What Can I Do?

River Safety & Health Tips

Waiting for Swallows, Kathleen DeMeo

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Enjoying Time On and Along the River

The Connecticut River is a treasure for all the enjoyment it offers us while sightseeing, hiking, picnicking, birding, sailing, motor boating, paddling, rowing, fishing, swimming or camping.

The river today is much cleaner than it was decades ago, a healthy change made possible by many people’s care and work.

Many of us visited natural areas during the pandemic and we found that being outdoors improves our physical health and mental well-being. Access by all to nature is encouraged but comes with responsibility.

Please join in keeping the river safe and healthy.

couple kayaking the river

Along the River

Respect public access areas and neighboring property owners. Don’t trespass or trample over sensitive tidal or wetland plants. Restrictions for fishing, shellfishing and other activity are for your own wellbeing as well as for the environment. Restrictions are often posted so you will not be at risk of disease or parasites.

Don’t litter — take out what you bring into natural areas. Various groups sponsor clean-ups that remove trash from the environment. The Connecticut River Conservancy’s Source to Sea Clean-Up and local efforts always need volunteers.

Young girl picking up trash along the shore

On the Water

Whether you have a power boat, sailboat, canoe or kayak, the first rule on the water is be safe. If you’re new to boating, enroll in a boating class. The US Coast Guard has a guide on safe paddling.

An increasing number of harmful aquatic species are invading local waters, including the Connecticut River. Before leaving a boat launch area, practice the Clean, Drain, Dry technique. Look for and remove any visible plant or organic debris before leaving so it is not spread to other waters. Drain as much water from your boat as possible. And let your equipment dry, if possible, before going out again.

If you are fishing or waterfowl hunting, many of the same cautions apply.

Clean visible plants and debris from waders, hip boots, decoys, etc. Brush your hunting dog off as well. Dry your equipment or wipe it with a towel before using again. If you go out with others, tell them about the threats aquatic invasive species present to your and their favorite areas.

four boats docked under blue skies
sunrise on the River

Connecticut River Ferries Are Older Than America
Ferries have long been a means to cross rivers. The Chester-Hadlyme Ferry, which began service in 1769, was actually used to transport supplies during the Revolutionary War.

Today the Selden III, operated by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, runs between the two towns providing a scenic, relaxing crossing for cars, bicyclists and pedestrians. Enjoy superb views on board of Gillette’s Castle on board the ferry, especially heading east.