Our River

Tom Walsh, Shoreline Aerial Photography

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Discover the Connecticut River watershed; find suggestions for hiking, boating, enjoying great views and other sightseeing ideas; and discover how sand has made the river unique and continues to shape its uses and environment.

walking along the water's edge

Enjoy the River

From land to water

The Connecticut River and its tidelands are recognized as among the most important natural, recreational, and scenic areas in the state and the Northeast.

The waterway is a treasure all the more wonderful for the many ways it can be experienced. Be as active or relaxed as you wish within the Zone.

Tributaries & Coves

As the Connecticut River runs south from Canada, it drains water from over 11,000 square miles of land.

Over 30 tributaries and coves fall within the Zone, either completely or in part, as the river nears Long Island Sound.

Each of the eight towns within the Zone has tributaries that flow into or coves that are near the Connecticut River.

How Many Can You Name?

tributaries and coves

Hamburg Cove & Eightmile River, Tom Walsh, Shoreline Aerial Photography

couple kayaking the river

Black Hall River Canoing, Kathleen DeMeo

River Access & Views

As it nears Long Island Sound, the Connecticut River runs through eight charming New England towns that make up the Zone.

The Connecticut River Gateway Commission created a map of special spots, favorites of our commissioners, where you may enjoy wonderful views or get on the river in your boat, kayak, or canoe.

In addition, links are provided to coastal access, boating and tourism information from the State of Connecticut.

Turtle Painting
History of the River

Bushnell’s Revolutionary Turtle

During the American Revolution, Connecticut contributed far more than just troops and provisions. In Pettipaug (now Essex), the three-masted, 20-gun warship, Oliver Cromwell, was built…

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sunset on Connecticut River

What can I do?

Protecting the beauty and health of the Zone’s waterways is a shared responsibility.

Whether you are a homeowner or are considering buying property; a builder or an architect; an arborist or a landscape professional; or you simply enjoy boating, fishing, hiking, or relaxing along a shore, your help is very important in caring for the lower Connecticut River valley, today and for generations to come.