Quinebaug River Water Trail

The Quinebaug River Water Trail offers 45 miles of paddling 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.

photo: Quinebaug Paddling. Photo by A. Dabrowski. Type: Water Trail
Length: 45.00 miles
Loop Trail? No
Allowed Uses: Boating, non-motorized: Canoeing
Boating, non-motorized: Kayaking
Boating, non-motorized: Rafting
Camping
Fishing
Swimming
Swimming - Diving/snorkeling
Wildlife Observation
Agency:
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

See more details.

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Directions

Location: Northeastern Connecticut and adjacent area in Massachusetts. It begins in Holland, Massachusetts and ends in Canterbury, Connecticut.
States: Massachusetts, Connecticut
Counties: Hampden, Worcester, Windham.
Latitude: 41.92534   Longitude: -71.90485

Accessible from Interstates 84 and 395, US Rt 20. See Paddlers Guide and Stewardship Plans for directions to individual segments.

Description

The Quinebaug River Water Trail offers 45 miles of paddling 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 Quinebaug River Water Trail flows through the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor, known as The Last Green Valley because it is a relatively undeveloped rural enclave in the midst of the most urbanized region in the nation. The Last Green Valley is 78% forest and farmland, and appears distinctively dark at night when viewed from satellites or aircraft. The Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers eventually combine to become the Thames River, creating the the third largest watershed emptying into Long Island Sound.

Within the corridor are several US Army Corps of Engineers flood control projects. The Corps led the way by nominating two of the following segments as NRTs before the rest of the river was nominated.

Six water trail segments on the Quinebaug River provide almost 45 miles of paddling. Note that not all segments are contiguous due to impassable dams.

1. Holland Pond (Lake Siog) in Holland, MA, to East Brimfield Lake, Sturbridge, MA (4.6 miles) [Designated an NRT in 2007];
2. Paper Mill Pond in Dudley, MA, to Fabyan, West Thompson, CT (5.5 miles);
3. Fabyan in West Thompson, CT to West Thompson Lake, W. Thompson, CT (5.8 miles) [Designated an NRT in 2011];
4. Simonzi Park in Putnam, CT, to Route 101 in Pomfret, CT (6.5 miles);
5. Brooklyn Riverside Park in Brooklyn, CT, upriver to Rogers Dam (4.8 miles); and
6. Wayne R Lafreniere Canoe Launch in Killingly, CT, to the CT DEEP Fish Hatchery in Plainfield, CT, Robert Manship Park in Canterbury, CT, and Butts Bridge in Canterbury, CT (15.5 miles).

The Last Green Valley, Inc. and the US Army Corps of Engineers partner with the Willimantic River Alliance, federal and state agencies, non-profits, riverside towns, and paddlers to promote enjoyment and stewardship of the Quinebaug River. An active Water Trails Steering Committee has developed stewardship plans and paddlers guides, made launch site improvements and hosted public events to raise public awareness and increase recreational use. Future water trails are envisioned throughout the greater Thames River watershed.

Additional Details

Primary Surface: Water, moving
Secondary Surface: Water, moving
Water, still

Average Grade: 0%
Elevation Low Point: 118
Elevation High Point: 670
Year Designated: 2007

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Document: Quinebaug River Paddle Guide

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

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

Trail Management:
Bill Reid
The Last Green Valley, Inc.
P.O. Box 29
Danielson , CT 06239 -0029
(​860) 774-3300
Bill@tlgv.org
http://www.tlgv.org

 

Photos

Fabyan Canoe Launch. Photo by US Army Corp of Engineers.

Fabyan Canoe Launch. Photo by US Army Corp of Engineers.

 

West Thompson Lake Boat Ramp Parking Lot. Photo by US Army Corp of Engineers.

West Thompson Lake Boat Ramp Parking Lot. Photo by US Army Corp of Engineers.

View of West Thompson Lake from the dam. Photo by US Army Corp of Engineers.

View of West Thompson Lake from the dam. Photo by US Army Corp of Engineers.

 

Quinebaug Paddling. Photo by A. Dabrowski.

Quinebaug Paddling. Photo by A. Dabrowski.

North View from West Thompson Lake Boat Ramp. Photo by US Army Corp of Engineers.

North View from West Thompson Lake Boat Ramp. Photo by US Army Corp of Engineers.

 

Going Down the Quinebaug. Photo by US Army Corp of Engineers.

Going Down the Quinebaug. Photo by US Army Corp of Engineers.

Canoe and kayak launch. Photo by US Army Corp of Engineers.

Canoe and kayak launch. Photo by US Army Corp of Engineers.

 

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