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Connecticut Lakes - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Weekend Trip Report
Trip Dates: July 2002
Nearest City: Pittsburg, NH
Difficulty: Moderate
Submitted by: hotrod

Description:

We arrived at the Ct. Lakes on Monday Afternoon. Our plan was to kayak all the Ct. lakes and lake Francis. My brother and I started kayaking the Ct. River last summer. We want to do the river from the source to where it flows into long island sound... To get to the fourth lake Drive up route 91N till you hit rt.2, then go on to rt.3 to you get to the Canadian border, pull into the parking lot on the right at the American check point. Go in and talk to the ranger, he'll direct you where the trail starts and where you sign in. Where long pants and good hiking boots, and use good insect repellant. The trail starts out very over grown but then clears up. The hike to the fourth lake is mostly a climb up a mountain. Once on top of the mountain it's about 400 yards to the lake. When you get to the lake take the trail around it. (About a mile) The trail is beautiful and gives you a view of the lake from all sides. I'm glad I made the trip; it's really a beautiful spot. The hike in is about of a mile in. It was hot and the black flies were out in force (90's). We hiked back to our car and drove down to Lake Francis. We stayed in the campgrounds at the north end of the lake.

It was 13 dollars for a campsite, nice place, clean bathrooms and good showers. We pitched out tent and had supper, pasta and sauce and was it great. It was about 8: pm so we decided to paddle part of the lake. The water was like glass and we practically had the lake to ourselves. We kayaked about half the lake and went around the shore about 20 ft out. Lake Francis is supposed to be the lake with the most boat traffic. I guess if you go on the weekend that's probably the case. During the week it's beautiful. We saw more moose on the shore of that lake than anywhere else, probably because we paddled that lake in the evening. Lake Francis is a great lake to paddle in the evening. We did about half the lake and headed back to the campgrounds. We went for a swim and then hit the hay. I was the first one up (crack of dawn) and coerced my brother up. We then headed to the third lake. We had to drive slowly. Moose were on the sides of the roads and crossing everywhere. They remind me of big cows, I don't know how any body could hunt them, and it would be like shooting a cow. We arrived at the third lake just in time for a thunderstorm. We decided to have breakfast at a local establishment to kill some time; the breakfast was great, a lot of local color and conversation.

We returned to the third lake to find that the storm had passed and left everything vibrant and alive. The water was smooth as glass. The third lake is a very petty lake, but the best part is at the southwest corner where the Ct. River leaves the lake. Follow the river in, it's teaming with wild life, Beavers, loons. Fox and cranes. It's blocked about a half mile in by beaver dams. It was so quiet all you could hear was wildlife. We got out of the third lake about 11am and headed down to the second lake. It's probably the prettiest lake. There were no boats we had the lake to our selves. When you paddle that lake it's like paddling a post card. A lot of islands, coves. Streams to explore, plenty of wild life, deer, eagles, loons. Fox and even an otter. What a relaxing day, it was spectacular, nice paddle. We finished paddling the second lake about 5pm and headed back to the campsite. We made supper, beans and franks, when you're that hungry every thing tastes good. It was still early so we headed on down to Beecher falls to cool off. Beecher falls is located just below Lake Francis. Nice spot make sure you stop there. Cooled off and headed back to Lake Francis to finish our paddle from the previous night. The south end of the lake is built up and Route 3 runs along it from a distance. We paddled to the dam and then paddled down the far side, which was pretty. We cut across the lake and paddled down to where the Ct. River comes in. The water is cold there and it creates a fog in the evening, very cool. The water is fast moving and rapids are just a mile in. We got back about 10:30pm and hit the sack.

Got up the next morning had breakfast and headed off to the first Ct. Lake. We got there about 7am and no one was there yet. There is a boat launch at the south end of the lake. The first lake has the most boat traffic; we only counted five the whole day. Once you paddle away from shore and go around the first bend it's another world. The lake was like glass, I guess it can get pretty rough when the wind kicks up, its 3 or four miles across at its widest point. I love the first lake especially around the back side, quite, a lot of small coves and islands. We did a lot of exploring in the little inlets, plenty of wildlife and great fishing. On the north side of the lake where the Ct River comes in, look for the bald eagles doing their thing, fishing and hunting. We paddled up the Ct as far as we could, maybe mile or so. We finished our paddle about 3pm; there were a lot of people at the boat launch when we got back. Mostly locals I think. We were lucky had great weather most of the time, went during the week, very few boats (more on weekends).

Resources:

If you want to see some more pictures of my trip go to http://community.webshots.com/album/42583663dMqILx. If you want more info drop me an email.


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