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Escape the Crowds: 5 Hidden Gems for Paddleboarding in Connecticut

February 8, 2023

In this article, we uncover some of the best places to paddle board in Connecticut!


Connecticut is a state that sits next to the iconic New York City skyline. Due to its location, many travelers see it as a “stop-over” state. A minor inconvenience on the way to see the big city.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth! Connecticut is a state worth visiting all on its own. In fact, it is full of plenty of fun, interesting, and adventurous places to SUP. And today, we’re uncovering our five favorite places to check out in the state. Ready to get into it? Let’s go!

Hammonasset Beach State Park

Hammonasset Beach State Park is located in Madison and it features one of the largest shoreline parks in Connecticut. That means, there are plenty of places for you to explore on your SUP! The best features of the park are its calm waters perfect for beginner paddlers and scenic views of the surrounding coastline.

The coastline itself is open enough to find an easy-access launch point. And the water is calm enough to make it an easy paddle without the risk of running into rough waters. But like always, make sure you know how fast the wind is blowing before you head out!

The best place to stay and launch your board is right in the State Park. There are plenty of camping options available for a weekend getaway. If you decided to head here for a weekend of disconnecting (and reconnecting to nature) you would not be disappointed!

In addition, there are a few great trails you can hike or paddle along – whichever you choose. For example, head on the Meig’s Point Trail for a relatively easy hike or paddle to spot wildlife all around you. Fun times!

For more information about camping options, check out this site here.

Cockaponset State Forest

Our next spot for places to paddle board in Connecticut takes us to Cockaponset State Forest located in Chester.

The forest features several ponds and lakes including the Pattaconck Reservoir and Black Pond – both great options for a relaxing weekend paddle!

Each of the above launch locations is calm during much of the day and flatwater locations are perfect for beginners to get a taste of paddling in the wild and big enough for experienced paddlers to have a fun time exploring.

Plus, with it being in a State Forest, there are camping options for a fun weekend trip!

To find out more about the camping options check out this site here.

Old Lyme

The next stop to paddle board in Connecticut takes us to historic Old Lyme. But instead of heading to a specific body of water, we recommend checking out Black Hall Outfitters while you’re there. They have a perfect launch location for SUP onto a back river that is calm enough for beginners with stretches of moving water to entice the experienced paddler with some fun.

Right outside their shop is a great launch spot with a dock to drop in a board and go for a fun paddle. Or you can ask their staff about locations in the ocean you can visit as well. Either way, this is the spot to go for the best launch location in Old Lyme and expert paddling advice from a well-qualified team.

Mystic River

Next up for places to paddle board in Connecticut takes us to the beautiful Mystic River. This is the only river launch spot on our list. This is done purposely because we don’t often like to send people to locations with heavy currents unless we’ve thoroughly mapped the area and are familiar with it. However, on the Mystic River, you’ll find spots of calm that make for a fun time on the water!

There are a few places you can drop in your board such as Noank Village or the Mystic Seaport. But the easiest (and most fun place) to launch your board is at Mystic River Park. There you can launch right from the boardwalk and enjoy the fun activities in the park once you’re off the water!

For more information about the park, head here. And for directions, check Google Maps here.

Squantz Pond State Park

Squantz Pond State Park is located in New Fairfield and is one of the best places to paddle board in Connecticut. The park features a picturesque pond surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills. The calm waters and the scenic views of the surrounding countryside make Squantz Pond State Park a perfect place for beginner and intermediate paddleboarders.

This is also a beginner-friendly launch location as the pond stays relatively calm throughout the day. One thing to keep in mind though is parking is limited. Once the lot fills up, the park closes. If you want to head here, make sure you head early!


That concludes our top 5 places to paddle board in Connecticut. Ready to start planning your adventure? Wherever you choose to go, you won’t go wrong with any of these five locations.

Have any questions? Comments? Send us a message, our inbox is always open! And until next time, remember to adventure on!

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