Housatonic River Reach 18

Last Updated: 4/2018
Young Field Launch, New Milford to
​                                  Lovers Leap State Park

Young Field Launch in New Milford to
                                            Bleachery Dam Portage Take-Out

         This 0.8 mile stretch is an easy paddle with only flat water.  Keep river right at you approach the barrier for Bleachery Dam. Follow the portage information [2].

Bleachery Dam Portage Put-In to
                                       Lovers Leap State Park Launch
​     After the dam, the river becomes flat and lake like.  You will pass under two bridges.  The second is the famous Lovers Leap Iron Bridge.  Read about the State Park.
       Finally, after passing through the very narrow passage below the Iron bridge, turn left and follow the shore along the park to the launch area.

      Skill Level:            Class 1 
      Estimated Time:    1 hours plus the portage
      Distance:               2.6 miles
      USGS Maps: New Milford, CT
[3] Addis Park Boat Launch - Mile 42.4
Position: 41-33.32 N 73-24.40 W 
Boat Launch:
Addis Park is a small park located right off Grove Street. There are a few Picnic Areas and a Grill spot. Open access to the Housatonic river for fishing and a boat,kayak, and canoe launch. For any further information on the Park Contact the New Milford Parks and Rec Office.
Nearest Address: 
 259 Grove Street, New Milford, CT 06776

Addis Park
This small park has a well maintained gravel boat ramp.
[1] Young Field Road Launch - Mile 44.0
Position: 41-34.56 N 73-24.91 W
Boat Launch:
This is now a well constructed car top launch area at the end of a new multi-use New Milford River Trail.  Parking is across the street next to the park.
Nearest Address: 
4 Youngfield Road, New Milford, CT 06776
A well constructed easy launch area.
A view of the Veterans Bridge just down river.
Lovers Leap State Park
       Trails through the park will lead the walker through centuries of land-use history. Heading northeast from the parking lot the trail utilizes the 1895 Berlin Iron Bridge, one of five remaining in Connecticut, to cross the Housatonic River. Across the bridge the Lovers Leap Trail heads southeast 1,200 feet to the rock formation that gives the park its name. From here, tradition has it, that the Pootatuck Indian Chief Waramaug’s daughter, Princess Lillinonah, and her lover plunged to their deaths. The Chief himself died in 1735.
        The view to the south overlooks a now submerged Goodyear Island named for an early fur trader from Derby who came there to trade with the established Indian Community. Industrial era ruins still exist near the water on the northwest section of the park. Other ruins have been located on the accompanying map.
         For more information try the links below:
Lovers Leap State Park
Trail Map
The Iron Bridge just down river from the new bridge.
The river becomes it's narrowest just below the bridge.
It's really quite beautiful!
Young Field
        An active recreation area which offers a skate park, tennis courts, basketball court, tot lot playground, pavilion, and multi-use athletic fields. A kayak ramp is located across the street on the Housatonic River. For the latest information click below:
Young Field
New Milford River Trail 
        The New Milford River trail currently extends for 5 miles from the Boardman Road entrance to Gaylordsville.  It runs for 1½ miles on a crushed, gravel surface through Sega Meadows Park, where it joins the unpaved and lightly-trafficked River Road, and  continues for another 3½ miles to the center of Gaylordsville.
        This is just Phase 1 of a proposed 13-mile trail that we hope will follow the Housatonic River south through downtown New Milford all the way to the town border with Brookfield.
Click below for more information:
River Trail
Trail Map
[2] Bleachery Dam Portage - Mile 43.2 to 43.0
Take-Out Position: 41-34.03 N 73-24.68 W
Put-In       Position: 41-33.98 N 73-24.60 W
Nearest Address: 
 200 West Street, New Milford, CT 06776

         At 0.8 mile below Veterans Bridge, boaters must portage around the Bleachery Dam. Pull river left approximately 75 yards above the dam just above the dam barrier. Carry boat about 0.2 mile over the neck of land and launch into the backwater and paddle back into the river.

[4] Lover Leap State Park Launch - Mile 41.4
Position: 41-32.52 N 73-24.10 W
Boat Launch:
The turn for access is unmarked. Park on the gravel road area above the launch.  Launch or Take-Out at the bottom of this uncared for gravel ramp.
Nearest Address: 
98 Lovers Leap Road, New Milford, CT 06776
This launch would be difficult except for car top boats.
If you are not sure, look for this barn and house across the cove from the launch area.