The Naugatuck used to be one of the most polluted rivers in the country. Now it is much, much cleaner and can be surprisingly scenic in many areas. However, it is still urban paddling and the occasional shopping cart, or industrial remnant, or smell can mar the experience.
This section is class I–II+ and starts in southern Waterbury off Platts Mills Street (Route 8 exit 29). The river is boatable at a gauge level of 3 and really fun around 4.
The total run is about six–seven miles long, which can vary depending upon which put-in and take-out is used.
For the upper put-in, put on at the intersection of Platts Mills Street and S Main Street, behind and across the road from the Brass House restaurant (formerly a Howard Johnsons with the characteristic roof). The upper put-in takes you into a class 2+ rapid almost immediately.
For an easier start use the lower put-in, located at a small fishing park about a half mile below on Platts Mills Street.
There first take-out is under the Depot St bridge near the Rail Road Station in Beacon Falls (Exit 24 off Route 8). The second take out is located off of Marilyn Ave at River Bend Park
Thanks to Paxton Berady for the above info.
This is a nice class ii stretch, at the right levels. At a guage of level of 3, although navigable, some sections are just too low. The most interesting sections are a couple of boulder gardens with a large number of eddies offering good opportunities for skill building or skill refining. Access to these sections is tricky and are better combined with the whole run.
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A hardy group of northeast boaters climbed into the natural river channel below a hydropower dam to participate in a flow study designed to assess whether whitewater flows should be restored to this dewatered river reach on the Connecticut River. While significant obstacles remain, this site has the potential for providing instruction, playboating, and a big water feature that that could be run throughout much of the year and provide a much needed boost to the local economy.
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