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The Connecticut River

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Massachusetts Towns in the Connecticut River Watershed:
Connecticut River watershed map in western MA
  • Agawam

  • Amherst

  • Belchertown

  • Chicopee

  • Deerfield

  • Easthampton

  • Enfield

  • Gill

  • ​Greenfield

  • Hatfield

  • Hadley

  • Holyoke

  • Longmeadow

  • Montague

  • Northampton

  • Northfield

  • Pelham

  • South Hadley

  • Springfield

  • Sunderland

  • West Springfield

  • Deerfield River

  • Millers River

  • Fort River

  • Westfield River

  • Chicopee River

Major Tributaries:

Organizations that work in the

Connecticut River Watershed:​

Connecticut River Conservancy

Connecticut River Paddlers' Trail

  • Deputy Director for Policy
    Mass Rivers is currently seeking a Deputy Director of Policy. Please click here for a detailed job description and instructions for how to apply.
Connecticut River Activities
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Walk, Hike, Bike
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Boating & Sailing
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Swimming in the Connecticut River is safe in some but not all locations. Check river conditions >> 


One popular swimming spot is Rainbow Beach in Northampton.

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Walk, Hike, Bike

Hike, Walk, Run

Walking, hiking, and running locations:

  • Norwottuck Rail Trail (Northampton). This is a 10 mile bike trail created by the DCR between Northampton and Amherst. It crosses the CT River and provides views of the Holyoke Range. 

  • King Phillips Hill (Northfield). Enjoy a historical walk next to the CT river, with dog friendly trails. Parking for one car is available next to the trailhead.  More info >> 

Camping & Biking locations:

  • Norwottuck Rail Trail (Northampton). This is a 10 mile bike trail created by the DCR between Northampton and Amherst. It crosses the CT River and provides views of the Holyoke Range. 

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Paddling locations:

  • The CT River Greenway State Park has many parks and areas for launching boats along the Connecticut river. They may be named the same thing, with different locations. 

  • Medina Street (Chicopee). Canoe and rowing shell access, as well as recreational and fishing boat access.

    • Drive to the end of Medina street, next to RT 116.

    • Ample parking for 32 trailers with paved boat ramp, and no fee.

  • Oxbow State Ramp (Easthampton).

    • Large parking lot for 32 trailers and paved ramp for boats, including high powered boats and fishing boats. No fee.  

  • Cove View (Gill). There is a state boat ramp at the bottom of Cove View Lane. There are rentals available at the Franklin County Boat Club, which is right next to the boat ramp. 

  • Barton Cove Campground (Gill)

    • includes a paved parking area (45 cars) and ramp for recreational motor boats, canoes, and fishing boats. No fee. 

  • Pauchaug Ramp (Northfield), 1 mile north of Northfield Center on Rte. 63, there is a ramp for all boat types 

    • Paved parking area. 

  • Elwell Recreation Area (Northampton). Click for directions.

    • Access area with parking, toilets, and float dock. 

  • Paved access off school street (Sunderland). Directions here.

    • Limited parking, for ~8 trailers and 6 cars. 

  • James Street (South Hadley) at the South Hadley/Chicopee town line, gravel ramp, shallow draft fishing boats. 

    • 6-8 parking spaces​.


Information about Rentals:

  • Barton Cove Campground (Gill). Although primarily a location for camping, you can rent canoes and kayaks to take out on the Connecticut! More information can be found here

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Boating & Sailing


The Connecticut River is a beautiful to paddle on.​ Multiple locations are available for motor boating, canoeing, kayaking, or paddle-boarding. If you have further information on this subject, please let us know.

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You can fish on the Connecticut River. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health advises the children under 12 and pregnant women not to eat any of the fish, specifically Largemouth Bass. The advisory is due to the presence of PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls.

Fishing locations:

  • Syrek Street (Chicopee)

    • Right next to the intersection of Syrek Street and Hampshire Street, there is a turn off to a parking lot with space for 10 trailers. No fee. 

  • Cove View Road (Gill)

    • 45 trailer parking spots, no fee.

  • Oxbow, North Street (Northampton)

    • Parking for 32 trailers, no fee.  

Other fishing activities? 

  • Robert E. Barrett Fishway (Holyoke). See thousands of migrating fish helped over the Holyoke dam! Learn more here. You can catch brook trout, winter flounder, blueback herring, alewife, rainbow trout, large brown trout, American shad, hickory shad, smallmouth bass, Atlantic sturgeon, and striped bass.

The Connecticut River Conservancy offers guided fishing trips in MA and VT >>

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