Farmington - 3. Tariffville Park (Simsbury) to Highway 187 (Tariffville Gorge)

Farmington, Connecticut, US


3. Tariffville Park (Simsbury) to Highway 187 (Tariffville Gorge) (Tville)

Usual Difficulty II-III (for normal flows)
Length 1.68 Miles
Avg. Gradient 15 fpm
Max Gradient 40 fpm

Bob Taylor at T'ville

Bob Taylor at T'ville
Photo of Tariffville by Michael Phelan @ 3

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01189995 1.20 - 7.10 ft II-III 00h20m 1.82 ft (running)
Good level for playboating at "Enterprise," the main park-n-play hole and "Shuttlecraft" the upper playhole.

River Description

Tville (as it's called by locals) contains some of the most popular and consistent whitewater in Connecticut.

You can either run the river or park and play. Most boaters choose to park and play. To park and play, park at the end of Tunxis Ave. on the East Granby side, and walk down the dirt trail to the river. From here you can access the majority of the play features Tville has to offer, and still walk back up to your car when you're done.

Most boaters that run the river put in at Tariffville Park and takeout either at Tunxis Ave. (which avoids the slightly tougher sections of the gorge) or takeout after the former location of the broken dam.

Most evenings in the summer a solid crowd of friendly and inviting paddlers can be found throwing down in Tville's great play holes. Boaters from all over the area come here because there's consistent flows, year round, that provide a variety of options for play and river running. Stop by and check it out, you won't be let down.

2.4 feet on the gauge is considered to be the best playboating level at the lower, main hole. It can be surfed down to about 1.5 feet, and starts to flush out around 2.7 feet. However, at 3.0+ feet, a hole above this feature called Babylon begins to form that offers some good rides.

Tville is, however, not without some areas for concern. There are a series of concrete bridge abutments that have been the site of a fatality due to a pinned boater. These abutments supported the bridge that connected Tunxis Ave. in East Granby to Tunxis Ave. in Tariffville. They are located on the river left and river right side of the river where it passes Tunxis Ave. They can be safely navigated down the center of the river, or for a more challenging and bumpy ride, on the river right side. They're not an overwhelming dangerous feature, but boaters should make a point to never come into physical contact with the abutments when traveling down river to avoid a pin.

Previously, there was a broken dam downstream of the main play area. However, this dam was removed in 2012. More information can be found on the Farmington River Watershed Association's website.

The below Hazard Warning! was posted on April 30th, 2017 on Facebook group "Where's the Whitewater at?". It has not been verified, but comes from a reliable source.

"I want to warn whatever people or organization that has hung slalom gates at T-ville that you need to look at them immediately! Paddling today we came across the wire strung just below the T-ville play hole it had evidently snapped or was vandalised recently. The wire had been tied back to a tree with the wire about 6" below the surface just a few yards below the play hole. This created a very dangerous situation. It would perfectly grab and possibly entrap any boater who was unaware. Luckily, the first of our group saw it and was able to warn people away from it. It was barely visible from upstream. looking like a piece of fishing line. We did remove the wire. it is now spooled on the river right shore where it was still attached." Thanks to Mark Schappert‎ for the info.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2017-05-04 13:37:17


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.8Bridge AbutmentsIIIHazard Photo
1.0Main HoleIIIPlayspot Photo
1.2Former Location of Spoonville DamIII+

Rapid Descriptions

Bridge Abutments (Class III, Mile 0.8)

Bridge Abutments

Bridge Abutments
Photo taken 07/10/05 @ ~2.8ft

The bridge abutments can be safely navigated down the center of the river, or for a more challenging line, on river right. These abutments were the site of a fatality when a boater became pinned there. Exercise caution.

Main Hole (Class III, Mile 1.0)

Bob Taylor at T'ville

Bob Taylor at T'ville
Photo of Tariffville by Michael Phelan @ 3

This hole, and several surrounding it, are the most popular features on this section of the river. The majority of boaters park at the end of Tunxis Ave and walk or paddle down to this location and surf. You can either walk back up to the parking lot from this point if you like.

Former Location of Spoonville Dam (Class III+, Mile 1.2)

This formerly broken dam was removed in 2012. No notable rapids exist in its former location.

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