Access Points Along the Naugatuck River
Where to go to Fish, Paddle, Walk, Bike or Hike!

The Naugatuck River is a great place to paddle - just make sure to observe the cautions noted below. 

Paddling Access

Some popular access points for paddling the river are listed below, from the north to south.  WARNING: SECTIONS OF THE RIVER CONTAIN RAPIDS AND/OR MAJOR DAMS.  Please observe the cautionary notes below and make sure to always scout your paddle route before you head out.  Always wear proper safety devices (i.e. personal floatation device, helmet, and whistle) and never attempt sections above your experience and skill level.  Read this article in the Waterbury Observer to learn more about the dangers of paddling unprepared.  If you do not have experience paddling, but would like to kayak or canoe the river, contact a local paddling outfitter, such as Connecticut Outdoors in Oakville.

Access is available from the parking lot behind the Dunkin Donuts on Route 254.

Access is available across from City Limits on Thomaston Avenue.  Limited parking is available in the dirt section of the north end of the City Limits parking lot. Additional road-side parking is available on the same-side of the street as City Limits on Thomaston Avenue (north-bound).
CAUTION: Traffic on Thomaston Avenue can be very fast, be careful crossing the road!
Access is located at Platt Park located at the north end of Platts Mill Road at the intersection with South Main Street.  (This access point is also the start of the annual Naugatuck Valley River Race.)  Abundant parking is available on both sides of Platts Mills RoadA dirt parking lot is available at 191 Platts Mill Road This a good location to park your return vehicle if paddling down from Thomaston. 
CAUTIONFrom upstream, the Platt Park pull-out point is easily missed while paddling. To avoid missing this pull-out, stay towards the left bank as you head downstream and look for the Waterbury Treatment Plant, which is located on the opposite side of the river from the access point.

DANGER:  The Platt Park access point is located just above a breached dam and rapids.  Putting in here and paddling downstream can be dangerous depending on flow conditions.  Always scout the river conditions downstream of this access point from land before paddling through.
Two access points are available in Naugatuck.  The first put-in/pull-out area is located at Linden Park, located off of Route 8 at Exit 27.  The second access is at Breen Field, located off of Route 63, next to Napa Auto Parts.
CAUTIONPaddlers entering the river at the Breen Field access should be prepared for light rapids downstream from this section into Beacon Falls. Always scout the river conditions downstream of this access point from land before paddling through.
Beacon Falls
Two access points are available in Beacon Falls.   Access is available from Veteran’s Park located next to the Fire Department on Main Street.  Access is also available from Railroad Avenue, under the green bridge. (Parking for the Railroad Avenue access point is available at the Beacon Falls train station.)
SEVERE DANGER: The Tingue Dam in Seymour is a major dam which supports a road overpass and extends across the river.  Paddlers are not able to paddle over the dam; severe injury and death are risked if attempted.  If paddling downstream from the Green Bridge access point through Seymour, please make plans to exit the river and portage around the dam before continuing downstream.
Access is available from Seymour downstream of the Tingue Dam, located off of Route 8.  Many paddlers that enter here paddle down to the confluence with the Housatonic River at O’Sullivan’s Island in Derby.
CAUTION: The Naugatuck River is tidal for the last mile of your paddle before you reach the O'Sullivan's Island pull-out in Derby. Please check tide charts and wind conditions before paddling.

Derby marks the mouth and southernmost portion of the Naugatuck River.  Access is available from the Caroline Street entrance to O'Sullivan's Island Recreation Park (see Derby Greenway access notes below).  Paddlers can continue their journey south along the Housatonic River for an extended paddle.
CAUTION: The Naugatuck River is tidal at the O'Sullivan's Island Recreation Park access point in Derby. Please check tide charts and wind conditions before paddling.

Fishing Access

Parking and access to the river is available at Exits 25 and 26, on Route 8 in Naugatuck and Beacon Falls.

Additional fishing areas that are safe and better suited for fisherman with children include Linden Park in Naugatuck, located off of Route 8 at Exit 27, Veteran’s Park in Beacon Falls, located on Main Street between the Fire Department and Senior Center, and Riverbend Park in Beacon Falls, located off of Lopus Road.

Naugatuck River Greenway
& Related Side Trails

Currently, two segments of the Naugatuck River Greenway System have been completed, the Derby Greenway and the Ansonia River walk.  Access information for these two trails is provided below.  The Larkin Bridle Trail in Naugatuck and the Thomaston Clock Walk also provide easy walking paths in the watershed. 
There are three entrance points to the Derby Greenway and O'Sullivan's Island Recreation Park:
  • Caroline Street Entrance:  Pedestrian, cyclist, and motor vehicle access and parking is available at O'Sullivan's Island.  To access the parking lot follow Caroline Street in Derby to the end, continue on the dirt road past the water treatment facility until you see the greenway ahead.  Drive across the greenway and under the Route 8 bridge to a small paved parking area.  Boat trailers are able to unload to the Housatonic and Naugatuck Rivers here. 
CAUTION:  The Derby Greenway is heavily used by pedestrians and cyclists.  Exert extreme care when crossing the greenway (from the Caroline Street entrance) with a motor vehicle. 
    • Bridge Street EntrancePedestrian, cyclist, and motor vehicle access and parking is available off of Bridge Street in Derby.  Look for a marked entrance on Bridge Street at the intersection with Main Street.  Follow a short driveway along the left of the greenway to a small dirt parking area. Note there is not direct river access from this location.

    • Division Street Entrance:  Greenway parking and the northern entrance are located on Division Street in Derby, at the intersection with North Division Street (just before the Division Street bridge on the eastern side of the river).  The entrance to the Ansonia Greenway is also located directly across the street.

Ansonia Riverwalk

The Ansonia Riverwalk is an out-and-back greenway trail with only one entrance and parking area.  The greenway parking and entrance, including a gazebo, are located on North Division Street in Ansonia, at the intersection with Division Street (just before the Division Street bridge on the eastern side of the river).  The entrance to the Derby Greenway is also located directly across the street.

Thomaston Clock Walk

The Thomaston Clock Walk is a loop walk in downtown Thomaston that highlights the town's rich clock making history.  Parking for the walk is available at the Thomaston Town Hall, located at 158 Main Street in Thomaston.  The walk begins at the Thomaston Opera House, and follows Main Street east across the Naugatuck River to the Plume and Atwood facility and Railroad Station, before doubling back across the river.  From there the walk turns left (southwest) onto Elm Street passing several points of interest, before turning right (northeast) onto South Main Street, and heading back towards the Town Hall.  The walk includes a total of 23 interests points.  To download a copy of the Clock Walk Guide, which includes a route map, click here.  

Larkin Bridle Trail

Originally designated as a trail for horses, for which it is still popular, Larkin’s ten miles now also serve walkers, joggers, bikers and hikers.  The parking area for the Larkin Bridle Trail is located at Whittemore Glen State Park on Route 63 in Naugatuck.  At the eastern terminus of the trail there is parking for 6 to 8 cars.  (From Naugatuck the trail heads west into Middlebury and out of the Naugatuck River watershed towards Oxford and Southbury.)

Hiking Access

The various state parks and forests in the river corridor offer excellent hiking opportunities, though most are not located directly adjacent to the river.  Nevertheless, each is worth a visit! Information regarding parking and trail access is provided below.
Paugnut State Forest (Torrington / Winchester) - For parking safety reasons, Paugnut Forest is best accessed from the abutting Burr Pond State Park. To reach the Burr Pond parking areas, follow Route 8 south from its intersection with Route 44 in Winsted for 2.7 miles and take the Pinewoods Road exit. Go right at end of exit and follow Pinewoods .22 miles turning left onto Winsted Road. Follow Winsted Road 1.0 miles and turn right onto Burr Mountain Road. Follow for .5 miles to Burr Pond State Park entrance on left where trail heads into forest may be found. The northern section is across Burr Mountain Road; the southern section may be accessed by following trails south (away from Burr Mountain Road).

Humaston Brook State Park 
 (Litchfield) - From Route 254 in Northfield, take Knife Shop Road 0.2 mile northeast to the dam.  To get to the trail, turn left on Newton Road, left on White Road and park immediately.

Topsmead State Forest
(Litchfield) - From Route 8: take Exit 42. Go west on Route 118 for 2.0 miles. Turn left onto Clark Road to the stop sign. Take a right at the stop sign then the first left onto Buell Road. The first right off Buell is the entrance to Topsmead. From Litchfield Center: take Route 118 east for 1.5 miles. Take a right onto East Litchfield Road. Take the first right onto Buell Road. Topsmead will be the first road on the right.

Black Rock State Park (Watertown) - From Route 8 north, take Exit 38.  Turn left at the end of the exit ramp to first traffic light.  Turn left at traffic light onto US Route 6 west.  Park entrance is a 1/2 mile on the right on US Route 6. From Route 8 south: take Exit 38.  Go straight ahead at the end of the exit ramp to US Route 6 west.  Park entrance is on the right.

Naugatuck State Forest
(Naugatuck/Oxford/Beacon Falls) - West Block: reach from Cold Spring Road in Beacon Falls or through the forest on Hunter's Mountain Road in Naugatuck. Also accessible from Chestnut Tree Hill Road in Oxford and Route 42 in Beacon Falls. 

Whittemore Glen State Park
  (Naugatuck, Middlebury)  - From the junction of Route 188 and Route 63, take Route 63 south 1.3 miles and turn right into the parking area.

Osbornedale State Park (Derby) - From Route 8 south: Take Exit 17. Take a left at the end of the exit ramp. Take another left at the lighted intersection (Division Street). Drive approximately ¾ miles. Osbornedale State Park will be on the right across from Derby High School. From Route 8 north:Take Exit 18. Take a left at the end of the exit ramp. Drive approximately ½ mile. Osbornedale State Park will be on the right across from the Derby High School.
Special thanks to our sponsors:
Naugatuck Savings Bank, Connecticut Community Foundation
Union Savings Bank, Wesson Energy, Inc., The United Illumination Company, Friends of Naugatuck River
The Platt Brothers & Company, Thomaston Savings Bank, Valley Community Foundation