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Willimantic River Water Trail

Location The trail begins in Stafford CT, just south of the downtown on Route 32. It continues parallel to Route 32 with launches and landings in Tolland, Willington, Coventry, Mansfield, Columbia and Willimantic CT.
State(s) Connecticut
Counties Tolland, Windham
Type Water Trail
Length 21.90 Miles / 35.24 Km Loop Trail? No
Allowed Uses Boating, non-motorized: Canoeing
Boating, non-motorized: Kayaking
Boating, non-motorized: Rafting
Swimming - Diving/snorkeling
Wildlife Observation
Entry Fee? No Parking Fee? No




photo: Paddling the Willimantic River Water Trail
Paddling the Willimantic River Water Trail

The Willimantic River Water Trail provides more than 22 contiguous miles of paddling enjoyment and challenges between Stafford Springs and Willimantic, Connecticut with only one short portage.

There are three major segments: the rapids & quickwater of the narrow upper section, the flatwater impoundment above Eagleville Lake Dam and the moderate current and flatwater down to the takeout just above the falls in Willimantic.

NOTE: The water trail was extended 1.1 miles in 2015 with the addition of a takeout site in Willimantic at Mile 22.5 on river left. Do not pass downstream of this takeout as there are dangerous falls below.

1. Stafford to Mansfield CT (13.7 miles of narrow rapids and quickwater suitable for experienced paddlers).
2. Mansfield River Park to Eagleville Dam in Mansfield and Coventry CT (1.4 miles of flatwater suitable for novice paddlers and families).
3. Eagleville Dam to Willimantic CT (7.4 miles of quickwater and flatwater suitable for paddlers with some experience). It's critical not to miss the Willimantic take-out as there are dangerous falls just downstream!

The river is within an hour's drive of three of New England's largest urban regions. Many of the segments provide an opportunity for family-friendly, close-to-home outdoor adventures with a surprisingly remote feel; wildlife is abundant and the only traces of civilization are the remnants of old mills.

The Will (Continued...)


Visitor Information

Date Opens: 1/1 - Date Closes: 12/31

Time Opens: Not Available - Time Closes: Not Available


The water trail is accessible from two major east west highways - Interstate 84 and US Route 6 - via CT Route 32 which parallels the river.

See the attached Paddle Guide and Stewardship Plans for detailed directions to individual segments.


Additional Information

Width: 0 inches.

Primary Surface: Water, moving

Secondary Surface: Water, moving
Water, still

Average Grade: 0%

Elevation Low Point: 246

Elevation High Point: 485

Year Designated: 2012

Date Last Updated: 02/25/2016


Contact Information

Public Contact:
Lois Bruinooge
Deputy Executive Director
The Last Green Valley, Inc.
P.O. Box 29
Danielson , CT 06239 -0029
(860) 774-3300


Related Webpages and Documents

Title Type Link
2013 Willimantic River Water Trail Paddle Guide Document View/Download
Willimantic River Water Trail Paddle Guide Document View/Download
Photo View/Download
Willimantic River Alliance Website View/Download



Do you see a problem with this trail data? Contact either the trail manager (listed above) or email


NOTE: The information on this web site and/or in this database is provided for the convenience of the public, trail managers, organizations, elected officials, etc. Neither the National Park Service, the USDA Forest Service, nor American Trails can guarantee that the information is accurate. Trail users are urged to inquire locally about weather, trail conditions, trail characteristics, fees, and regulations! The information on this web site and/or in this database should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government, and any mention of trade names, commercial products, or businesses does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government.




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