Connecticut River Blueway
Four New England states, one river, one week
Starting not far from the Canadian border, the Connecticut River flows south for 410 miles to Long Island Sound. This American Heritage River's name comes from “quinetucket,” the Algonquian for “long tidal river.” Splitting New England in two, the river touches four of the six New England States: it is the border between New Hampshire and Vermont, then cuts through Massachusetts and into Connecticut. In 2012, the river and its watershed were designated as the USA's first National Blueway.
Trip ideas and itineraries are meant as suggestions only. They are intended as ideas and to highlight all there is to see and do in New England.
- Allow a week or so.
- Starting and finishing in Boston.
- View a Google Map of this trip.
- Real enthusiasts may want to start at the actual source: Fourth Connecticut Lake, N.H.
Hanover, New Hampshire
Follow the scenic road along the New Hampshire side of the river to Hanover. Best known for Dartmouth, the Ivy League college founded in 1769, this is one of New England's prettiest towns.
Northampton and Amherst, Massachusetts
The Amherst-Northampton region is known as the Happy Valley due to its art and music communities, progressive ideas, prestigious colleges and large student population. In Amherst you can visit the Emily Dickinson Museum, or head out of town just a little bit and take advantage of some whitewater rafting at Crab Apple Whitewater in Charlemont, Massachusetts, or visit Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield, Massachusetts. Sometimes referred to as NoHo, Northampton is an attractive town known as an artistic, musical and counter-cultural hub – as well as home to Smith College. It features a large and politically influential LGBT community along with numerous alternative health and intellectual organizations. Close by are five other colleges, including UMASS Amherst, Amherst College and Mount Holyoke, Williams College and Hampshire College.
Connecticut's state capital, Hartford, is chock full of history, from its 1796 Old State House to the Mark Twain House & Museum and the neighboring home of Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Essex & Old Lyme, Connecticut
The charming New England town of Essex is known for the Griswold Inn, a tavern that opened in 1776, and the informative Connecticut River Museum on the waterfront. Essex makes an excellent base for exploring the lively and historic communities at the mouth of the Connecticut River.