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Connecticut's Best Adventures 2011

Connecticut’s Best Adventures 2011
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by in May 2011

BEST TUBING
Farmington River,
New Hartford
The gentle rapids here provide a rollicking good ride down a 2.5-mile stretch. Farmington River Tubing provides tubes, lifejackets, and a shuttle bus from the take-out back to the starting point (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day). 92 Main St. 960-693-6465; farmingtonrivertubing.com

BEST RIVERSIDE BIKING
Essex Loop,
Essex
A 22-mile ride along the lower Connecticut River takes you past estates built by ships’ captains and over a drawbridge to one of the legendary homes of American musical theater, the Goodspeed Opera House. Then it’s up the hill to William Gillette’s bizarre fieldstone castle, and back across the Connecticut on a dollar ferry ride. Exit 3 off Route 9 (start)

BEST OCEAN JAUNT
Sea Kayak to the Norwalk Islands,
Long Island Sound
Watch for cormorants, egrets, and oystercatchers at Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge (fws.gov/northeast/mckinney), and search for the Manhattan skyline peeking above the horizon. The Small Boat Shop in South Norwalk offers full-day guided sea-kayaking tours. 144 Water St. 203-854-5223; thesmallboatshop.com

BEST BIRDWATCHING
Connecticut Audubon Coastal Center,
Milford Point
Three hundred of 399 species known in the state have been seen here, including piping plovers, least terns, American oystercatchers, and both types of night herons. 1 Milford Point Road. 203-878-7440; ctaudubon.org/visit/milford.htm

BEST RIVER PADDLE
The Housatonic,
Litchfield Hills
Quiet country villages and forests of maples and oaks line the banks of the Housatonic River as it meanders through hills, over rocky gorges, and under century-old covered bridges. Flat-water canoeists can put in above the Falls Village Dam in the town of Canaan (be sure to stay to the right there as you head north, to avoid the metal rods along the river bottom on the west side) and canoe more than 14 miles north to Ashley Falls, Massachusetts. Housatonic River Road. 860-567-4506, litchfieldhills.com; connecticutwatertrails.com

Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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