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Difficulty IV
Length 3 Miles
Gauge SAUGATUCK RIVER NEAR REDDING, CT
Flow Range 125 - 350 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 29 minutes ago 13.5 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 05/04/2018 5:35 pm

River Description


It may help to think about this river (really a creek) in two sections, the upper and lower.

The upper section is more continuous than the lower and is about a mile in length. The highlight of this section is the first real rapid, a 10 foot vertical waterfall, followed by a short pool and then a small dam feature that is best run hard left or right. There are several more rapids in the upper section that are all boat-scoutable. When an island separates the flow, follow the right channel into the last set of rapids: a fast approach into a pillow move, followed by a ledge that can be run by sliding down the middle or boofing off the right and then making a quick move to avoid a rock...not bad for Fairfield County whitewater. After passing under the road, take out on the right by the Dunkin Donuts to either go back up and run the upper again or to portage around a pipe and begin the lower section.

The lower basically consists of two very cool Class IV rapids, a few Class II's, and a lot of flatwater. Be prepared for some general unpleasantness associated with the water quality as well. The first Class IV comes at a bend in the creek and is very difficult to boat scout. At present, there is a sizable tree blocking the channel, so visual inspection is preferable. It is a fast, narrow drop that almost makes the flatwater and septic stench worthwhile.

The second Class IV comes towards the end of the run, shortly before the Far Mill empties into the Housatonic. This 12-foot ledge can be run cleanly on the right or left, but the middle looks shallow. One more small rapid and a couple hundred feet of flats brings you to the take-out just upstream of a bridge on Rte. 110.

Shuttle Directions:
The Far Mill can be found off exit 12 on Rte. 8. To get to the upper put-in, head north on Old Stratford Rd., make a right after you pass the Dunkin Donuts (the take-out for the upper section), and then your first left after you cross the creek onto Mill Street. When the road forks, follow it to the left. You will shortly arrive at a small turn-off on the left for a park which is the put-in.
To get to the take-out for the lower section, head back towards the Rte. 8 on-ramps. Stay straight and follow Warner Hill Road down towards the Housatonic. Make a left onto Rte. 110 and look for a restaurant on the left side of the road after you cross over the Far Mill. There are "no trespassing" signs in the parking lot, but no one has ever given us a hard time, probably because it's a big parking lot, and the restaurant is always empty. Enjoy.

Check out excellent video of the Farmill and other cool rivers compliments of James Capozzi.

Rapid Descriptions

Comments

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11 years ago

Just paddled this for the first time Saturday. I think the gage was around 2.1 or so on the AWA site (heard from a fellow boater it was actually around 1.9) however... boney but worth the trip from NYC! Can't wait to see it a few inches or even feet higher. Quick and easy run, nice drops very forgiving. Great intro into creeking for those who want to give creeking a try. Water quality ok... but a pretty run altogether. Kevc

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12 years ago

This is a sweetie! Not super sic, but great for Ct. Ya got to check this one out if you are within an hour.

Gage Descriptions

Holds water surprisingly well for its size. Upper mile can be run quite low. More water will just make it more fun. Gradient and length are estimations.
Far Mill local legend, Christian, contributed the following:
Saugatuck to Farmill correlation

125cfs = very low and scratchy but still doable
150cfs = low but fluid (minimum level for most)
200cfs = medium
250cfs = medium- high (holes start become a factor)
300cfs = high (holes get beefy)
350cfs or higher= maximum, possibly terminal holes

Directions Description


Shuttle Directions:
The Far Mill can be found off exit 12 on Rte. 8. To get to the upper put-in, head north on Old Stratford Rd., make a right after you pass the Dunkin Donuts (the take-out for the upper section), and then your first left after you cross the creek onto Mill Street. When the road forks, follow it to the left. You will shortly arrive at a small turn-off on the left for a park which is the put-in.
To get to the take-out for the lower section, head back towards the Rte. 8 on-ramps. Stay straight and follow Warner Hill Road down towards the Housatonic. Make a left onto Rte. 110 and look for a restaurant on the left side of the road after you cross over the Far Mill. There are "no trespassing" signs in the parking lot, but no one has ever given us a hard time, probably because it's a big parking lot, and the restaurant is always empty. Enjoy.

 

GPS coordinates of the putin and takeout are approximate, from Google Maps.

No Accident Reports

Alerts

News

article main photo

CANOEIST LAUNCHES ‘CANOE FOR CLEAN WATER’ TOUR

3/17/2016
Mark Singleton

Denny Alsop, a 69-year old canoeist plans to repeat 1988 journey across Massachusetts to raise awareness for the importance of clean water in the northeast.

article main photo

Bellows Falls (VT) Flow Study Reveals Hidden Whitewater

6/2/2015
Robert Nasdor

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. 

article main photo

FERC Takes Balanced Approach on Housatonic River, Connecticut

11/9/2001
Tom Christopher

Relicensing of the two hydropower projects
on the Housatonic transitions to a new
phase as the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission (FERC) takes a balanced
approach to resource issues.
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Alex Barham

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Jeff Sharpe

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1209502 05/04/18 Alex Barham Location
1194460 12/16/08 Jeff Sharpe n/a