One of our favorite ways to spend warm summer days is on the water. Northwestern Connecticut has many scenic lakes and ponds that can be enjoyed on a kayak, stand up paddle board (SUP), canoe, or pontoon boat. The Housatonic and Farmington rivers offer kayaking, tubing, canoeing, and rafting for the more adventurous. And of course, there’s nothing like taking a dip in cool, fresh water on a hot summer day!
Salisbury’s Twin Lakes are rimmed by forests and surrounded by hills and mountains. They are popular for kayaking and fishing. Bring your own boats and launch at the public launch or rent a kayak or canoe at O’Hara’s Landing Marina for a day of fun on the water. Pontoon boat rentals are also available.
Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) rentals and classes are also available on Twin Lakes from Soulful SUP and Yoga. They offer paddle board rentals on Saturdays and Sundays and fun guided classes, including Paddle Board Yoga, PaddleFit, and Full Moon Paddles. It’s a lovely, relaxing way to enjoy the beauty of one of the areas most scenic lakes.
The Housatonic River starts up north in the Berkshire mountains in Massachusetts and flows 150 miles southward into western Connecticut before emptying into the Long Island Sound. The waters of the Housatonic River provide excellent white-water and flat-water canoeing and kayaking. Fishing is a major activity along the river as trout, bass, and perch abound. Fly fishing on the Housatonic has been compared with many western rivers and boasts some of the finest trophy trout fishing in the eastern U.S.
Clarke Outdoors in West Cornwall offers kayak, canoe, and raft rentals. You can paddle a 6 or 10-mile section of the beautiful Housatonic River, which provides a mix of moving flatwater and whitewater and is suitable for all levels.
They’ll drop you off in Falls Village in a van in the morning, where you’ll begin your trip. The famous Covered Bridge in West Cornwall marks the halfway point and is a nice spot to have a picnic lunch- or stop at one of the many other scenic spots along the river. When you’ve completed your journey, they’ll pick you up and bring you back to their shop where hot showers are available.
The Farmington River is a nationally designated ‘Wild and Scenic’ resource. It’s known for world class fishing, boating and other recreational opportunities, scenic beauty, and historical importance. The river is a favorite spot for tubing, wildlife sighting, and picnicking. With rapids ranging from flat water to Class III in Satan’s Kingdom, it’s popular with kayakers and canoeists as well.
Main Stream Canoes and Kayaks in New Hartford offers canoe, kayak, and paddle board rentals. Choose from an Upper Farmington or Lower Farmington river trip (trips range from 6 to 12 miles). The Upper Farmington river trip offers a beautiful run of quick water and class I-II rapids, which are a safe challenge for the beginner and intermediate paddlers. The Lower Farmington river route offers a variety of beautiful valley scenery of hills, swamps, grassy fields and treed areas as you meander along at a very relaxed pace. The scenic Farmington River has plenty of twists and turns and promises 3 hours of relaxing beauty.
West Hill Lake
West Hill Lake is considered one of the cleanest lakes in Connecticut as it’s water is replaced every 4 to 5 years by its surrounding water supply. Enjoy a relaxing day swimming and boating at West Hill. It’s also a favorite for anglers since the State of Connecticut stocks the lake. Pros are known to hook a brown trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, kokanee salmon, pickerel, largemouth or smallmouth bass, and sunfish.
Main Stream Canoes and Kayaks in New Hartford rents canoes, kayaks and paddle boards (SUP) by the day at West Hill Lake. With an advance reservation, they’ll drop it off and pick it up at prearranged times.
Wood Creek Pond
This tranquil 145-acre lake, less than 3 miles from the inn, is a nature lover’s paradise. It’s a lovely spot to spend the days if you have your own kayak or stand up paddle board. Or take a picnic lunch to enjoy on the grassy or wooded areas overlooking the pond.
One of Norfolk’s treasures, Tobey Pond offers a lovely spot to go for a cool, fresh water swim from mid-June until mid-August. The 1/2 mile pond access road goes through the pristine Great Mountain Forest. Let us know at breakfast if you need beach chairs, towels, and a Tobey Pond parking pass.