Where: Shelton, CT to Seymour, CT (map)
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Length: About 10 Miles
Best Season: Spring through Fall
A great way to relax after a hard week at work is to head to a local lake or river and kayak. Kayaking is affordable, easy to do, safe, and something you can do nearly any time of the year. If you live in, or are visiting New Haven or Fairfield County, the perfect place to do this is in the lower Housatonic River, between the Stevensen and Ousatonic Dams.
The area of the river that falls between the two damns is known as Lake Ousatonic, and is usually a calm, peaceful stretch of water that’s become a popular recreation spot for nearby residents. There’s a number of good places to launch your kayak, including the boat ramp at Indian Well State Park in Shelton or one of the many fishing spots located along the Derby side of the river.
While out on the water, you might notice a bridge on the RT 34 side of the river. It’s a cool little area I like to explore when the water is high enough. If you go under you’ll see a second bridge and what could be an abandoned stretch of the old Ousatonic Turnpike. (If anyone knows any more about this, please share in the comments.)
If you’re looking to make a day out of it, you can go hiking and see the waterfall at Indian Well State Park, have an outdoor lunch at Vickies on the River, or enjoy a drink at the Lakehouse Restaurant.