The Hockanum River flows north into Ellington from Vernon, makes an arching curve about 2 miles long through town, and returns south into Vernon again. Most of this loop through town is relatively shallow, and thus not suitable for boating.
The more accessible section, wide and deep enough for canoes and kayaks, is on the downstream side of Windemere Avenue on the west side of the narrow one-lane street bridge across the river. Parking and a launch site for watercraft is on the grassy slope next to the bridge and river.
The Hockanum River is an amazingly narrow, relatively flat waterway with moderate current. The course is a very tortuous journey of serene tranquility over 1 mile long through the Great Ellington Marsh. Occasional huge leaning trees and tall crowding Phragmites make for creative maneuvering for kayakers. There are almost no signs of civilization until coming past Franklin Street and then Windsorville Road, with its twin corrugated tunnels of the Windsorville Road Bridge. This is now Vernon, and the take-out site is about 200 feet ahead on the left.
For kayakers wishing to keep paddling, the Hockanum River continues through the very winding and scenic Vernon Marsh ahead.
> To view the Connecticut Water Trails Association web site's information on paddling along the Hockanum River, please click here.
> To view an article in the June 24, 2008 issue of the Reminder News - Ellington newspaper, on the June, 2008 "CT Water Trails Day" event along the Hockanum River in Ellington, please click here.
The following photographs were taken during that Ellington Hockanum River June, 2008 "CT Water Trails Day" event. Click on any of the photo icons to "walk" through the photo gallery of this activity.