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Welcome to the Connecticut River! Here are some fun facts and some great resources to help you explore and enjoy this great river.

Towns in the Connecticut River Watershed:

  • Agawam

  • Chicopee

  • Deerfield

  • Easthampton

  • Enfield

  • Gill

  • Greenfield

  • Hatfield

  • Hadley

  • Holyoke

  • Longmeadow

  • Montague

  • Northampton

  • Northfield

  • South Hadley

  • Springfield

  • Sunderland

  • West Springfield

Major Tributaries:

Deerfield River, Millers River, Westfield River, Chicopee River

Relevant River Information

Environmental Concerns for the Connecticut


As of 2020, the biggest environmental concerns for the Connecticut River include Water Chestnuts. Click here for an interactive map to learn more about the water chestnuts! To learn more about environmental challenges currently facing the Connecticut River, click here. The Connecticut River Conservancy displays the major movements to tackle the environmental concerns on the CT river.




Additional Facts


Did You Know?:

  • The Connecticut River is named after the Pequot word “quinetucket,” meaning long tidal river. The European corruption of that became “Connecticut.” Click here to explore more facts about the Connecticut River.
History:
  • The Connecticut River was once described as America’s “best landscaped sewer”. It has had a rebound in more recent years, and it now provides water for millions!





Here are some great organizations that help keep this river clean, healthy and fun to enjoy:

Click an icon below to learn more about Connecticut River activities
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Swimming
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Hiking, Walk & Run
Paddling
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Boating & Sailing
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Fishing
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Swimming

Where to go Swimming

 

Is it safe to swim in this river?

  • The River is swimmable in some locations, and not as clean in others. Check out Is it clean? to find out if your location is clean!! 

Where can you swim?  

  • Northampton: Rainbow beach

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Hiking, Walking, Running

Where to go on a walk, run, hike, or bike ride

 

Where are there nice walks along this river?

CT River Public Use Area

  • Hadley: Skinner State Park includes trails and views of the CT River, as well as access to the summit of Mt. Holyoke. Trail map here! More info here

  • Holyoke: Mount Tom State Reservation, includes hiking trails and one of the best places in New England to watch for hawks. Directions here

  • Longmeadow: Fannie Stebbins Wildlife Refuge. Parkings at the intersection of Bark Haul Road and Pondside Road. There is a loop which is ~2 miles long. Look out for eagles, herons, woodpeckers, hawks, and owls. There are huge amounts of poison ivy, so be careful! 

  • Northampton: Connecticut River Greenway State Park connects parks along the Connecticut for walking, exploring, and enjoying nature! Park at the DCR headquarters. For more info, click, here

  • Northampton: Norwottuck Rail Trail. 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. 

  • Northampton: Elwell State Park. Trails and bridges for walking and biking. 

  • Northfield: Riverview Picnic Area

  • Northfield: King Phillips Hill. 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 about visiting and its history, here

  • Sunderland: Mount Toby State Forest, extensive trails for running, walking/hiking, fishing. 

  • South Deerfield: Mount Sugarloaf State Reservation, 532 acres total. There are trails, beautiful views, and places to have a picnic.5 dollar fee for MA license plates, 20 dollars for out of state plates. More info here

  • South Deerfield: Herlihy Park. Beautiful park by the CT, used for playing fields, picnics, and walks. 

  • Springfield: Connecticut RiverWalk and Bikeway. Learn more here

Other activities? Biking, Skiing, Camping, etc. 

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Paddling

Where to go paddling (listed in direction of upstream to downstream)

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

  • Check out the Interactive Paddler's guide along the CT River. Launch info is below. 

  • Chicopee: Medina Street. Drive to the end of Medina street, next to rt 116. Ample parking for 32 trailers with paved boat ramp, and no fee. Canoe and rowing shell access, as well as recreational and fishing boat access. 

  • Easthampton: Oxbow State Ramp. Large parking lot for 32 trailers and paved ramp for boats, including high powered boats and fishing boats. No fee.  

  • Gill: Cove View. 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. 

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

  • Hatfield: Hatfield Town Ramp (Cow Bridge Brook Ramp). Parking for ~8 cars, No fee. 

  • Montague: Poplar Street Boat Access. Very steep, eroding access to the CT. 

  • Northfield: Pauchaug Ramp, 1 mile north of Northfield Center on Rte. 63, there is a ramp for all boat types with a paved parking area. 

  • Northampton: CT River Greenway State Park. Damon Road next to Rt 9 and I-91. Canoes and rowing access only. Wheelchair accessible dock. Limited parking. 

  • Northampton: Elwell Recreation Area. Click for directions. Access area with parking, toilets, and float dock. 

  • Sunderland: Paved access off school street. Directions here. Limited parking, for ~8 trailers and 6 cars. 

  • South Hadley: Mt. Holyoke Community Boathouse. Boat ramp, marina, dining, and cruise opportunities. 

  • South Hadley: James Street at the South Hadley/Chicopee town line, 6-8 parking spaces and gravel ramp, shallow draft fishing boats. 

  • South Hadley: Canal Park. Click here for a boater’s review with more information! 

  • Springfield: Bond Island Access. Parking lot. 

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Boating & Sailing

 

Can you boat on this on this river?

  • Yes, the Connecticut is a beautiful river to paddle on in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut! 

What kind of boats and which sections of the river can you boat on?

  • You can motor boat, canoe, kayak, or paddleboard! There are a multitude of locations to paddle on. 

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Fishing

Where to go Fishing
 

Can you fish on this river?

  • Yes, you can fish on the river. As for eating the fish, 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 concern is about PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls. For more info, click here. 

  • Where can you fish? 

  • Chicopee: Syrek Street. 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. 

  • Gill: Cove View Road. 45 trailer parking spots, no fee. 

  • Northampton: Oxbow, North Street. Parking has space for 32 trailers, with no fee.  

  • Other fishing activities? 

  • Holyoke: Robert E. Barrett Fishway. See thousands of migrating fish helped over the Holyoke dam! Learn more here. 

  • What kinds of Fish could you catch?

  • Brook trout, winter flounder, blueback herring, alewife, rainbow trout, large brown trout, American shad, hickory shad, smallmouth bass, Atlantic sturgeon, and striped bass.