According to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Connecticut waters provide over 698 square miles of inland water for canoeists to explore. Many of the 5,830 miles of rivers, streams and creeks have Connecticut canoe outfitters serving them. The outfitters offer rentals, trips on many of Connecticut’s canoe trails and routs. In addition to the canoe outfitters, the Connecticut Water Trail Program run by the Connecticut Water Trail Association has built a network of water trails throughout the state.
Connecticut Paddling History
At first contact between the Connecticut American Indian tribes and Europeans, fur trade started. The Algonquians acted as the intermediary between the French and the other tribes promoting fur trading along Connecticut’s rivers. With a high demand, the beaver was quickly wiped out. The Algonquian used canoes to travel along the waterways and had various forms adapted for river travel and also coastal ocean travel.
Connecticut Paddling Guidebooks
The paddling in Connecticut has spawned several guide books. Here are the top three:
- Paddling Connecticut and Rhode Island: Southern New England’s Best Paddling Routes (Paddling Series)
- Quiet Water Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, 2nd: Canoe and Kayak Guide (AMC Quiet Water Series)
- The Connecticut River Boating Guide, 3rd: Source to Sea (Paddling Series)
Fairfield County Canoe Outfitters
Fairfield Kayak Company LLC
55 Limerick Road
Fairfield , Connecticut 06824
Description: Fairfield Kayak Company offers inexpensive kayak rentals and canoe rentals in Fairfield Connecticut by the 1/2 day, full day, weekend or week. No experience needed!
Area Served: Fairfield Area
Area Description: Experience the Long Island Sound coastline, beaches, Ash Creek estuary, Salt Marshes, and paddle Black Rock or Southport Harbors.
The Small Boat Shop
144 Water Street
Description: A specialty kayak and canoes outfitter that offers a wide variety of canoes from Scott, Old Town, Shearwater, and Wenonah. Offers tours and ACA lessons. Rents only to experienced paddlers.
Outdoor Sports Center
Hartford County Canoe Outfitters
Collinsville Canoe & Kayak
41 Bridge Street (Route 179)
Collinsville, Connecticut 06022
Fax – 860-693-6554
Description: Rental season starts on May 1 and ends mid-October depending on weather.
Area Served: Farmington River in Collinsville
Area Description: Leave from our boat ramp, paddle a mile and a half to Town Bridge and then paddle back to our boat ramp. Our section of the river is dammed and more like a lake.
Huck Finn Adventures
PO Box 137
Collinsville, Connecticut 06022-0137
Description: Since 1983, Huck Finn Adventures has rented canoes and kayaks on the Farmington River in Avon and Simsbury, Connecticut, as well as on the Park River in Hartford.
Area Served: Farmington River, Park River
Area Description: Calm river with sandy bottom. Paddle past the biggest tree in Connecticut, the Pinchot Sycamore.
Long River Adventures
326 Poquonock Avenue
Windsor, Connecticut O6095
Description: Long River Adventures offers canoe rentals on the Farmicut River in Windsor, Connecticut. Clean equipment and lifevests that don’t stink.
Area Served: Farmicut River from Farmington to Simsbury.
Area Description: A clean, safe river to swim, fish and paddle. Choose from two 5 mile trips or one 10 miler. River has sandy bottoms, golf ball collection and turtle catching.
Litchfield County Canoe Outfitters
Main Stream Canoes and Kayaks
170 Main Street (Rte 44)
New Hartford, Connecticut 06057
Description: Main Stream offers a variety of rental options for individuals and groups.
Group rates are available.
Area Served: Farmington River
Area Description: We pioneered and continue to offer flat water trips on the Farmington, through the Farmington Valley. It’s a gentle glide, along Talcott Mountain ending at the Pinchot Sycamore in Simsbury. The lower Farmington is a slow relaxing ride, great for all ages and abilities.
The Trading Post, LLC
314 Kent Road
New Milford, Connecticut 06776
Description: Our fleet consists predominantly of flatwater canoes and kayaks – easy to get in and out of, very stable in the water, very comfortable and extremely durable.
Area Served: New Milford area, Housatonic River
Area Description: Part of the Housatonic River Trail.
Clarke Outdoor Inc.
163 Route 7
West Cornwall Connecticut 06796-1001
Description: Canoe and raft rentals on the beautiful Housatonic River in Northwest Connecticut. Whitewater kayak instruction. Retail store with canoes, kayaks, and accessories for all your paddle sports needs.
Area Served: Housatonic River
Area Description: Paddle a ten mile section of the beautiful Housatonic River in Northwestern Connecticut.
Middlesex County Canoe Outfitters
Indian River Marina
58 Commerce Street
Clinton, Connecticut 06413
Description: Canoe and kayak rentals geared towards stability and recreational boats.
Area Served: Indian, Hammonasset and Hammock Rivers
Area Description: The marina is situated about 1/4 mile up the Indian River from Clinton Harbor where three rivers — the Hammonasset, Indian and Hammock — converge on their way to Long Island Sound.