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Had to paddle upstream on the Ct. River and because of all the boat activity stayed toward the side. Took just short of 1/2 hr to get to the Mattabasset and my day just got nicer and nicer. The only reason I rated this as moderate is the rougher water on the Ct. and then as I was talking to some guy further up river I realized the tides have some play in this river. I found out later I was going in at just before high tide (little later here as you are so far from the coast) but it helped to have it going with me. It was a very peaceful paddle and this river borders a wildlife management area. There was a beaver dam, I saw the typical ducks, herons, egrets, hawks, and three deer. It also bordered someone's farm so saw some steer too.
The unusual thing I saw was a cat that walked down the bank and right into the water and swam across to the other side! Seriously! This is a nice winding river and I paddled about 3 hrs in past another possible put in I found out about at the Sawmill Pub in Cromwell. This I understand can be quite mucky if you don't catch the tides right but they had a board going out into the water so am not sure. They also have a notice board above that tells you facts about the river ( I drove there after I finished to check it out) I went a little further up from here when I decided to turn around.
I figured from the map at the pub (after) that the distance I had paddled up was about 5 miles and I would double that on the return so that was enough. There were some boats along the way but nothing that bothered you just fishermen doing their thing. I stopped long enough for the dog to get out and swim a bit and stretch our legs then headed back. This was very pleasant and close enough for me to take some new paddlers to for a first time out trip. When I paddle I definitely do not race- I am always on the look out for what I might see with my binoculars. I've decided every boat should have a set. This whole paddle took me about 51/2 hrs and that was probably including 3/4 hr of break time.
*** A little bit in to the river you will see a branch off to the left that is another river(Coginchaug) that I did not go up but will be checking out in the future.