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.

To see some Padding adventure videos, click here to visit Explore New England.

Paddling in Connecticut
Bigelow Hollow State Park & Nipmuck State Forest

Route 171 Union, CT Phone:

Large forested park with lots of hiking trails; water sports at one lake and 3 ponds

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.
See a full description on our State & Local Parks page.
Squantz Pond State Park

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

Pond is centerpiece of wooded park with beach, swimming, boating, hiking trails, ice skating, cross country skiing

Boating is done at this pretty pond, along with swimming, fishing, and other water sports.
See a full description on our State & Local Parks page.
Cockaponset State Forest and Pattaconk Lake Recreation Area

18 Ranger Road Haddam, CT Phone: 860-566-2304

Large state forest; good for fishing, hiking & walking, horseback riding, snowmobiling

Launch your boat from the carry-in/car-top boat launch ramp at Messerschmidt Pond. See more information on our State Parks page.
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

Water sports in the lake; hiking to tower at mountain top

Non-motorized boating, along with swimming and fishing, are done at this park, named for the mountain within its boundaries. - Park Map (PDF)
Lighthouse Point State Park - New Haven, CT - Photo Credit Shutterstock
Lighthouse Point Park

Lighthouse Road New Haven, CT Phone: 203-946-8019

Lighthouse tours, water sports, marine biology programs, paddling tours

This waterfront park boasts a historic lighthouse, paddling,and a number of adventure programs, including canoeing, kayaking. Learn more from the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator at 203-944-6768.

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
Mashamoquet Brook State Park

147 Wolf Den Drive Pomfret Center, CT Phone: 860-928-6121

Good park for camping, swimming, boating, hiking; cool rock formations to explore

This forested park is popular for all water sports, including boating and paddling of canoes and kayaks.weekends. - Trail Map
See a full description on our State & Local Parks page.
Stratton Brook State Park - Simsbury, CT
Stratton Brook State Park

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

Wheelchair-accessible park has trout fishing, hiking, sports fields, swimming

This large park has opportunities for plenty for water sports, including canoeing, kayaking, and paddling. - Park Map
For more information see our State & Local Parks page.
American Legion & Peoples State Forests

Between Center Hill Road (Route 181) and East River Road [see map] Barkhamsted, CT Phone: 860-379-0922

Large forests offer all outdoor recreation: camping, water sports, extensive hiking trails

Canoeing and Kayaking are done on the west band of the Farmington River, which runs through these state forests. Campground Map - Hiking Map - Additional information about American Legion & Peoples State Forests
Lake McDonough Park

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

Water sports and a boat launch; Braille-marked walking trail

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.
See full description of Lake McDonough Park.