July 15, 2012

Kayaking on the Farmington River - Collinsville, Conn.

Ahhhh. Sun, warmth, and water.
This is what summer is all about.
Have you been taking advantage of this amazing summer weather???

Perhaps you've been to the beach, attended a few picnics, or maybe even gone hiking

All very well and good. Here's one more suggestion: A fantastic few hours spent kayaking on the Farmington River. 

Don't own a kayak? No problemo; neither do we. Simply head to Collinsville Canoe & Kayak - set in a lovely spot by the river in a quaint, adorable little town in central Connecticut - and rent one. 

Rental costs are very reasonable, but vary depending on how many people you want in your kayak - and for how long (see costs outlined below). 

My husband and I each opted for our own kayak - just $12 for one hour, and that includes the life jacket and your paddle. If you are really enjoing yourself in the water and go beyond the hour, they'll charge you a few dollars extra for each additional 15 minutes. 

It was pretty much the perfect day. The weather was fantastic, the sun wasn't too hot, and the water was calm and an ideally refreshing temperature. 

Today's Stefcations Highlights:
My husband eyeing the paddleboards.
  • What You'll Find: Kayaking on the Farmington River - a most amazingly refreshing day in the outdoors. 
  • Where You'll Find It: Collinsville Canoe & Kayak, 41 Bridge Street, Collinsville, Conn.
  • When to Go: The season starts around May 1 and runs through to around October. Rental hours are M-W & F from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sat. 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Sun. 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (FYI: If you're headed there on a summer weekend, it's usually wise to make a reservation. I called the morning of and was fine.)
  • What It'll Cost: $12 for a solo kayak for one hour. Tandem (two-person) kayaks are $20 per hour. These prices include the life jacket and paddle. You can also opt for daylong (3 hours or more) on-site rentals (solo kayaks = $40 per day; tandems = $50 per day). There is even an option, for an extra charge, to take the kayak for up to 24 hours off-site. 
  • By the Way: You can rent other things here, too. Namely, bicycles for the nearby Farmington River Bike Trail, which overlooks the river, or paddleboards. As I learned today, Collinsville Canoe & Kayak occasionally offers paddleboard yoga! I hear it's a great core workout. Might have to try that next...

Wildlife along the way.
What's great is that you can really take things at your own pace. Even if you're not particularly athletic, this part of the river is dammed and so very serene, with a barely detectable current. If you've only got an hour, you can paddle up the river about a mile and a half to the bridge before turning around to head back to the boat ramp where you started. 

Admittedly, the current becomes far stronger as you approach the bridge, but even so, we still had plenty of time to head up toward the bridge, turn around, pass the ramp where we had initially launched, then dawdle for a while longer, admiring the scenery and paddling circles around what appeared to be a former railroad trestle.
Perfect weather.
Fear you'll flip your kayak? I assure you, there's no real danger - the river is no more than three feet deep in most places.

Once you've paddled long enough to either form a few blisters or work up an appetite (I'd achieved both of these things by the end of the afternoon), you might want to get a bite to eat. 

Crown & Hammer's turkey Reuben
and "stealth" fries. Mmmm.
Just down the road, you'll find Crown & Hammer Pub, an always reliably friendly and tasty local restaurant. The pub takes its name from the symbol of a former world-renowned local manufacturer, the Collins Company Axe Factory. Yes, strangely enough, Collinsville was once a world-renowned manufacturer of machetes, knives, and axes. Wacky. Anyway, we each enjoyed lunch here before heading out for just a few more minutes of exercise.

The Farmington River Trail run right through this area. It's a scenic and peaceful 16-mile stretch of paved trail, and you'll find lots of people riding bikes or walking their dogs along the way. We even came across a few kids leaping off of an old train trestle into the river (granted, it's significantly deeper on this stretch of river). I have to admit, it looked like fun. Probably not legal, but tempting nonetheless ...

Local kids leaping from the train trestle
into the water below. Pretty badass.
We were pretty much ready for a nap after all of this, but if you're still raring to go, Collinsville is a beautiful little place to explore. You'll find a couple of antique shops and flea market-type establishments, a weekend farmers' market, a market and deli with an outdoor seating area, and even a music venue that features live acts throughout the summer.
It was a great afternoon outing if I do say so myself - and perhaps not quite what you'd expect from the former world-farmous center of machete-making. 

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a perfect summer afternoon excursion! I'm amazed the water is so shallow. A nice safety net. :)