blue pelican kayak in connecticut next to Huntington state park boat launch

55 Beautiful Places to Kayak in Connecticut [By County]

Connecticut has a small, but strong kayaking community that loves to explore all the different water sources the state has to offer. Kayaking in Connecticut is diverse, as you can kayak in the sea, lakes, swamps, rivers, and even a few places with some (small) rapids. 

For those who want to kayak in Connecticut, it can sometimes be difficult to find where to go. Although some apps are growing in usage and notating more launch sites, there are still great Connecticut kayaking launches that go unknown by most. 

So, we’re highlighting 55 kayak launches in Connecticut, divided by county, so you can find a place to kayak in Connecticut. Now, I will say I haven’t personally kayaked all 55 of these launches (although I have done many of them), but these 55 launch sites cover all of the favorites of the top kayakers in Connecticut. 

And if you have kayaked all 55, we’d love to hear from you! Share your favorites with us in the comments at the bottom of the page. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I may receive commission for purchases made through links in these post. All links are to products I highly recommend and have verified.

Where to Kayak in Fairfield County, Connecticut

Many people think that all the kayaking in Fairfield County is on the Long Island Sound. And while there are plenty of spots to get out on the sea, this county has plenty other spots to kayak. 

In fact, you can kayak the sea, rivers, ponds, and lakes without ever leaving the county. So, where are these kayaking launches? Check them out below. 

1. Norwalk Islands

I think that Norwalk Islands offer some of the most unique kayaking in the state. You launch from Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, CT and head out to one of the several islands about 30 minutes from shore. 

From here you can kayak camp, or just spend a day kayaking around the island seeing the wildlife (including seals). 

You can check out our guide to kayaking camping Norwalk Islands here

2. Long Island Sound (Several Launch Points)

The Long Island Sound can be accessed by kayak throughout the state. But if you’re looking to kayak the sound in Fairfield County, you can check out any of the launch points below: 

Longshore Sailing School in Westport, CT offers rentals for kayaking and paddle boarding, but if you have a kayak already then you’ll launch at this Connecticut Island Outfitters next to the Long Shore Sailing School rental location. 

Soundwaters is a kayaking and paddle boarding company that provides rentals at Bocuzzi Park off Southview Avenue in Stamford. If you already have a kayak and don’t need a rental that’s okay, you can still launch your into the sound at this location. 

Greenwich has four launch sites into the sound, but all require you to be Greenwich residents and have a permit. None have rentals available. 

Additionally, any public beach can be a kayaking launch site. Some, like Norwalk’s calf pasture beach, do have rentals available from local companies, but most beaches do not. 

3. Huntington State Park

Huntington Pond in Huntington State Park is small but beautiful pond in Redding, CT. This pond is only accessibly by non-motorized boats, so you’ll surely enjoy a quiet paddle. 

This location is a favorite of kayak fishermen and families (it’s one of the best places in Connecticut to take a young, new kayaker to practice). Plus, it’s beauty really can’t beat, especially in the Spring when the lily pads bloom, or in the fall where the colors are spectacular. 

two kayakers in the bay of Shea Island from Norwalk Islands

Kayaking around Norwalk Islands

4. Saugatuck River

In Westport, the Saugatuck River is a favorite local kayaking spot with a free boat launch for those with their own boats and has rentals available upstream.  

Motorized boats do frequent this river, so you will need to mind the wake and stay close to the edge. This river takes you through the city of Westport, and if you keep paddling into an idyllic rural area immediately north of the city. 

We kayak the Saugatuck River every year, and have a great guide for you to check it out as well. 

5. Mianus River

The kayaking launch for Mianus River is tucked away and buried behind a tiny side road in Greenwich

It’s a lesser known site and as such has very limited parking. But, in my opinion it is a great little local spot to get out and kayak after work or for a short weekend trip.

6. Squantz Pond / Candlewood Lake

Don’t let the name pond confuse you, this is a large pond. In fact, you should expect motorized boats and jet skis as soon as it gets warm in the summer. 

At the boat launch, you’ll turn left to head to the smaller (relatively) squantz pond, and to the right to head out to Candlewood Lake. 

Half of the land bordering the pond/lake is privately owned land the other half is forest. It’s definitely worth a visit at least once, but if you’re looking for calm waters then you shouldn’t expect that here. 

7. Indian Well State Park

Indian Well State Park is a very family friendly park. Outside of the boat launch, there’s also a waterfall, and a swimming area

Motorized boats are allowed in Lake Housatonic so you should expect them when kayaking. Several marine events are held each year on this waterway, so before heading out you should check that no events are scheduled that day to prevent you from accessing the water. 

Otherwise, this is one of the best parks in the state to make an entire day out of kayaking combined with hiking, swimming, waterfalls, and grilling out in the park. 

kayaking in connecticut through a pond of lily pads in Huntington state park

Kayaking through lily pads in Huntington State Park 

Where to Kayak in Litchfield County, Connecticut

In Western Connecticut, Litchfield County definitely has the most serene kayaking spots. Although you don’t have access to the Long Island Sound, you do have access to more winding rivers, small ponds, and the wildlife (like beavers) that come with it. 

Let’s look at these 7 kayaking launches in Litchfield County, Connecticut. 

8. West Hill Pond

This is another pond with a bit of a misleading name. Although this pond is large enough for motorize boat access, there are speed restrictions that keep them moving slowly. 

So, West Hill Pond is a great place for kayaking, canoes, and paddle boarding. With plenty of parking, portable restrooms, a small snack area, and swimming holes, West Hill Pond will have something for the entire family here.  

9. Bantam River

If I had to pick one spot in Litchfield that is the best for kayaking, it would definitely be the Bantam River. 

You’ll start out from the launch site kayaking through a winding marsh-like area. Beavers are common here, and on low-water days you may need to portage over some spots. After about 45 minutes, you’ll make it to Bantam Lake. This lake will have motorized boats, but just down from the connection with Bantam River is a boat-only beach. 

Paddling to this beach allows you an area to swim, hang out, eat a snack, and just relax before paddling back. This is definitely one of my favorite all-day summer activities in Connecticut. 

10. Lake Warampaug

For those wanting to combine camping and kayaking, then lake warampaug may be a good fit. Although, this launch is available for those who don’t want to camp as well. 

The lake does allowed motorized boat access, and it is large – but if you’re camping and can manage to get an early morning paddle in you’ll experience still, calm waters and beautiful scenery. If not, then expect some waves, but kayaking (and swimming) can be done all day. 

Plus, rentals are available here if you don’t have your own kayak. 

lake warampaug from shore

Lake Warampaug Photo Credit: MagicPiano

11. Mount Tom

Mont Tom State Park offers another multifaceted kayaking launch site. This park offers a beach and swimming area (which is where you launch from) plus hiking trails for the family to enjoy. 

No motorized boats are allowed here and it’s mainly private property surrounding the pond. So, it will be calm waters, but not always the most serene. It gets very crowded with families on hot summer days. 

12. Twin Lakes

Tucked into the upper Northwest corner of the state in Salisbury, lies the twin lakes. Really these lakes are connected, with a small land area partially separating them. 

Twin Lakes offers a free state boat launch, but does allow motorized boats on the larger lake. If you want to avoid them, the smaller lake prohibits them. And it’s always easy to portage up onto the island and rest there for a while and take a swim. 

13. Lake Lillinonah

The Lake Lillinonah boat launches (yes, there are a couple options) are really providing access to a particularly serene area of the Housatonic River. The main launch  allows for motorized boat access as well as kayaks.

The smaller launch also allows allows for motorized boats, but is much less crowded (and has less parking). An additional launch is found near Lover’s Leap park.  

Please note that if you’re kayaking the Housatonic that it’s very sensitive to water levels – so don’t go after a particularly heavy rainstorm. 

Also, many of thelaunches near here that travel through New Milford are only accessible by New Milford residents – so keep that in mind if looking for other spots along the Housatonic to launch your kayak.

14. Saville Dam

There’s probably not a more famous view of a Connecticut kayaking location than that of the Saville Dam located in Barkhamsted’s Lake McDonough.

If you’re spending anytime in Connecticut it’s worth the trip up to view this dam, even if you aren’t kayaking. If you are kayaking, the launch site is accessible to those who bring their own yaks or need to rent a kayak (rentals are available). You should know though that you aren’t going to be kayaking around the picturesque tower itself, but instead the Lake McDonough directly south of the dam/tower.

Parking here is NOT free, but there is a beach, swimming area, and some walking trails for you to explore around the lake and dam. 

Stone tower in Washining Lake (Twin Lakes) 

Where to Kayak in New Haven County, Connecticut

More central areas of the state have just as much diverse kayaking locations as the Western areas we explored above. New Haven county is back at the shoreline, so the Long Island Sound, plus some rivers, lakes, and even a wetland can be found here. 

Let’s look through 6 places to kayak in New Haven County, Connecticut. 

15. Lake Zoar

Starting off the list of Lake Zoar, a pretty sizable lake (for Connecticut standards) in the Northwestern part of New Haven county. 

The launch site is large, but has a smaller area specifically for launching kayaks and other small watercraft. This lake is busy with boaters and jet skiers so be prepared for some rocky water

Rentals are available nearby if you don’t have your own kayak. 

16. Shepaug Dam

Shepaug Dam is also along the Housatonic, and is a favorite of Connecticut kayakers. You can launch from several spots, but if you want to start right at the dam then you’ll want to launch from here. If you start upstream though, there is a portage spot to cross the dam. 

If you will be kayaking near the dam, then know about the dangers of kayaking near dams and how to properly cross. As such, I don’t recommend this spot for kids, but if you know what to do then it’s a great spot to visit. 

17. Lake Wintergreen

After a couple of larger lakes and more dangerous paddles, lake wintergreen is the complete opposite. This small lake in Hamden does not allow motorized boats and is a great spot for new kayakers or children. 

The launch is in West Rock Ridge State Park, where there are picnic tables and several hiking trails to enjoy as well. 

Shepaug Dam: Portage spots available to kayak on either side

18. Mixville Pond

Mixville Pond is tiny, but beautiful and the other amenities at the park (including a swimming hole, basketball courts, and picnic areas) make this place a true summer destination for all. 

With that said, it’s one of the only kayak launches on this list that isn’t free for Connecticut residents. You should expect to pay a $20 entrance fee, but its less if you’re a Cheshire resident. 

It’s well worth it though if you plan to spend the day kayaking, swimming, and picnicking out in the sun. The water is calm and serene. 

19. Thimble Islands (Long Island Sound)

New Haven County includes the coastline, so there are plenty of places to kayak on the Long Island Sound. One of my favorites is the paddle out to Thimble Islands, off the coast of Branford. 

You can launch from Stony Creek Beach if you have your own kayak, or if you don’t there are several options for rentals around the area with their own launch sites. 

When you reach the islands, most are private land where several families live. However, the outer island is public land, and you can go ashore to experience and picnic on the island. 

If you’re looking to explore the sound from other launch sites, there are several to choose from including: 

20. Charles E. Wheeler

The Charles E. Wheeler wildlife management area is a true gem tucked away in Milford, Connecticut. Visiting though, entirely depends on the tides – so you’ll need to time it exactly right in the 4-hour window with the tide to be able to enjoy kayaking here. 

Parking is free, and generally this launch is fairly empty. It’s great for kids as the water is calm and the mazes are fun, but there are no bathrooms available. 

If you’ll be visiting learn all about the tides and what to expect by checking out my guide to kayaking Charles E. Wheeler

kayak launch with view of Charles e wheeler marsh in distance kayaking in connecticut

Kayaking launch at Charles E. Wheeler

Where to Kayak in Hartford County, Connecticut

Rivers definitely dominate the kayaking scene in Hartford County as both the Farmington River and Connecticut River wind through the middle of the state. 

But, with rivers comes several launch points and each one offers a slightly different scene. Plus, if you’ve had enough of the rivers there are a couple of other ponds and lakes to explore as well. 

Let’s look at the kayaking launches in Hartford County, Connecticut below. 

21. Farmington River

The Farmington River really has some diversity. At many launches you’ll encounter calm, slow moving water – but at others there are some rapids. And like most rivers in the state, the Farmington River is very sensitive to rising waters. If you aren’t into kayaking rough waters you’ll want to avoid after any large rainstorm. 

As for where the launches are: 

  • Rainbow Reservoir launch in Windsor will provide you with mostly calm waters, but you do have to keep an eye out for motorized boats and their wake.
  • Tariffville Park is a small park without a lot of non-local foot traffic, but is a great starting spot for whitewater kayaking.
  • Aesop Meadows in Avon is a beautiful park that has a great launch for some calm water river kayaking or canoeing. 
  • Collinsville Canoe and Kayak in Collinsville, CT has rentals available and is a great spot for a calm paddle. 
  • Mainstream Kayaks and SUPs in New Hartford also has rentals, and is a great place for a calm paddle. This part of the water intersects with the Farmington River tubing – so unless you paddle north you should expect to run into the tubers. 

22. Connecticut River (many launch points)

The Connecticut River is a massive kayaking spot for kayakers in Connecticut. There are many launch points across multiple counties, but most of these points exist in Hartford County. 

So, let’s go through some of the top spots to kayak the Connecticut River in Hartford County. 

  • Great River Park has a boat launch available to kayakers. You do need a pass (even if you’re a Rocky Hill resident), and it can be quite expensive. 
  • Great River Park in Hartford has a kayak launch. And this park is really neat to visit as it has an amphitheater and art installations. There is a fee for a launch-use pass you’ll need to get at the town’s Park’s and Rec. Office. 
  • Windsor Meadows State Park is just slightly north of Great River Park in Hartford. It also requires a paid pass you can get at the Park’s and Rec. office in Hartford. 
  • The Bissell Bridge launch in Windsor Meadows State Park is a large launch that allows for motorized boats. 
  • Linear Park is another Windsor launch site for kayaks. 
  • King’s Island Boat Launch is in Enfield and is great for small boats to launch. Not heavily used and has plenty of parking. 
  • Donald W. Barnes Boat Launch is the northernmost launch for the CT river in Connecticut. Allows motorized boats. 

23. Union Pond

Union Pond is a calm paddle pond in Manchester, CT. It is small, but has rivers feeding into and out of the pond. The river access to the North is NOT a river for novice kayakers. The southern access river is calmer, but you still should expect class 1-2 rapids. 

But this launch has plenty of parking and picnic spots to enjoy your day. 

24. Silver Lake

Silver Lake in Berlin, Connecticut offers a peaceful lake with calm water for kayakers. The water can be shallow at times, but that generally doesn’t impact kayakers. 

Motorized boats can access this lake, and it is a frequent place for fishermen. The launch is concrete, but could use some updating. Not a big deal for kayaks but could be an issue for larger boats. 

Connecticut River view from Gillette castle

Connecticut River: Photo Credit It’sOnlyMakeBelieve

Where to Kayak in Middlesex County, Connecticut

Rivers and ponds are by-far the most frequent waterways found in Middlesex County, Connecticut. These provide a lot of calm-water options for kayakers to explore. 

We’ll describe 9 kayaking launches in Middlesex County below. 

25. Connecticut River in Essex

Launching into the CT River from the Essex Boat Ramp is great because you can also access the calm water found in the North Cove. While the CT River allows for motorized boats, the North Cove is for non motorized watercraft. 

Kayaking around here will allow you lots of little water inlets only for smaller watercraft to explore. It’s a favorite of many Connecticut kayakers. 

26. Indian River

Indian River, located in Clinton, CT, is a really fun place to kayak. The launch is behind the Town Hall, and from there you can head into the river. 

If you choose to paddle to the left (south) when you launch then you’ll eventually reach a harbor where you can kayak to Cedar Island and enjoy its beaches. Or if you’d prefer you can kayak around the Harbor and enter the Hammonasset River. 

27. Haddam Meadows

Haddam Meadows State Park contains its own launch for the Connecticut River that’s absolutely worth checking out. It allows for year around launch access, which is great for those who like to kayak in the winter months. 

This launch does allow for motorized boats, but has strict regulations on speed to help out us kayakers. Other than the launch there are a few picnic tables around to have a meal. 

28. Pattaconk Recreation Area

The Pattaconk Recreation Area is a part of Cockaponset State Forest. The boat launch is in Chester, CT, and provide access for non-motorized watercraft, so you’re sure to have a very calm paddle. 

Swimming and picnicking are also very common here. In the summer, and especially around holidays, it can be very packed. But, there’s plenty of space for families to spread out, even if not everyone can get a spot right on the water. 

The white Essex museum next to the Connecticut River kayak launch

Essex River Museum next to boat launch: Photo Credit Joe Mabel

29. Messerschmitz Pond

Another very calm, peaceful paddle is Messerschmitt Pond. Although motorized boats are allowed, it’s very uncommon to see many of them. This pond isn’t exceptionally large, and although a few people may take small boats out for fishing, there won’t be any jet skis around here. 

The launch is located in Westbrook, Connecticut. You should expect to see lots of wildlife, and the pond has excellent fishing. 

30. Hammonasset River

This launch is hidden just underneath the I-95 overpass off of River Road to access the Hammonasset River. You should watch the tides here, as low tide will make the water shallow. 

If you head out during low tide and come back as it’s transitioning to high tide it will make it easier for you to paddle back to the launch. 

31. Chapman Pond

The launch at Parker’s Point enters into the CT River, and then you’ll kayak across the river and slightly north to reach the pond. This pond will nearly be guaranteed to have lots of wildlife to enjoy. 

Parker’s Point does require you have a park pass, which is free for Chester Residents. Non-residents have to pay for an annual pass, which can be expensive. 

32. Mattabesset River

 Harbor Park will let you launch into the the beautiful and calm Mattabesset River. There is also another launch point slightly upstream behind the Dunkin Donuts – but I haven’t actually tried this launch site and can’t seem to locate it on Google Maps. Though people do say it exists. Try at your own risk! 

33. Salmon River

Salmon River can be accessed from the Salmon River Boat Launch. From here you can kayak to and portage over the Leevill Dam. Although some parts of this river border private property, most of this paddle borders nature preserves and swamp land. So, you should expect a lot of wildlife. 

This is a beautiful river to kayak and one that I think you should have at the top of your list. 

image of salmon river in connecticut with trees in the background. Connecticut kayaking

Salmon River: Photo Credit J.G. Coleman

Where to Kayak in Tolland County, Connecticut

Tolland county has a smaller list, but smaller doesn’t mean worse. The kayaking launches in Tolland County Connecticut lead to incredibly beautiful rivers and ponds that are great for calm water paddles.

Let’s look into these 6 kayaking launches found in Tolland County, Connecticut. 

34. Scantic River

To access the Scantic River, the best spot is to start from  Somersville pond launch site. From here you can kayak around the small and idyllic Somersville Pond before heading into the Scantic River. 

The Scantic River is small and winding, so you should expect a fairly calm paddle without any motorized boats. 

35. Willimantic River

The Willimantic River contains a 22 mile stretch of water in both CT and MA that is great for kayaking. Although, not every launch site on this river is great for new kayakers or children. 

If you fall into one of those categories you’ll want to launch from Eagleville Pond which feeds into the River. The pond will have no current and the river is gentle around here. 

If you’re looking for something a bit more challenging you can check out the additional launches here

36. Bigelow Hollow State Park

Bigelow Hollow State Park has been called a kayakers paradise due to it’s calm water and beautiful scenery. But, there are multiple ponds to choose from in this park, each with their own launch and vibe. 

  • Bigelow Hollow Pond is the smallest of the three ponds and it’s launch only allows for non-motorized boat access. 
  • Breakneck Pond is slightly larger, but the boat launch requires a 1.2 mile walk from Bigelow Hollow State Park. Clearly this wont be for everyone – but if you’re looking for an off-the beaten path launch that is sure to not have crowds then this is probably for you. 
  • Mashaug Pond is the largest of the three and does allow motorized boats (with speed limits). It’s launch is here

37. Crystal Hollow Park

Crystal Hollow Park offers a pretty remote pond that generally is known by locals and not many others. Beyond paddling it also has a disc golf course, for those interested in that. 

Due to the size of the pond, non-motorized boats only are allowed. So, you can expect to paddle in calm waters. 

38. State Line Pond

State Line Pond is a very tiny pond located in Stafford, Connecticut. You can expect calm waters, and this pond is a favorite of fisherman in the area. 

Because of its size, the launch is small and parking is nearly nonexistent. Again, it’s mostly a local pond to kayak, so that generally isn’t too big of a problem. But I would still recommend trying to arrive early. 

39. Holbrook Pond

Holbrook Pond is yet another small, calm water pond available for kayaking. The launch is accessed from a dirt road and is small and fairly shallow. 

Motorized boats are allowed, but due to the size of the pond and the shallow water the largest boats you’ll really get here are small fishing boats. 

View of calm water on Bigelow hollow pond in Bigelow hollow state park great for kayaking

Bigelow Pond

Where to Kayak in New London County, Connecticut

New London County has the most kayaking launches throughout all the counties in the state. It has access to the Long Island Sound, and you get some really unique opportunities to kayak through and around islands just off the coast. 

But I think that New London County kayaking launches really shine when it comes to those beautiful, calm water paddles most people enjoy when hitting the water. 

Let’s look at the 12 kayaking launches in New London County below. 

40. Great Island

Great Island is located in the Long Island Sound just as you exit the Connecticut River. In addition to the Sound and CT River there is also a stretch of fairly calm water in Griswald Cove near the island. 

To launch here you’ll start out in the CT River and kayak south. You’ll want to be careful of wind as the spots where river meets the sea can have some waves, especially on windy days. But, it’s beautiful to explore and fun to kayak through the cove and to the island. 

41. Bluff Point

Bluff Point is another great launch point to reach the Long Island Sound. You’ll launch your kayak into the Poquonnock River, which feeds into the Long Island Sound. 

As you’re kayaking out to the Sound you’ll pass by the Groton/New London airport, which is a unique little experience to have in a kayak. When you reach the connection to the Sound there is a small beach inlet you’ll likely have to portage over. But on the other side there are small islands with beaches to explore and rest on while kayaking. 

42. Seldon Island

Seldon Island is an island found off the Conneticut River that is only accessible by boat. It also contains some primitive campsites, so is a great place to combine kayaking and camping if that’s your thing.

You’ll launch from the ferry landing just south of Gillette Castle. From there you’ll kayak south until Selden Neck State Park and the associated Selden River. Both are beautiful and easy to explore. 

43. Barn Island

Barn Island is another launch in to the Long Island Sound that takes you to some remote islands for exploring. This launch is large and allows motorized boats, but there is a kayak/canoe launch just off to the side you should use. 

From here you’ll kayak out to barn island, which mostly contains wildlife preserves so you’ll need to be cautious of where you choose to land on the island, especially if you plan to get out and explore. Lots of nesting birds to watch out for! 

44. Lake of Isles

Lake of Isles is an inland launch point that explores a small and beautiful lake. motorized boats are allowed, but it is a small lake with very slow speed restrictions. This makes it a great calm water paddle. 

In the middle of the lake there are a few islands you can get out and explore. The parking for the launch can be smaller than the demand so get there early, especially on weekends. 

view of rocky and sandy land behind which the Long Island sound from bluff point exists. A boat is in the water in the far distance.

Bluff Point: Photo Credit Morrowlong

45. Long Pond

Long Pond contains exactly what you’d expect – a long pond for paddling. Not only can you kayak here, but if you look for them you’ll find a few rope swings you can use for swimming as well. 

The launch is small and only allows speeds up to 5mph. So calm water is to be expected.

46. Pachaug Pond

Pachaug Pond is a large pond that allows for motorized boats and jet skiing – so know that will effect water conditions. 

For kayakers, you can (if the water is high enough) head north for a bit and into a small river accessibly only by  smaller watercraft. 

47. Thames River

The Thames River is a large river that feeds into the Long Island Sound. You’ll launch from under the I-95 overpass and immediately pass through New London on the right and Groton on the left. 

There are a lot of houses and city type of landscape on either side, at least as you approach the Sound. Once you enter the Sound you are in open water without any islands nearby – so don’t paddle too far out unless you are experienced. 

48. Gardner Lake

Gardner Lake is a large lake with big boats and jet skis. People love heading here in the summer to fish, swim, and just be on the water in whatever way possible. 

So, it can be crowded. The boat launch itself is very large and can accommodate many launches at once. 

49. Niantic River

The Niantic River is another river that feeds into the Long Island Sound. From the launch point you can either head south into the cove, and eventually into the sound, or you can head north farther into the Niantic River. 

If you head farther into the river there are a few offshoots you’ll find that head into smaller cove areas with really calm water and wildlife. 

50. Enders Island

Enders Island is only one of many islands found in this part of the Long Island Sound off of Mystic, CT. But Enders Island is well known because of it’s serene retreat with beautiful gardens to explore. You can drive to visit these if you’re not up for kayaking in the Sound yet. 

The closest launch to the islands is here next to Williams beach, but if you want to kayak more of Mysitc and in the Mystic River you’ll want to start at the more northern launch point here. 

view of enders island beach next to Long Island sound with a boat marina in the background. great for kayaking and acting as a kayaking launch point in connecticut

Enders Island: Photo Credit Utilizer

Where to Kayak in Windham County Connecticut

Last (but definitely not least) is to explore the kayaking launches in Wyndham County, Connecticut. There are fewer launches here than some of the other counties, but don’t let that dissuade you. Wyndham County has beautiful kayaking launches in rivers, lakes and ponds to explore. 

Let’s look at these 5 kayaking launches in Wyndham County, Connecticut. 

51. Quinnebaug River

The Quinnebaug River is a small, winding river beautiul to explore. The lesser known launch is here, but doesn’t have a lot of parking. 

The more common launch is farther north, and very close to the MA border. It’s more common because there are hiking trails here as well so if you want to do more than just kayak you may want to explore this launch. 

52. Mansfield Hollow Lake

Mansfield Hollow Lake is found in a nature preserve. So, while you can’t swim here – you can kayak and no motorized boats are allowed. 

You can expect to launch into a very calm water paddle in a serene environment with lots of wildlife. Plus, there are hiking trails here to if you want to explore the rest of the park. 

53. West Thompson Lake

West Thompson Lake is a manmade lake constructed from damming the Quinnebaug River. It is a fairly large lake and is maintained by U.S. Army Core of Engineers. 

They offer two launches – a smaller launch upstream of the lake here, which is a three mile paddle down to the launch here. You’ll want to be experienced with moving water to kayak the entire 3 miles, but if you just want a short trip launching and returning to either will be just fine. 

View of quinnebaug river in the fall with calm water and colorful trees lining the river bank

Quinnebaug River: Photo Credit Cathy Cline

54. Quaddick Reservoir

Quaddick State Park hold Quaddick Reservoir, a large body of water great for boats of any kind. This is the type of park where you can barbecue, play games, spend time with the family and head out on the water. 

Motorized boats are allowed so you should expect some waves due to their wake. 

55. Manship Park

Manship Park offers a kayak launch into the Quinnebaug River. This park is filled with sports fields for any sport you can think of plus an additional playground. 

Really great way to paddle in fairly calm water in the river and enjoy the day in the park. 

Whew! What a list. We explored 55 places to kayak in Connecticut, some with multiple launch points. Now you should have found a place or two you haven’t explored yet so get out there and paddle! Connecticut has a lot of great places for kayaking and you should explore them all!

If you’re looking for complete guides to some of the local places to kayak check out our kayaking locations page to find everything you need to know about specific kayaking launch spots. . 

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