River Access & Views

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River Access & Vista Map

The Connecticut River runs through many picturesque communities as it heads towards Long Island Sound.

Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, Lyme, Essex, Chester, Deep River, East Haddam, and Haddam are charming New England towns that share a distinctive quality — they boast riverfront lands that all can enjoy.

Whether it is a town or state park, a boat or kayak launch, or a hilltop preserve with expansive vistas, each of the eight towns have their special spots.

The Connecticut River Gateway Commission created a map of select locations, favorites of commissioners from each of the eight member towns, where you may enjoy wonderful views or get on the river in your boat, kayak, or canoe. We suggest you use the map to supplement the government information available below or that from commercial sources.

This button opens a new browser window to display an interactive map provided by RiverCOG.

Black Hall River Canoing, Kathleen DeMeo

Coastal & Boating Guides

The State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) maintains a Connecticut Coastal Access Guide. This interactive map provides useful information and directions to shoreline sites that are open to the public.

Use the DEEP guide to identify sites open to the public for boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and other outdoor activities.

DEEP also owns and/or operates numerous boat launches on lakes, rivers and Long Island Sound. Visit their Connecticut Boater's Guide  to, as the agency’s commissioner writes, learn how “to get out on the water and — most importantly — get back safely.

Ideas & Attractions

The lower river valley offers delicious food, delightful museums and theaters, inns and lodging, family fun and active adventures. Go to CT Visit, the Connecticut’s tourism site, for ideas suitable for this season.

As you enjoy your time at the Connecticut River, you’ll soon recognize that this truly special place is worth protecting.

The Connecticut River Museum

plant buffers make the river cleaner and healthier for us all

Let Your Lawn Filter Our Water

A Gateway standard included in the zoning regulations of all eight member towns requires a “vegetative buffer” between lawns or upland property and the river. The purpose of this “riparian buffer” is to allow storm or irrigation runoff, which may contain traces of fertilizer or pesticides, to soak into the ground before reaching the Connecticut River. The earth is a great filter, and plant buffers make the river cleaner and healthier for us all.