Paddling on the Willimantic River

Welcome to the Willimantic River Water Trail, a 21-mile National Recreation Trail for canoes and kayaks! BEFORE YOUR TRIP: Check a Paddle Guide for dams and other navigation features. The river may have fallen trees and high water. Travel at your own risk.

Quick Reference Online River Guide

Canoe & Kayak Guide Keymap HeadwatersMidriverLower RiverWindham/Williamntic

Quickwater

for experienced river paddlers

This section extends from Stafford Springs to Plains Road bridge between Coventry and Mansfield.

The river is shallow and rocky, and the best conditions are in spring or after rainfall. This part of the river has riffles and small rapids and is rated as quickwater by AMC.

  • Map 1 - Headwaters (Stafford Springs, Ellington, Willington, Tolland)
  • Map 2 - Midriver (Tolland, Willington, Coventry, Mansfield)

Quiet Water

for novice paddlers

This section extends from Plains Road bridge between Coventry and Mansfield to Eagleville Dam.

This quiet water section is recommended for those not familiar with river techniques. It offers easy paddling because of a slow current and year-round water levels. Car-top/carry-in motor boats may launch at the dam (8 mph limit).

  • Map 2 - Midriver (Tolland, Willington, Coventry, Mansfield)
  • Map 3 - Lower River (Coventry, Mansfield)

Flatwater

for experienced paddlers

This section extends from below the Eagleville dam to Willimantic.

There is usually enough water to paddle year-round, but note that high water conditions also make it dangerous for paddling in this section of the river. This section is rated as flatwater by AMC, but there are tricky currents appropriate for experienced paddlers only.

Below the Route 66 bridge, there is currently no public place to take out before the dams. The Willimantic Whitewater Partnership has proposed a whitewater park for the dammed section of the river in the city of Willimantic. Follow the progress of this project at www.willimanticwhitewater.org