Connecticut state parks offer lots of paddling, canoeing, kayaking

Connecticut's abundant number of well-maintained state parks and forests offer plenty of places to enjoy paddling, whether by canoe or kayak.
Part of a wonderful vacation for parents and kids.

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Paddling in Connecticut
Lake McDonough Recreation Area - Barkhamsted, CT - Photo Credit CTVisit
Lake McDonough Recreation Area

Route 219 Barkhamsted, CT, 06063 Phone: 860-379-3036

Boating and paddling are done on this small, easy-to-reach lake at a day-use park. Boating and shore fishing are done late April- Labor Day. Boats are available to rent.
Bigelow Hollow State Park - Union, CT - Photo Credit CT DEEP
Bigelow Hollow State Park & Nipmuck State Forest

298 Bigelow Hollow Road - Route 171 Union, CT, 06076 Phone: 860-424-3200

This combined forested property just south of the Connecticut-Massachusetts border includes Mashapaug Lake and Bigelow, Breakneck, and Griggs ponds, where boating and pond fishing are done. There are boat launches at Bigelow Pond and Mashapaug Lake.
Stratton Brook State Park - Simsbury, CT
Stratton Brook State Park

149 Farms Village Road - CT Route 309 Simsbury, CT, 06070 Phone: 860-242-1158

This large park has opportunities for plenty for water sports, including canoeing, kayaking, and paddling. - Park Map (PDF)
Kayaking at Cockaponset State Forest - Haddam/Chester, CT
Cockaponset State Forest and Pattaconk Lake Recreation Area

Cedar Lake Road Chester, CT, 06412 Phone: 860-424-3200

Launch your boat from the carry-in/car-top boat launch ramp at Messerschmidt Pond. - List of Park Maps
Squantz Pond State Park - New Fairfield, CT - Photo Credit Nemo Jones
Squantz Pond State Park

178 Short Woods Road New Fairfield, CT, 06810 Phone: 203-312-5023

Boating is done at this pretty pond, along with swimming, fishing, and other water sports. - Hiking Map (PDF)
Bluff Point State Park - Groton. CT - Photo Credit CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
Bluff Point Coastal Reserve

Depot Road, off US Route 1 Groton, CT, 06340 Phone: 860-444-7591

Walking in wooded peninsula and along rocky coast; seabird watching; shell fishing allowed

Canoeing and kayaking are popular pastimes off the rocky coast of this reserve. There is a boat launch with parking for car-top vessels. - Park Map (PDF) - Boat Launch
Paddling at Mount Tom State Park - Washington Depot, CT
Mount Tom State Park

Route 202 at Mount Tom Road Washington Depot, CT, 06794 Phone: 860-567-8870

Non-motorized boating, along with swimming and fishing, are done at this park, named for the mountain within its boundaries. - Park Map (PDF)
Lake View - American Legion & Peoples State Forest - Barkhamsted, CT - Photo Credit Libertad Martinez
American Legion & Peoples State Forests

Between Center Hill Road (CT Route 181) and East River Road Barkhamsted, CT, 06063 Phone: 860-379-2469

Canoeing and Kayaking are done on the west band of the Farmington River, which runs through these state forests. - Trail Map (PDF) - Campground Map (PDF)