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Farmington River Reach 7

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Last Updated: 8/2018
 Collinsville Dam (41.1)    to   
               Vincent Dipietro Memorial Bridge (30.7)

     
STATISTICS
 
Skill Level:            Class 1 & Class 2
Estimated Time:   4 hours (3 hours without upper portage)
Reach Distance:  10.4 miles 
USGS Map:  Collinsville CT, New Britian CT
 [4] FCH Trail Burlington CT Access - Mile 38.5
 (FCH - Farmington Canal Heritage)
Position:  41-46.80 N 72-55.25 W
Altitude: 217 feet
Boat Launch:
Car top boat access only.  Dirive to the end of the parking lot for the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail.  There is a cul-de-sac where you can unload.  Carry your boat(s) across the rail trail to the water.
Nearest Launch Address:
 99 Canton Road, Avon, CT 06001
Put-In/Take-Out Directions ( 16.2 miles 23 minutes)
From Interstate 91 in Hartford, CT Take Exit 32 A if traveling North or Exit 32B if traveling south to Interstate 84 West:
  1. Mile 0.0, Head southwest toward Interstate 84 West.
  2. At mile 7.8, Use the right 2 lanes to take Exit 39 toward Farmington/Route 4.
  3. At mile 8.2, Continue onto State Hwy 508.
  4. At mile 9.0, State Hwy 508 turns slightly right and becomes Route 4 West.
  5. At mile 13.6, in Unionville, make a slight right to stay on Route 4 West.
  6. At mile 16.2, turn right into the parking area just before the stop light.  Note, there is no sign for this access.
  7. Follow the parking lot to the end and unload at the cul-de-sac.
[1] Collinsville Upper Dam Portage - Mile 21.1 - 21.0
Positions
       Take-Out: 41-48.62 N 72-55.59 W
       Altitude: 282 feet
       Put- In: 41-48.58 N 72-55.55 W
       Altitude: 268 feet
Description: 
Take out above the dam barrier on river right where Bradley Brook enters the river.  Follow along the river around the dam.  Put-In below the dam at a gravel beach.
Nearest Launch Address:  
49 Bridge Street, Canton, CT 06019
Put-In Directions (18.4 miles, 26 minutes):
From Interstate 91 in Hartford, CT Take Exit 32 A if traveling North or Exit 32B if traveling south to Interstate 84 West:
  1. Mile 0.0, Head southwest toward Interstate 84 West.
  2. At mile 7.8, Use the right 2 lanes to take Exit 39 toward Farmington/Route 4.
  3. At mile 8.2, Continue onto State Hwy 508.
  4. At mile 9.0, State Hwy 508 turns slightly right and becomes Route 4 West.
  5. At mile 13.6, in Unionville, make a slight right to stay on Route 4 West.
  6. At mile 16.2, at a stop light, continue straight onto Route 179 North.
  7. At mile 18.4, Route 179 turns right over the river in Collinsville. You have arrive at the dam portage area.
A Close up of the Portage
The Take-Out above the dam - on river-right. 
Follow the narrow trail up the bank and over the guard rail.
The river drops 14 feet over the dam.
Cross the busy intersection to this building.
Follow the steep narrow trail here to the Put-In below the dam.
       Visit the Farmington Canal Heritage Greenway which covers approximately 84 miles from New Haven, CT to Northampton, MA.   Come enjoy rich history lessons and all the wonder that nature offers.

ABOUT
             On the heels of the completion of the Erie Canal in New York State, a group of New Haven businessmen met in 1821 with the goal of constructing a canal in Connecticut to facilitate trade. Ground was first broken on July 4, 1825. It was completed in 1835.
     The canal was not cheap to build, and the finances of the construction and upkeep of the canal were always precarious. Railroads put an end to the use of the canal. Just 12 years after the canal was completed, a rail bed was laid to cover the same route the canal had traversed.
     The Canal Railroad remained in use until the early 1980's, when floods damaged the rail line to the point that it could no longer be used.
      Although there is still a small portion of the original rail line in use in Plainville, CT, the track was largely removed by 1987, and large portions of what had been the rail line were sold. 
     During the 1990's, construction on a trail, following the route of the original rail line was begun.  The first sections were completed in northern Hamden and southern Cheshire, followed by extension southward in Hamden and northward in Cheshire.  Around the same time, in the northern part of the state, efforts led to construction of a paved surface for recreation along the route of the old canal and rail road in Farmington, Avon, and Simsbury.
     Today, the Farmington Canal Heritage Greenway covers a route of approximately 84 miles from 
New Haven, CT to Northampton, MA. Over half has been developed as a paved trail for non-motorized recreation and commuting.

          Learn more at the FCH Greenway website:
Farmington Canal Heritage Greenway
 [5] River Road Unionville CT Access - Mile 36.3
Position:  41-45.65 N 72-53.76 W
Altitude: 187 feet
Boat Launch:
Car top boat access only.  Small parking area that is roadside for the FCH Trail. Climb down to the river with your boat(s).
Nearest Launch Address:
 219 River Road, Farmington, CT 06085
Put-In/Take-Out Directions ( 14.7 miles 24 minutes)
From Interstate 91 in Hartford, CT Take Exit 32 A if traveling North or Exit 32B if traveling south to Interstate 84 West:
  1. Mile 0.0, Head southwest toward Interstate 84 West.
  2. At mile 7.8, Use the right 2 lanes to take Exit 39 toward Farmington/Route 4.
  3. At mile 8.2, Continue onto State Hwy 508.
  4. At mile 9.0, State Hwy 508 turns slightly right and becomes Route 4 West.
  5. At mile 13.6, in Unionville, make a slight right to stay on Route 4 West.
  6. At mile 14.3, just after crossing over the river, turn left onto River Road.
  7. At mile 14.6, just before the crosswalk for the rail trail, pull into the roadside parking lot.  Walk down the  bank to the river.
 [6] River Glen Little League Complex - Mile 33.9
Position: 41-44.50 N 72-51.65 W
Altitude: 168 feet
Boat Launch:
Car top launch only.   Carry from the Little League parking to the water.  If approaching by boat for a take-out, it will be river-left above the old railroad bridge (now a rail trail).
Nearest Launch Address:
98 Wannowmassa Lane, Farmington, CT 06032
Put-In/Take-Out Directions ( 12.1 miles 19 minutes)
From Interstate 91 in Hartford, CT Take Exit 32 A if traveling North or Exit 32B if traveling south to Interstate 84 West:
  1. Mile 0.0, Head southwest toward Interstate 84 West.
  2. At mile 7.8, Use the right 2 lanes to take Exit 39 toward Farmington/Route 4.
  3. At mile 8.2, Continue onto State Hwy 508.
  4. At mile 9.0, State Hwy 508 turns slightly right and becomes Route 4 West.
  5. At mile 11.9, turn left onto Wannowmassa Lane. There is a gas station on the corner.
  6. At mile 12.0, at the end of the lane, park in the parking lot.  Carry your boat about 50 yards to the river.​
Go to the end of the lane and park in this area.
Cross from the parking lot to the river as seen here.
If approaching by boat, stay river-left.  The take-out is above the old railroad bridge as seen here.
 [2] BVFD #5 Access - Mile 40.6
Position: 41-48.39 N 72-55.26 W
Altitude: 266 feet
Boat Launch:
Take the small dirt road at the access sign right next to a house.  Follow this a short distance to the river. This area is for boat access and fishing only.
Nearest Launch Address:
63 Arch Street, Burlington, CT
Put-In/Take-Out Directions ( 18.2 miles 27 minutes)
From Interstate 91 in Hartford, CT Take Exit 32 A if traveling North or Exit 32B if traveling south to Interstate 84 West:
  1. Mile 0.0, Head southwest toward Interstate 84 West.
  2. At mile 7.8, Use the right 2 lanes to take Exit 39 toward Farmington/Route 4.
  3. At mile 8.2, Continue onto State Hwy 508.
  4. At mile 9.0, State Hwy 508 turns slightly right and becomes Route 4 West.
  5. At mile 13.6, in Unionville, make a slight right to stay on Route 4 West.
  6. At mile 16.2, at a stop light, continue straight onto Route 179 North.
  7. At mile 18.0, turn sharp right onto Rock Street to Arch Street.
  8. At mile 18.2, arrive at BVFD Access #5.
Turn at this access sign.
The road is rough so if you have a trailer, consider unloading at Arch Street and walking your boat in.
[3] Collinsville Lower Dam Portage - Mile 40.0
Position: 41-48.01 N 72-55.64 W       
       Altitude above: 253 feet
       Altitude below: 246 feet
Description: 
  1. Stay river-right after the upper dam all the way to the lower dam.  There is no warning barrier so be very careful as you approach the dam. 
  2. Take-Out just above the dam. 
  3. Follow the trail up to the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail
  4. Now follow the steep trail down to the Put-In below the dam. 
  5. This short portage should be done carefully.
Take-Out on this trail above the dam.
Climb here to the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail.  
Now drop down this steep trail to the Put-In below the dam.
Here is a view of the dam that was once used for generating power.  The river drops about 8 feet over the dam.
 [7] Vincent Dipietro Memorial Bridge (Rt 4) -
                                                                          Mile 30.7
Position: 41-48.39 N 72-55.26 W
Altitude: 164 feet
Boat Launch:
Car top launch with a very large parking area.    Launch next to the half-circle fishing deck area down river of the bridge.
Nearest Launch Address:
871 Farmington Ave, Farmington, CT 06032
Put-In/Take-Out Directions ( 10.0 miles 14 minutes)
From Interstate 91 in Hartford, CT Take Exit 32 A if traveling North or Exit 32B if traveling south to Interstate 84 West:
  1. Mile 0.0, Head southwest toward Interstate 84 West.
  2. At mile 7.8, Use the right 2 lanes to take Exit 39 toward Farmington/Route 4.
  3. At mile 8.2, Continue onto State Hwy 508.
  4. At mile 9.0, State Hwy 508 turns slightly right and becomes Route 4 West.
  5. At mile 10.0, turn right the launch area just before the bridge.
  6. Use great care turning into this area because of traffic.​
Turn at this access sign.
Fishers use this area. Launch next to the deck just to the right in this photo.