Connecticut River Reach 27
Essex CT to Long Island Sound

Last Updated: 8/2018
[1] 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.
Skill Level:            Class 1
Estimated Time:    3 hours
Paddle Distance: 9.3 miles
Reach Distance:  9.3 miles
USGS Maps: Essex CT, Old Lyme CT
[3] Lieutenant River Launch - Mile 3.3
Position:41-18.84 N 72-20.24 W
Altitude: Tidal
Boat Launch:
     Located on the west side of Route 156, south of Ferry Road.
     Gravel boat ramp best suited for car top launching.   
     Chemical Toilet during warm seasons.
   After launching, travel down river and under the railroad tracks.  The river is just a short distance.
Nearest Launch Address: 
    The State gives this address: 17 Shore Road, Old Lyme
    This works best with a GPS: 99 Ferry Road, Old Lyme, CT 
Pay close attention or you may pass the entrance.  Chemical Toilet on right.
The unimproved launch is best suited for car top launching or maybe a small trailer boat.
[2] Baldwin Bridge Boat Ramp - Mile 3.4
Position: 41-19.08 N 72-21.07 W
Altitude: Tidal
Boat Launch:
Located under Interstate 95 bridge, this may be the largest public boat ramp in the state.
Nearest Launch Address:
224 Ferry Road, Old Saybrook, CT
This very large and modern boat ramp has a small park for fishing and lots of parking under the bridge.
This ramp is large enough to launch a 90 foot boat from a tractor trailer rig as I saw during our visit.
[4] Great Island Boat Launch - Mile 0.6
Position: 41-17.24 N 72-19.45 W
Altitude: Tidal
Boat Launch:
    This is a paved well maintained state boat ramp.  Very popular on weekends with power boats.  There is a chemical toilet and an observation deck.
     Besides being the nearest the mouth of the river, this is probably the best launch to explore the tidal marshes and the very extensive wildlife.
Nearest Launch Address: 
48 Smith Neck Road, Old Lyme, CT 06371
This view shows the launch area and the distant river and sound across Great Island.
The shallow angle of the launch makes it easy for all types of boats.
Mile 0.0
      When paddling near the mouth of the Connecticuit River make sure you are prepared.  This is not like paddling on a river or lake.
  1. Check the tides for the area before going.
  2. Get an accurate marine forcast before going.
  3. Be sure to carry a compass and chart of the area.
  4. Understand the right of way for boats.
  5. Have a F loat Plan making sure you are monitored for emergency.
  6. Carry communication.  A waterproof cell phone may be enough but a Marine VHF radion would be excellent too.
A distant view of the lighthouse.  Looking across Great Island to the river mouth.