< PREVIOUS

Connecticut River Reach 25
Middletown CT to East Haddam CT

NEXT >
Last Updated: 8/2018
[1] Harbor Park Middletown - Mile 30.4
Position: 41-33.59 N 72-38.64 W
Altitude: 7 feet
Boat Launch:
  • There is no launching at the park.
  • Parking for plenty of car top boats but not boat trailers.
Nearest Launch Address:
65 Harbor Drive, Middletown, CT
Use the parking lot next to Harbor Park and carry to the large ramp area used by Middletown High School Crew and Wesleyan University Boat House is next door.
This ramp is long and wide.  The dock area is off limits for kayak/canoe launch and recovery.
STATISTICS
 
Skill Level:            Class 1
Estimated Time:    5 hours
Paddle Distance: 14.4 miles
Reach Distance:  14.4 miles
USGS Maps: Middletown CT​,  Middle Haddam CT, Haddam CT, Deep River CT
[2] Haddam Meadows State Park
                                                                Mile 19.4
Position: 41-28.88 N 72-30.40 W
Altitude: 3 feet
Boat Launch:
This state park boat ramp is large and available to all types of  boats. There is ample parking.
Nearest Launch Address:
Island Dock Road, Haddam, CT 06438

Enter the park and follow the road to the end where this parking lot is next to the boat ramp.
A view of the ramp with the launching docks.
Miles 25.7 to 26.4 -
Dart Island State Park
       Dart Island State Park is a public recreation area comprising an undeveloped 19-acre sandbar island in the Connecticut River that is only accessible by boat.  The island is located within the corporate boundaries of the city of Middletown, Connecticut, its nearest neighbors being the Middletown Generating Station and Pratt and Whitney plant on the river's west bank.  The island is wooded with "typical river trees like willow, poplar and red maple."  It is managed by Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which lists boating, fishing, and bird watching as activities for visitors.
History
The sandbar was once used by fishermen who built a shed and equipment for managing fishing lines to harvest the river's hickory shad runs.  In 1918, Russell Dart donated the approximately 1.5-acre  island to the Connecticut State Park Commission. The commission designated it as Connecticut's fifteenth state park and named it for its benefactor.  The size of the park was subsequently rounded up to two acres in official publications while being rounded down to one acre when referred to unofficially.  In 1924, it was touted, unofficially, as being the smallest state park in the United States, with but a single acre.  In 1934, the State Register and Manual, the first annual issue to list parks and their sizes, set Dart Island State Park at two acres, and it remained listed at that size for nearly 80 years. The 2012 edition of the Register and Manual listed the park at 19 acres, the park's official size.
Haddam Meadows State Park
       In colonial times the broad floodplain that is now Haddam Meadows State Park played an important role in the agricultural economy of the area. Fertilized each year by spring flooding along the banks of the Connecticut River, it yielded abundant crops of hay and grain. After the harvest, the meadow was used as common pasture for all who owned livestock in Haddam.
     Situated on the channel side of the river, the meadows were important in the last century as a shipping point. River steamers brought cargoes from New York and returned loaded with products like firewood or gin. Later, the railroad did a flourishing business carrying people to and from Saybrook to Hartford. Several local train stops were situated within the boundaries of the present park.
      The park was created in 1944 with a gift of 154 acres from the Hazen Foundation
[3] Salmon River Ramp - Mile 17.1
Position: 41-28.03 N 72-28.10 W
Altitude: 3 feet
Boat Launch:
Located at the mouth of the Salmon River.  We have observed as many as 40 vehicles with trailers parked here.  The area is gravel but the boat ramp is concrete with docks on either side.
Nearest Launch Address: 
117 E Haddam Moodus Road, East Haddam, CT 06423
Gravel parking lot.
Well maintained concrete boat ramp.
Mile 25.0 - Pratt & Whitney Pier on Rver-Right
Miles 20.0 to 20.6 -
Haddam Island State Park

       Haddam Island State Park is home to a large number of bird species, especially during annual migrations, which make it suitable for birdwatching. Bird-banding and other research activities have taken place on the island. Other recommended activities are boating and fishing.  Access via boat is available from the Haddam Meadows State Park boat launch (see Access [2]), 0.6 miles south of Haddam Island.  The northern side of the island has a beach that is fragile and cannot support heavy visitation, and the island has a significant amount of poison ivy.
History
        The English settlers in the Connecticut Colony originally named the island Thirty Mile Island because it was erroneously believed to be 30 miles north of the Connecticut River's mouth. The original English settlement in the area was called Thirty Mile Island Plantation. In May 1662, an area of 150 square miles of land, including the island, was sold by the Wangunk tribe to the English settlers for 30 coats.  However, the natives reserved the right to use the island as part of the sale stipulations.  Though little documentation exists today, the Wangunk tribe lived on the island and in the surrounding area before selling it along with the rest of their land.  Recorded deeds show that the Wangunk tribe made another land sale in 1672, and the remaining parcels of Wangunk land were sold between 1765 and 1769.
      At the close of the 18th century, the island was one of the most important fishing locations on the Connecticut River.  By 1819, the island was listed as 18 acres in area and was expected to increase in size following the construction of a pier 90 rods north of the island, which caused the accumulation of sand at the head of the island.  The island is currently listed as 14 acres in size.  In the 19th century, two fishing companies operated from the island and constructed piers, and the island was also used for grazing cattle and farming corn.  Records in the late 19th century indicate that the Haddam Island area of the Connecticut River was dredged annually.  The island became a popular recreational area with picnics and private events in the beginning of the 20th century.  The island was purchased by the State of Connecticut in 1944, and it became a state park.  According to legend, Captain Kidd buried some of his treasure on the island, but none has been found.  Read more at Wikipedia:
Wikipedia Article
[4] East Haddam Town Landing - Mile 16.0
Position: 41-27.00 N 72-27.70 W
Altitude: 3 feet
Boat Launch:
Follow Lumberyard road to the end.  There is no signs.  Turn into the driveway and follow to the water.  There is parking for about 10 vehicles with trailers.  A dock is available next to the ramp.
Nearest Launch Address:
 10 Lumberyard Road, East Haddam, CT
A small gravel parking lot and gravel boat ramp.
East Haddam swing bridge just up river.