Natchaug, Connecticut, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-IV (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||55 fpm|
|Max Gradient||120 fpm|
|NATCHAUG RIVER AT MARCY RD. NEAR CHAPLIN, CT|
|usgs-01120790||3.50 - 5.80 ft||II-IV||00h54m||3.35 ft (too low)|
The Natchaug River is a short, but intense, Class IV drop-pool river in eastern Connecticut, easily reached off Interstate 86. Although the tough section is less than a mile long, the river is worthy of paddling because of its 120-feet-per-mile gradient, including a number of waterfall-type drops that challenge the accomplished boater. A nice spot for a picnic with plenty of play spots, the Natchaug River has clear, clean water and evergreen-covered ledges that keep the senses satisfied. The Natchaug provides drinking water for the Mansfield Reservoir farther downstream, and is stocked annually with trout for fishermen.
The normal take-out is at Diana's Pool, a favorite swimming hole and party spot for University of Connecticut students. Local folklore includes tales of the fair maiden, Diana, running from the Indians, plunging herself in desperation over the short falls to be claimed by the river gods in a rocky pool. You may not find Diana's ghost swimming around at the bottom of one of the many holes, but you will see plenty of mermaid-like coeds along the banks...
The putin is one mile north of the takeout off Route 198. Take the next right above Diana's Pool onto England Road, go over the bridge and park on the left...the river is narrow, about 25 feet wide...Watch out for strainers along this stretch, as spring rains loosen the sandy eastern Connecticut topsoil and trees topple into the river.
See the gauge tab above for visual and on-line correlations.
Check out this article from the AW Journal archives.