Connecticut is the southernmost American state located in the New England area which is bordered by the Long Island Sound to the south. The Long Island Sound ports, Thames River, and Connecticut River have given the state a strong maritime tradition. In fact, the majority of the rivers in this state flow into the Long Island Sound. Connecticut was named after River Connecticut which is one of the main rivers in the country which passes through the state.
Longest Rivers in Connecticut
The 407 mile long Connecticut River is the longest river in the New England area which flows through four states. It originates from the Canada-United States border near Quebec and flows into the Long Island Sound. The river’s watershed of about 11,260 square miles includes one Canadian province and five US states. Connecticut River provides about 70% of the fresh water in Long Island Sound. Connecticut River Valley has some of the most productive farms in Northeastern parts of the United States and a metropolitan with over two million residents.
Housatonic River is a 149 mile long river in western Connecticut and Massachusetts which empties into the Long Island Sound. Its watershed drains about 1,948 square miles in eastern New York, Massachusetts, and western Connecticut. The river rises from four different areas in Berkshire Mountains and western Massachusetts. It then flows towards the south stretching through Berkshire, Massachusetts to Connecticut before passing between Milford and Stratford and emptying into Long Island Sound.
Quinebaug River is in eastern Connecticut and south-central Massachusetts. The 69 mile long river rises from the East Brimfield ponds and Lake of Sturbridge in Massachusetts and flows through Connecticut to join Aspinook Pond before flowing to Shetucket River in Norwich. It then gushes into River Thames and finally empties into Long Island Sound. The river’s watershed occupies an area of about 850 square miles and it extends to Rhode Island.
Farmington River has two main tributaries which extend to southwestern parts of Massachusetts. Farmington River plus its western tributary are 80.4 miles long making it the most extended branch of Connecticut River. The 46.7 mile long river has 609 square miles watershed. The headwaters of both the West and East Branches of Farmington River are in the southwestern parts of Massachusetts. The West Branch originates from Hayden Pond in Massachusetts, while the East Branch rises from Hartland.
Quinnipiac River is a 45.5 mile-long south-flowing river which is in Connecticut. The name "Quinnipiac" is an Algonquian term which means "long water land." The river rises from Dead Wood Swamp, in west-central Connecticut. It then extends southwards through Cheshire, Southington, Plainville, North Haven, and Yalesville before flowing into New Haven Harbor, one of Long Island Sound’s islet. Its watershed drains an area of about 165 square miles.
Scantic River is one of Connecticut River’s tributary which flows through Connecticut and Massachusetts. Its branches originate from Somers and Stafford in Connecticut and Monson, East Longmeadow, Wilbraham and Hampden in Massachusetts. The 40.6 mile long river flows through various Massachusetts towns including Scantic, Broad Brook, East Windsor, Enfield, and Somerville before merging with Connecticut River. The state of Connecticut plans to open a state park which will surround the river in South Windsor, East Windsor, Enfield, and Somers.
Other Rivers in Connecticut
The top ten rivers in Connecticut have a length of over 24.5 miles with Still River ranking as the tenth. Still River is a branch of River Housatonic in western parts of Connecticut. Its headwaters originate from Farringtons Pond at the border between Danbury, Connecticut, and New York. Pawcatuck River is a 34 mile-long river in Connecticut and Rhode Island which rises from Worden Pond in Kingstown. Shepaug River is 26 miles long and rises from Warren. The 40.2 mile-long Naugatuck River originates from Naugatuck River Valley in Connecticut and then flows into River Housatonic in Derby.
The 10 Longest Rivers in Connecticut