Launch Site Directions


These are the major launch sites in CT. and RI.  There are many small sites that can handle several cars. These sites are networked through the club and through friends who paddle together. Although many of these sites are public, we do not use them, as a club, due to the amount of paddlers, as well as our desire to have them remain available to the paddlers who use them, or live near them.

PADDLING AND LAUNCHING ETIQUETTE

Due to the increased amount of paddle sports using launch facilities, please double up cars (one in front of the other) in areas where cars and trailers park whenever possible.  This reduces our parking usage to 50%. In other areas park tight so other launch site users have a spot.  We share the launch sites with others who need much more space than us. Park efficiently and launch to the side of launch ramps that are in use whenever possible.  Shove off and fasten your spray skirt on the water if possible to make way for others during group launches and to not hold up any waiting trailer boats.  Please stay out of channels and be aware of boating traffic especially around launch areas.  Paddleboats do not have right of way - it’s our responsibility to stay clear of larger craft. Please watch wildlife from a distance - do your best to avoid chasing down wildlife - driving animals off their resting sites.

Connecticut Launch Sites

Branford

Branford River /  Harbor

Quiet inter-coastal river or out to the sound (open water).

Directions - I-95 to exit 54-Branford. South to RT. 1. Cross Rt 1 -  through the light to the stop sign (library on the left). Take a Rt. proceed to the light. Left on Monroe St. Thru stop sign, over RR tracks (bridge) to next stop sign. Left on Harbor to stop sign. Left on Goodsell Point Rd. Launch site is on the left 200 yards.

Branford

Stony creek

Thimble islands - on-street parking - very congested in the summer - weekdays and evenings are best - a great island chain

Directions - Exit 56 off Rt. 95. Head (south) toward water. Go straight across at the stop sign, under RR bridge into Stony Creek. Launch ramp is after small beach on right.

Stonington

Barn Island

Napatree point, watch hill & Stonington harbor

Directions - I-95 to exit 91 in Stonington. At the end of the exit ramp, continue straight across on to Rt 234 E. (the road in front of the ramp). Take your 3rd right (.4 m) on to Farmholme Rd. and continue until you hit Rt 1. Take a rt. and a left at the light. Take your first immediate rt. (launch sign) off that to the Barn Island Launch.

Groton

Bluff Point

There’s a large pond and protected bay as well as two islands right off shore in the Groton Harbor.  (sometimes a gentle offshore breeze)

Directions - I-95 to exit 88 in Groton. Head towards water (south on Rt. 117) to 2nd. light at the junction of Rt. 1. Right on Rt. 1. Left at first light (Depot Road). Continue on to Bluff Point State Park. Low tide in pond leading out to Sound is OK but shallow.
Essex

Connecticut River
(Hamburg Cove)

A beautiful quiet paddling area 1/2 mile up the CT river from the launch area.

Directions - From Exit 3 off route 9, go to stop light and go east on West Avenue in to Essex Center -  to the rotary at the head of Main Street and then go north (left) on North Main Street for 1 short block and turn right onto Bushnell Street. Just before entering the Dauntless Boat Yard there is a dirt road to the left, leading a short distance to the boat launch and parking area.

Haddam 

Connecticut River
(Haddam Meadows)

Haddam Meadow State Park has no admission fee.

Directions - Northbound on Rt.9,- Exit 7 off Rt. 9 - go to the end. left on 154. 3 miles to Haddam Meadows - watch for entrance to park on right.

Directions - Southbound on Rt.9, take exit 10 to southbound Rt. 154 to Haddam -watch for entrance to park on left.

Directions - Inland from East Hampton side of the river - cross bridge at the Goodspeed - 1 mile to junction and a right on154.

Hartford

Connecticut River

Charter Oak bridge - Ct River

Directions- I-91 Northbound - exit 27. When you come to the traffic light, go straight through onto Murphy Road for about 1.2 miles to the next light - go straight through onto Reserve Road for 1/2 mile to Charter Oak Landing which is directly under the Charter Oak Bridge and is marked by a large masonry arch  - go 0.4 mile to the boat launch and parking.

Middletown

Connecticut River

Mattabesset River into wildlife refuge - head left from launch

Directions - From Rt. 9 south:  Bow St exit (12). left on Bow Lane, bear right onto Saybrook Rd. Continue straight (name changes several times) app. 1 mile, right on Union St at YMCA, pass under Rt. 9, left on Harbor Dr.

Directions - From Rt 9 north:  DeKoven Dr exit (14).  Left on DeKoven Dr., left on Union St (2 blocks) at Middletown Glass, pass under Rt. 9, left on Harbor Drive.

East Haddam

Connecticut River
(Seldon island)

Haddam - Goodspeed launch

down river to Gillette's castle, whale bone creek and Seldon Island

Directions - Exit 7 off of Route 9. At the end of the mile long exit ramp turn left on to Route 154. 1/2 mile turn rt. on to route 82. Go over the bridge (CT River)- Airport and Goodspeed is on the right. Launch is behind the Goodspeed- before airport.

Haddam

CT & Salmon Rivers

The Salmon River is on the right a short distance from the launch

Directions - Exit 7 off of Route 9. At the end of the mile long exit ramp turn left on to Route 154. 1/2 mile turn rt. on to route 82. Go over the bridge. Go left just pass Goodspeed Opera House on Rt 149 north, 1.1 miles turn left. parking for 40 cars.

Old Lyme

Great Island

Inter coastal waterways, Lt. River, Back hall river & open water to L.I. Sound & CT river

Directions - I-95 to exit 70. go south on rt. 156 (Shore Road) approx. 2 miles to (boat launch sign on the Rt.) Smith's Neck Road. Follow it to the end - to the launch ramp. Inland waterways get shallow at low tide: You can paddle them with restrictions.

Old Lyme

Four Mile River

Coastal Paddle Rocky area with islands - you can go up the small river for about a mile at high tide.

Directions - I-95 to exit 71, go south on Four Mile River Road (about 0.7 mile) to Rt. 156, turn right, short distance to the sign for boat launch (Oakridge Drive) to the left, take next right to the launch area.

Old Lyme

Lt. River

Lt. River.

Directions - I-95 to exit 70. go south on rt. 156 (Shore Road) approx. 1 mile there’s a bridge over the Lt. River. The launch area is to the right and before the bridge.

Madison

East  River

The East River runs inland from the launch ramp in Madison - also access to L.I. Sound. 

Directions - Rt. 95 - Exit 59  Goose Lane-Guilford. End of exit head south (towards water) 50 yards to light. Take a left on Rt. 1 - proceed 1 mile under RR bridge. Continue until you go over a small bridge (Neck river) take your 1st right on Neck Rd. (bear right) Follow Neck Road to the end and you'll be forced left on to Ridgewood Ave. Continue on to the East River State Boat Launch.

Guilford

East River

Guilford launch is town owned. You can buy a pass from Guilford Town.

Directions - Exit 58 off Rt. 95. Head (south) toward water on Rt. 77. Take a right and left around the Town Green and continue on Rt 77 to the end of the Green. Continue Straight ahead on Whitfield Street to the end where there’s a launch ramp.

Simsbury

Farmington River

Paddle up river, against (almost non-existent) current have lunch and back. approx. 1  1/2 -2  hr. each way. (check water conditions and water level )

Directions -The put-in on the Farmington River at Weatogue "Silver Bridge" on route 185, is just a couple hundred yards east of the intersection with routes 10 & 202 (College Highway). 

Directions - From the south, get on route 10 anywhere you find convenient (including interstate 84) and go north through Avon center to the Weatogue section of Simsbury and turn right onto route 185. Almost immediately cross a bridge and turn right to the put-in. There is a large Sycamore tree at the end of the bridge.

Directions - From West Hartford / Bloomfield area, get onto route 185 (Simsbury Road) and proceed over Talcott Mountain to Weatogue's "Silver Bridge" with the large Sycamore tree to the right and the put-in just to the left of the bridge.

Windsor

Farmington River

Ct River and / or up the Farmington River on left

Directions -  I-91 take exit 35B and follow RT 218 east 0.4miles Turn left on RT 159 south (Windsor Ave) for 0.3 miles

At 3rd signal light turn left onto Barber St. Watch for boat launch signs.

Groton

Bayberry Lane

Dumplings, Bluff Point or towards Thames River New London

Directions - Avery Point - Take Exit  87 off east- bound I-95 and follow the signs (Rt. 349) to the University of Connecticut Avery Point Campus. After you pass the campus, Bayberry Lane is the second right. Look for the boat launch ramp sign.

Brookfield

Lake Lillinonah 
(Housatonic River)

Directions - Take Rt. 25 north to Brookfield Center. Take a right onto Rt. 133. Stay On Rt. 133 for about three miles Take a right onto Obtuse Rocks Road (there will be a boat launch sign) The Road turns into Dingle Brook Road At the intersection take a right onto Hanover Road. Boat launch will be on the left.

NOTE: More boaters prefer to use the Rt. 133 launch.  Pond Brook is less hectic and more peaceful. You need to paddle a small stretch of river before you get to Lake Lillinonah.

Milford / Stratford

Housatonic River

Housatonic River, Housatonic River - out to LI Sound

Directions - Exit 34 off of I-95. Right at end of exit on Rt 1. Three lights go right on Naugatuck Ave. 1/2 mile, launch is under I- 95 Bridge.

NOTE: Plan with the tide. Housatonic can travel at 3-4+ knots at peak (center). Go left out to the sound and / or inter-coastal marsh paddling. Go right up the river and or across the river into marshes.

Westbrook

Messerschmidt's Pond

Beautiful 100 acre scenic fresh water pond.

Directions - Exit 64, Horse Hill Rd. off I95. Head North on Rt. 145. 4 to 5 miles on right is State car top boat launch with parking for dozen cars.

Westbrook

Menbunketesuck River

Small launch site - out to sound in nice wildlife area - Avoid Low tide  -  too little water. 5 or 6 cars max.

Directions - exit 64 off I95. S.(1/2 block) on Rt. 145 to blinking light. Right turn and proceed 1/4 mile to put-in on left just before bridge.

Mystic

Mystic river- you can go up river quite far or out to LI sound.

Directions - 2 launch sites

   Go past Mystic Seaport on the right. Take your first right on Isham Street. Launch is at the end of the street. Street parking is available. Worst case: Drop off the boat and gear and park in the Mystic Lot which is free.

   Or... Under I-95 Bridge Launch

   Eastbound on I95  --  Take exit 89 and go across Allyn Street onto Sandy Hollow Road  --  when you come to High Street, go left a short distance to the first right turn onto Bindloss Ave, following to its end. (side street with a boat launch sign)  --  make a left turn onto River Road  --  continue on River Road and just after you go under I95, the boat launch is on your right.

Norwalk

Norwalk islands 

Open ocean paddling, route determined by conditions- Sheffield Island and others. Return about 3:00

Directions - take Exit 16 off I-95 East Norwalk. Go south on East Ave. .05 mile to small cemetery on left. Go left at south end of cemetery then make a quick right on to Gregory Blvd. Follow Gregory through traffic light. Take a right on Second St. (first street. after the light). Follow to end of street. Launch on beach at end of street. Park on surrounding streets.

Westport 

Norwalk Islands
(Saugatuck River)

Boat ramp in under the I-95 bridge on the Saugatuck River in Westport

Directions - From the North: I-95 South to Exit 18.  Stay right on ramp. Turn left at second light, Greens Farms Road. Go through two stop signs. Turn left at first light, Rte 136. Go under thruway and take first right. Boat ramp is past the sewage treatment plant.

Directions - From the South:  I-95 North to Exit 17. Straight at end of ramp. Through two stop lights. Turn left at stop light. Turn right at first light - Bridge St. Turn right at next light - Rte 136. Go under thruway and take first right. Boat ramp is past the sewage treatment plant.

Chester

Pattaconk Reservoir

Small, beautiful lake to paddle, picnic, practice skills, swim and have fun.

Directions - From Rt-9 -exit 6, 148 south. Take the 1st right after Cedar Lake - proceed to reservoir.

Directions - From I-95- exit 64, 145 to 80, a right and left back on 145. Right on 148. Take left before cedar lake - proceed to reservoir.

Waterford

Dock Rd. State launch

Good State boat launch West of Harkness Memorial Park with adequate parking.

Directions - Exit 75 off I-95. South on Rt. 1 for 3.7 mi. to traffic light, intersection Avery Lane. Right turn and straight 1 3/4 mi. ( road changes to Great Neck Rd.) to Goshen Road. Right turn and straight 1/2 mi. to launch site.

Ledyard

Thames River/ Poqetanuk Cove

Paddle sports only launch - 6-8 cars max.

Directions - Exit 86 off I-95. Groton,  Rt 12 to bridge that crosses the cove. Turn west towards the Thames River on the last street in Ledyard before the state highway bridge crosses into Preston. Looks like a private driveway, but is a town-maintained road that ends at a small paved parking lot serving the boat ramp.


Rhode Island Launch Sites

Kingston RI (South Ferry)

Narragansett Bay

Explore the west passage of Narragansett Bay below the Jamestown Bridge, with a lunch stop on either Dutch Island or Conanicut Island, depending on conditions. Launch will be from URI Bay Campus in Kingston (South Ferry).

Directions - From New Haven, take Rt 95 to RI exit 3  (Route 138). Follow Rt 138 east to the intersection with Rt 1. Go straight across Rt 1, and follow road to Rt 1A. Go straight across again, and boat launch is at end of road.

Directions - From Hartford, take Rt 2 east to Rt 395 North. Take exit 85 (Rt 138), follow signs to Rt 138 east. Follow Rt 138 east to intersection with Rt 1, and then as above.

Jamestown, RI

Fort Wetherill

Directions - From New Haven, Take Rt 95 north to Rt 138 East. Cross Jamestown Bridge and take Downtown Jamestown exit near the Newport Bridge Tolls on the Eastside of the island. Follow the main road heading South through the center of town. Then turn LEFT at the sign for Ft. Wetherill. Follow this road to the park, turn Right into the park then take a quick Left to the boat launch parking area. Ft. Wetherill is on the East side of the island, south of the Newport Bridge and north of Mackerel Cove.

Directions - From Hartford, Take Rt 384 to Rt 6 East. Follow to Johnston, RI, and then take Rt 295 south to Rt 95 south to Rt 138 East. Then as above.

Wickford, RI

Wilson Park Launch
( Wickford Harbor)

Directions - From New Haven, Take Rt 95 north to Rt 138 East to Rt 1 North. Follow to intersection for Rt 1A, and continue north. Turn onto Intrepid St.,  just north of the junction of RT 1 & 1A, near the fire & Police stations. Follow to the launch and the parking lot at the very end.

Directions - From Hartford, Take Rt 384 to Rt 6 East. Follow to Johnston, RI, and then take Rt 295 south to Rt 95 south to Rt 138 East. Then as above.