5 Excellent Places for Beginners to Kayak in Connecticut

5 Excellent Places for Beginners to Kayak in Connecticut

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Kayaking is not only a great way to stay fit, but an excellent mode of exploring the beautiful nature that surrounds you. Novice kayakers will be able to enjoy the soft motion of the water while exploring Connecticut’s wildlife or capturing shoreline photos. If you’re not feeling quite ready to traverse the waters on your own, consider bringing a guide along or taking a few lessons. No matter your abilities, these five spots in Connecticut are great for kayakers. 

1. Nehantic State Forest, East Lyme and Lyme, CT

Great for swimming, picnicking, hiking, and relaxing, Nehantic State Forest also offers calm waters and a boat launch for beginner kayakers. With boat launches in both Norwich Pond and Uncas Lake, visitors will be able to explore the flora and fauna of these two bodies of water with ease. Be sure to bring your own kayak to Nehantic State Forest as rental facilities are not available on-site.

2. Collinsville Canoe & Kayak, Collinsville, CT

Set along the Farmington River, Collinsville Canoe & Kayak provides rentals and an educational facility for those seeking an unforgettable experience. Kayak, boat, and stand-up paddleboard rentals can be used right behind the store in the Farmington River. If you’ve never kayaked before, you can join their paddling school designed for all ages. 

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3. Squantz Pond State Park, New Fairfield, CT

Whether you bring along your own kayak or rent one from the on-site facilities, Squantz Pond State Park is a great place for kids or beginners to try out kayaking. This large pond features a sandy beach surrounded by beautiful, wooded hills, providing plenty of scenery to admire while paddling. A boat launch is available for easier access into the water.

4. Bigelow Hollow State Park, Union, CT

Enjoy 9,000 acres of outdoor space and an 18-acre pond at Bigelow Hollow State Park. With boat launches in both Bigelow Pond and Mashapaug Lake, novice kayakers will be able to enter the water with ease. Do note that Bigelow Hollow State Park does not have rental services, so kayakers will need to bring their own equipment or rent from another location.

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5. Scoot & Paddle, Milford, CT

If you need to rent a kayak for your first venture out onto the water, Scoot & Paddle provides a wide selection and is conveniently located right by the Milford beach. Scoot & Paddle carries sit-on-top as well as tandem kayaks, which are easy to use with minimal instruction. Pets and children are welcome to join in on the fun excursion. Paddle out to Charles Island for an off-the coast challenge to discover a part of Connecticut that is often unexplored.