Which way to the river?
The Housatonic River Guide is intended (in this first installment) to assist with and inspire paddle trips on the river. Every effort has been made to provide clear, accurate and useful information about the river, river-oriented organizations and the communities of the Housatonic River Valley. Please SCOUT your course before you venture out and use your best judgment regarding SAFETY. The Housatonic River has many dams, rapids, and other obstructions along the way that will prove challenging and exciting. There are also miles and miles of calm water and abundant wildlife to enjoy. As you plan your trip, take note of the many dirt pull offs on the roads along the river with paths down the banks – they may come in handy during your travels. Please observe posted private property signs. Please wear your PFD (personal flotation device) when you are out on the water.
Please link the Housatonic River Guide to your website.
Take care and paddle on!
Navigating this site:
MAP: Each blue pin on the the Housatonic River Guide satellite map is a launch site. Scrolling over or clicking on the pin shows the location of the launch. This map has ZOOM and DIRECTIONAL features in the upper left corner. In the upper right corner are map style options. By clicking the small arrow in the white margin to the left of the map, a list of all launch sites will appear!
ABOUT THE HOUSATONIC RIVER WATERSHED: The tabs on this page contain a compilation of information about the Housatonic River from many sources.
Launch sites are listed from UPSTREAM to DOWNSTREAM beginning at Muddy Pond in Washington MA (the source of the Housatonic River) and ending where the river meets the Long Island Sound at Court Street in Milford CT. Click on the photo or launch name for more information. Launch site photos were taken in the summer of 2010 during a time of low water. Be sure to check water levels before starting your trip.
Driving directions in most cases are listed from DOWNSTREAM to UPSTREAM to assist in setting up shuttles. Click on the BLUE LINKS for a satellite map with blue pins set on the departure and destination locations. These maps have zoom and directional features in the upper left corner and map style options in the upper right corner.
Note: Base paddling time on 3 mph. Some sections of the river are not navigable.
USGS GAUGE STATIONS: The United States Geological Survey provides real-time water resources data online. This page provides a direct link to information from the gauge stations along the Housatonic River.
TIDE PREDICTIONS: The Housatonic River is tidal downstream of the Derby/Shelton Dam. Please check tide tables for Shelton CT and Stratford CT before paddling this stretch.
HOUSATONIC RIVER WATERSHED COMMUNITIES: There are more than 80 distinct communities within the Housatonic River Watershed in three states – Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York, seven Congressional Districts and six counties. Click on the communities highlighted in blue to view their websites. Pay them a visit on your way to or from the river!
HOUSATONIC RIVER WATERSHED LAND TRUSTS: Listed by state and county are organizations dedicated to land conservation and protection and the health of our water ways.
ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS: Listed alphabetically are organizations working vigorously to maintain, sustain and improve the health of the GREAT OUTDOORS!
PHOTO GALLERY: Scroll over or click on these photos (arranged from upstream to downstream) to link to the launch sites. All photos by Jenny Hersch, July-August 2010.
HOUSATONIC RIVER VINTAGE POSTCARDS: This collection of postcards, many of which are more than 100 years old, allow us to see images of the Housatonic River from days gone by. The river may look the same, but as the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus said: You never step in the same river twice.
FLYOVERS: Google Earth allows us to see our landscape from a new perspective. This series of flyovers includes the Housatonic River from Source to Sound; Muddy Pond to Woods Pond; Woods Pond to Rising Pond; Rising Pond to Falls Village; Falls Village to Bulls Bridge and Bulls Bridge to the Long Island Sound.
YOU TUBE: There are so many videos to choose from on You Tube regarding the Housatonic River. Here are some favorites!