A flatwater paddle past farms and wooded hillsides on New England’s largest river. The Connecticut River is New England’s longest, flowing more than 400 miles from New Hampshire’s border with Quebec to Long Island Sound. The river starts as a small beaver pond in the Northern Forest, but it takes on several different characteristics on its journey south—rushing whitewater, meandering flat water, urban waterway, and tidal estuary.
This trip explores 13-plus miles of the river north of Hanover, where the river backs up behind a dam, creating a long stretch of deep flat water bordered by farms and rolling hills. You do have to share the river with motorboats, but so do the swallows, kingfishers, and herons that you will see along the way. This is a long paddle that can seem even longer if there is a wind out of the south or southwest. Because there is relatively little current on this stretch of river, you can always complete a shorter out-and-back paddle from the put-in.
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