Best Paddle Boarding in Connecticut

Man and his little dog on a SUP board in the water
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Exploring the scenic waters of Connecticut on a paddle board is an exhilarating experience that beckons adventure seekers from all around. From serene lakes to meandering rivers, Connecticut offers a diverse range of paddle boarding locations that promise unforgettable moments on the water. In this guide, we’ll dive into the best paddle boarding spots across the Nutmeg State, helping you make the most of your aquatic adventures. So, let’s get ready to paddle out and embrace the beauty of Connecticut’s waterways!



Bantam Lake

Situated in the heart of Litchfield County, Bantam Lake offers a serene escape for paddle boarders. Connecticut’s largest natural lake, this hidden gem boasts crystal-clear waters and captivating surroundings. It’s a tranquil haven where outdoor enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the beauty of nature while paddle boarding on its pristine expanse.

Reasons to go Paddle Boarding at Bantam Lake:

  • Tranquil Setting: Bantam Lake offers a serene and peaceful environment, perfect for paddle boarders looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
  • Scenic Beauty: Paddle boarding on Bantam Lake provides stunning views of the surrounding hills and forests, creating a picturesque backdrop for your adventure.
  • Wildlife Watching: The lake is home to various bird species and aquatic life. Paddle boarders often spot herons, turtles, and other wildlife while gliding across its waters.
  • Calm Waters: The lake’s generally calm waters make it an ideal spot for beginners and those who prefer a relaxed paddling experience.
  • Recreational Opportunities: In addition to paddle boarding, Bantam Lake offers opportunities for swimming, fishing, and picnicking, making it a versatile destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Recommended Gear: Sunscreen, Paddle Board, Life Jacket, Sunglasses, Waterproof Phone Case, Hat, Paddle


Mansfield Hollow Lake

Mansfield Hollow Lake, a serene oasis for outdoor enthusiasts, boasts crystal-clear waters and lush surroundings. With its 3.7-mile shoreline and 251-acre surface area, it’s a spacious haven for paddle boarding. This reservoir, formed by the Mansfield Hollow Dam, not only provides recreational opportunities but also serves as a vital water supply for the region. It’s where nature and utility harmoniously converge.

Reasons to go Paddle Boarding at Mansfield Hollow Lake:

  • Scenic Serenity: Mansfield Hollow Lake offers a tranquil setting with its clear waters and lush surroundings, providing a serene escape from the daily grind.
  • Ample Space: With its 251-acre surface area, the lake provides plenty of room to explore and paddle, making it an ideal destination for paddle boarders.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Paddle boarding here often leads to wildlife sightings, including various bird species and aquatic creatures, adding an exciting dimension to your adventure.
  • Recreational Variety: Besides paddle boarding, the lake supports activities like fishing, kayaking, and picnicking, offering something for everyone in your group.
  • Natural Beauty: The lake’s beauty is accentuated by the Mansfield Hollow Dam, creating a scenic backdrop that enhances the overall paddle boarding experience.

Recommended Gear: Paddle Board, Paddle, Life Jacket, Sunscreen, Waterproof Bag, Hat, SUP Shoes


Salmon River

Salmon River, a captivating waterway in Connecticut, beckons outdoor enthusiasts to its meandering course. This river offers a thrilling experience for paddle boarders with its varying currents and scenic beauty. With a backdrop of lush forests and rocky terrain, it’s an enticing destination for those seeking an adventurous paddle boarding journey amidst nature’s rugged charm.

Reasons to go Paddle Boarding at Salmon River:

  • Thrilling Rapids: Paddle boarding on the Salmon River offers an exciting challenge with its varying currents and occasional rapids, making it an ideal destination for adventure seekers.
  • Scenic Wilderness: Immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of nature as you paddle through lush forests and alongside rocky terrain, providing a picturesque backdrop for your adventure.
  • Wildlife Encounters: The river is teeming with wildlife, from diverse bird species to aquatic creatures, offering paddle boarders the opportunity to observe nature up close.
  • Exercise and Relaxation: Enjoy a full-body workout while relishing the calming effects of being on the water, making it an excellent choice for both fitness enthusiasts and those looking for serenity.
  • Historic Significance: The Salmon River has a rich history, including its role in the logging industry. Paddle boarding here allows you to connect with the past while enjoying the present-day beauty of the river.

Recommended Gear: Sunscreen, Paddle Board, Life Jacket, Sunglasses, Waterproof Bag, Hat, Paddle


Housatonic River

Housatonic River, a notable waterway in Connecticut, invites outdoor enthusiasts to its picturesque waters. Flowing through diverse landscapes, this river offers a mix of calm stretches and exhilarating rapids, making it a versatile destination for paddle boarders. With its meandering course and scenic surroundings, it promises a captivating journey for those seeking aquatic adventures in nature’s embrace.

Reasons to go Paddle Boarding at Housatonic River:

  • Varied Scenery: Paddle boarding on the Housatonic River allows you to explore a range of landscapes, from tranquil sections to thrilling rapids, providing a diverse and visually stunning experience.
  • Wildlife Encounters: The river is home to a wealth of wildlife, including herons, otters, and various fish species, offering paddle boarders the chance to observe nature up close.
  • Historical Charm: The Housatonic River region is rich in history, with remnants of old mills and structures along its banks, adding an intriguing dimension to your paddle boarding adventure.
  • Community Events: Join in on local paddle boarding events and races, and connect with a vibrant paddle boarding community that shares your passion for the sport.
  • Scenic Beauty: Whether you’re looking for a leisurely paddle or an adrenaline rush, the Housatonic River’s captivating scenery provides the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable paddle boarding experience.

Recommended Gear: Paddle Board, Personal Flotation Device, Sunscreen, Paddle, Hat, Water Bottle, Waterproof Phone Case


Mystic River

Mystic River, a renowned watercourse in Connecticut, beckons adventurers with its scenic charm. This picturesque river meanders through the historic town of Mystic, offering paddle boarders a unique perspective of its coastal beauty. With maritime history and natural splendor as its backdrop, the Mystic River promises an engaging and memorable paddle boarding experience.

Reasons to go Paddle Boarding at Mystic River:

  • Historic Scenery: Paddle boarding on the Mystic River allows you to soak in the rich maritime history of the town while gliding through its picturesque waterways.
  • Coastal Exploration: Explore the coastal beauty of Mystic from a unique vantage point, taking in the charm of the coastal town and its waterfront.
  • Calm Waters: The river generally offers calm and tranquil conditions, making it suitable for paddle boarders of all skill levels, including beginners.
  • Maritime Activities: Mystic is home to various maritime attractions and events. Paddle boarding here provides opportunities to be a part of the nautical culture and experience local festivals.
  • Sightseeing and Relaxation: Enjoy a leisurely paddle while taking in the sights of historic ships, charming waterfront homes, and serene nature, creating a perfect blend of sightseeing and relaxation.

Recommended Gear: Paddle Board, Paddle, Sunscreen, Life Vest, Hat, SUP Shoes, Dry Bag


Farmington River

The Farmington River, a captivating waterway in Connecticut, invites adventurers to its scenic course. This river, with its diverse landscapes, offers a mix of calm stretches and exciting rapids, making it an ideal destination for paddle boarders. Surrounded by nature’s beauty, it promises an exhilarating journey for those seeking aquatic adventures in the heart of Connecticut.

Reasons to go Paddle Boarding at Farmington River:

  • Scenic Diversity: Paddle boarding on the Farmington River allows you to experience a variety of landscapes, from serene sections to thrilling rapids, providing a dynamic and visually appealing adventure.
  • Wildlife Observation: The river’s surroundings are home to diverse flora and fauna, offering paddle boarders opportunities to spot various bird species and aquatic creatures up close.
  • Outdoor Recreation: Beyond paddle boarding, the Farmington River supports activities like fishing, hiking, and picnicking, making it a versatile destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Challenging Rapids: For experienced paddle boarders seeking an adrenaline rush, the river’s challenging rapids provide an exciting and rewarding adventure.
  • Natural Tranquility: Whether you seek a leisurely paddle or an adrenaline-filled ride, the Farmington River’s natural beauty creates the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable paddle boarding experience.

Recommended Gear: Paddle Board, Paddle, Life Jacket, Sunscreen, Waterproof Bag, Hat, Sunglasses


Candlewood Lake

Candlewood Lake, one of Connecticut’s most expansive water bodies, beckons adventurers with its vast expanse and scenic beauty. This man-made reservoir offers a unique paddle boarding experience against a backdrop of rolling hills and lush greenery. With its clear waters and tranquil ambiance, Candlewood Lake sets the stage for unforgettable paddle board journeys amidst nature’s grandeur.

Reasons to go Paddle Boarding at Candlewood Lake:

  • Expansive Beauty: Paddle boarding on Candlewood Lake allows you to explore one of Connecticut’s largest lakes, offering breathtaking views of rolling hills and lush surroundings.
  • Water Recreation: Beyond paddle boarding, the lake offers opportunities for swimming, fishing, and boating, making it a versatile destination for water enthusiasts.
  • Fishing Paradise: Anglers can enjoy the lake’s diverse fish population, including bass, trout, and more, making it a prime spot for fishing while on a paddle board.
  • Serene Atmosphere: The lake’s generally calm waters and peaceful ambiance create an ideal environment for a relaxing paddle boarding experience.
  • Community and Events: Join local paddle boarding events and connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for the sport, enhancing your overall paddle board adventures on Candlewood Lake.

Recommended Gear: Paddle Board, Hat, Waterproof Phone Case, Dry Bag, Paddle, Life Vest, Sunscreen


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