Housatonic River

The Housatonic River is ideal for intermediate to advanced rafters and offers a series of Class 4 rapids and some of the most beautiful scenery in the state.


Section of river: Bulls Bridge near Kent to Route 7 (upstream of Gaylordsville Bridge)
Difficulty: Class 4
Length: 2.5 miles/4 KM
Season: Available March to June and with hydroelectric releases
Best rapids: Staircase, Flume, S-Turn, Pencil Sharpener, Powerhouse


Housatonic means “River Beyond the Mountains” in the local Native dialect. The headwaters of the Housatonic are in the distant Bershires of western Massachusetts. The river flows southerly through the Litchfield Hills in northwestern Connecticut. The area is rich in Colonial history and covered bridges span the river. In fact, the put-in for the Bulls Bridge run is directly under a covered bridge just downstream of a class V cataract. Immediately downstream, rafters enter the Flume where the water races around a sharp bend and over a 7-foot ledge, emerging as froth and waves below. S-Turn is next with a tight move over a ledge which is immediately followed by Pencil Sharpener where grabby holes reach for the boat. Below, easier rapids lead to Powerhouse hole and the takeout rapid.