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Connecticut River Facts, History and Activities

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  • Connecticut River Facts, History and Activities

    Connecticut River Facts

    The Connecticut River is the longest and largest river located in all of New England.
    It flows south and begins at the 4th Connecticut lake, through the other Connecticut Lakes, Lake Francis, flows through western Massachusetts, past Springfield, back into the Connecticut River, through Hartford and discharges into Long Island Sound.
    The total river length is 407 miles.
    The deepest part of the river is 130 feet deep.
    The river is 2,670 feet above sea level but when it reaches Massachusetts, it is only 190 feet above sea level.
    The river borders 53 towns. There are 27 in Vermont and 26 in NH.
    In 1998, the White House states that the river was named an American Heritage River.


    Connecticut River History

    The river has been in existence since the finalization of the ice age which was around 11,000 years ago. The first people to inhabit the shores of the river were Native Americans who spent their time hunting, mostly caribou and woolly mammoth.

    The name of the river comes from the word “quinetucket” which means “long tidal river.” Adriaen Black was the first European explorer to see the river in 1614. He was a Dutch explorer. The Dutch created a fortified trading post titled Fort Huys de Goede Hoop which means Fort House of Good Hope.

    The first Englishman to set foot on the river was in 1632. It was a man from the Plymouth Colony named Edward Winslow. The next year, the English created their own colony and trading post.


    Connecticut River Activities

    Boating is a major thing to do on the lake. The mouth of the river through Essex is the busiest part of the river for boaters.

    Fishing is another favorite pastime on the river. Depending on the part of the river you fish, there are different species of fish. The most popular fish are lake trout and landlocked salmon. Other species include rainbow trout, brook trout, smallmouth bass, carp, catfish and American eel.
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