quite known for the eagles that fly around, and that’s why anyone that appreciates watching these incredible creatures from the water would love kayaking from that area.
At Haddam, there’s also the Cockaponset State Forest (Pattaconk Lake recreation area) at Chester, where you can launch a kayak on the Messerschmidt pond and explore the forest, as well as fish, hike, walk, ride horses, or even snowmobile.
8. Farm River State Park, East Haven
If you’re looking for salad marshes and plenty of sandy shores on which lots of birds can be found along with the beautiful scenery, you’ll love what you’ll find at East Haven at Farm River state park. It’s an excellent way to get a taste of open waters but with mild rapids that suit novices and beginners.
9. Gardner Lake State Park, Salem
With 528 acres to kayak in, it’s easy to see why anyone would love the smooth waters around Gardner Lake in Salem. You can take tours around the borders to be able to enjoy nature’s scenes and tranquility.
10. Bigelow Hollow State Park, Union
For those who enjoy kayaking and hiking, the Bigelow Hollow state park is an amazing place where you can enjoy both activities. Kayaking on the lake or on any of the 3 picture-perfect ponds is a beautiful way to escape from everyday life and routine into the wonders of nature.
11. Mashamoquet Brook State Park, Pomfret Center
With kayaking, boating, hiking, swimming, and rock formation exploration programs, you can do so much at Mashamoquet Brook state park. It’s even forested, which means that it will give you a true experience of being out in nature.
12. Hopeville Pond State Park, Griswold
At Hopeville, you’ll be able to enjoy pretty much any water and outdoor activity. Whether it’s kayaking, fishing, or swimming, you can do it all in one spot, which is the clear blue pond found at the state park.
13. Mansfield Hollow State Park, Mansfield
After the Army Corps dammed Natchaug River, a 500-acre lake was created where the water is calm and soothing with a forest that surrounds the kayaker in their vessel. You can even enjoy kayaking on the Natchaug itself, with rapids ranging from III to IV.
14. Indian Well State Park, Shelton
In Indian Well State Park in Shelton, you can enjoy kayaking through the Housatonic River and then take a swim in its waters or even kick back and relax on the banks under the shade of trees.
With rapids ranging from class III to IV, you’ll surely enjoy an adventurous day out, especially that the currents can reach a speed of 518 CFS.
With so many bodies of water to explore, the state of Connecticut is truly a great destination for all kayakers out there. It has so many state parks from which you can start your journey, as well as enjoy other marine activities in some, so make sure you choose your destination accordingly.