Connecticut River Paddlers' Trail (NH, VT)
Length: 240 miles (Headwaters to Mass. state-line)
Waterways: Connecticut River
With its consistently navigable waters, few portages or difficult rapids, and a rich and varied landscape, the Connecticut River is being increasingly recognized as an excellent recreational destination.
The Connecticut River Paddlers' Trail is a series of primitive campsites and river access points spanning 240 miles from the river's headwaters to the Massachusetts border. While most of the river shore is privately owned, a number of generous landowners have agreed to host the public at primitive campsites on their land.
In the early 1990s, the Upper Valley Land Trust was instrumental in establishing formal river campsites. Since their initial effort, many others have developed additional campsites and completed access improvement projects. While no single entity manages the Paddlers' Trail, a collaborative of partner organizations assists with trail planning and development, building and maintaining campsites, improving access points and portage trails, and disseminating information to visitors, guided by a shared vision statement.
The future of the Paddlers' Trail depends on good river etiquette and campsite stewardship.
Suggested Day Trip: Bloomfield to Maidstone, VT
Scenic 7-mile trip with splendid mountain views.
This trip follows a segment of the river designated as a "Natural Segment" by the State of New Hampshire, and motorized craft are prohibited. The Northern Forest Canoe Trail also follows this section, and manages a campsite near a former railroad trestle. Put in at Debanville Landing, in Bloomfield, Vermont, where you'll also find Debanville General Store, a perfect place to grab lunch or stock up on snacks for your river trip. Particularly in the early spring, you will encounter quickwater and Class I rapids. There are wonderful mountain views in this segment.
To see other suggested trips on the Connecticut River Paddlers' Trail, visit their website.