Connecticut River Reach 26
East Haddam CT to Bushnell Street, Essex CT

Last Updated: 8/2018
[1] 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. \
Skill Level:            Class 1
Estimated Time:    3 hours
Paddle Distance: 9.3 miles
Reach Distance:  9.3 miles
USGS Maps: Deep River CT, Hamburg CT, Essex CT, Old Lyme CT
[3] Deep River Town Landing - Mile 11.3
Position: 41-23.72 N 72-25.60 W
Altitude: Tidal
Boat Launch:
Cross the railroad tracks to enter the park where the boat ramp is located.  This park and launch is well used in warm weather.
Nearest Launch Address: 
145 Kirtland Street Deep River, CT 06417
Cross over the RR Tracks and into the paved parking in the park.
This excellent town ramp make access easy for all types of boats.
[2] Chester - Hadlyme Ferry
        Boat Launch - Mile 13.0
Position: 41-25.23 N 72-25.70 W
Altitude: 3 feet (tidal)
Boat Launch:
  • Turn right (north) into the parking lot just before the ferry dock.
  • Gravel parking and boat ramp available for all types of boats.
Nearest Launch Address:
160 Ferry Road, Lyme, CT 06371
Plenty of parking next to the ferry landing.  Be patient if there is a line of vehicles waiting on the ferry.  You may have to wait a while to get into the lot.
This ramp and the parking lot are gravel and borders Gillete Castle State Park.
Miles 10.6 to 11.3 - Eustasia Island 
      Located very close to Deep Water Town Landing and Park.  On the main river side there are some excellent sandy areas where you can swim, picnic, and be lazy on a summer day.
Check out a drone flight on youtube.
Drone Flight
[4] Lyme Town Boat Access -
    1.7 Miles up Hamburg Cove from Brockway Island
Position: 41-23.02 N 72-21.05 W
Altitude: Tidal
Boat Launch:
It may be possible to use the local marina or other roadside launch areas nearby.  This tiny paved boat ramp is next to the Hamburg Cove Yacht Club

Nearest Launch Address: 
15 Cove Road, Lyme, CT 06371
This is a very narrow unmarked boat ramp.  I would not want to launch a trailer boat here.
The parking is roadside on side street.
Mile 15.0 - Rich Island, Lord Island, and Chapman Pond
      If you are looking for a couple hours of fun on the lower Connecticuit River then try exploring these islands and pond.  Launch from East Haddam and travel a mile south.  After circling the two island, enter Chapman Pond.  This is a good place to observe wildlife.  Try paddling down the small outlet stream to the south end that will take you back out to the river.  Finish your paddle heading back north to East Haddam.
​​Chester - Hadlyme Ferry
       For over two hundred years the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry has provided public transportation at this site.  The first crossing was initialted by Jonathan Warner of Chester in 1769.  Known as Warner's Ferry, it was privately operated until 1877 when it became a town facility.  This is the second oldest ferry in continuous use in Connecticut and has been owned and operated by the State Department of Transportation since 1917.
(Taken from a plaque located near the ferry and dedicated in 1976)
Miles 7.8 to 8.2 - Brockway Island
      Brockway Island is a seven acre island situated in the middle of the Connecticut River between the towns of Essex and Lyme, across from Hamburg Cove. This private island can be rented with a 3 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom house with electricity provided by Solar Power System with Diesel Generator backup.  There is only boat access.

Get Ready for the Take-Out
        After passing Brockway Island stay close to river-right (west) and follow the marsh coastline until you find the break entrance into North Cove.  Cross over the cove and follow the shore south.  The Bushnell Street Access is right up against the marina docks.
[5] Bushnell Street Launch - Mile 6.7
Position: 41-21.28 N 72-23.25 W
Altitude: Tidal
Boat Launch:
  • Turn left near the end of the street just past Teal Lane and at the "Shoreline Public Access" sign.
  • Car top launch only.
  • There are permitted racks of kayaks/canoes for locals.
  • After launching your boat, paddle directly across North Cove (east), then north along the wooded shore, then east (right) into the river.
Nearest Launch Address: 
19 Bushnell Street, Essex, CT 06426
This boat ramp is best suited for car top boats.
There are several racks for local boats.
Gillette Castle State Park

       The Castle will be open seven days a week beginning Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The Castle will be open on Labor Day.  Tickets are sold until 4:30 PM. Staff is available to assist with questions about the Castle interior and its history. The grounds are open year round.
      Beginning on July 7, 2018 the East Haddam Stage Company, in residence at Gillette Castle State Park, will launch their 10th anniversary season of offering free live theatre to visitors to the park. Additional information can be found on their website, here:  www.EHSCO.org  The button below takes you to the state park website:

            Three public camps along the Connecticut River at Hurd, Gillette Castle and Selden Neck State Parks are managed by the Department of Environmental Protection for your enjoyment. The campsites are available from May 1 through September 30 for overnight stops by those traveling on the river.
        Reservations for river campsites at Gillette Castle, Hurd and Selden Neck State Parks can be made after January 14th for stays between May 1st and September 30th by mailing an application form at least two weeks before an intended stay to the address indicated on the form.
          A validated permit will be returned to you by mail. For information on campsite availability and cancellation policy, call (860) 526-2336. For more details, try the button below:
State Park
Gillette Castle

       The 3-story-plus-tower, 24-room, 14,000 sq ft home was built of wood, cement, and local Connecticut field stone, supported by a steel framework. The exterior of the home is covered in field stone.  Woodwork within the home is hand-hewn southern white oak. In some places, beams were set directly into the stones, anchored only by cement. The walls, in particular, were constructed similarly to a stage set, lacking two-by-four studs and mortar in critical places.  It has been noted it was "a wonder the building didn't collapse" before the castle's multimillion-dollar restoration. Insulation included seaweed and paper.  It took 20 workers from 1914–1919 to complete the construction totaling a cost of over $1 million at the time.  In the years Gillette lived in the home, he led and supervised thousands of refinements by local craftsmen.  Read the complete story at Wikipedia: