HIGHLIGHTS: The trip, from Falls Village to Cornwall Bridge is considered to be the most interesting and varied experience the Housatonic River offers canoeists and kayakers. On this section of river, rip-roaring rapids are balanced with just enough flatwater to catch your breath, spot some wildlife, and enjoy the unbroken bower of forested hills that line the river bank.
Your excursion starts off with a big burst of excitement as your canoe plunges through a series of foaming Class II rapids immediately after put-in. For the next four miles, the river runs broad and flat through the pristine beauty of the Housatonic State Forest, which offers dozens of tree shaded picnic sites in secluded clearings. The river picks up the pace as you pass old stone bridge abutments and begin to navigate in moving quickwater.
The Class III rapids that churn beneath the covered bridge in West Cornwall are the most challenging spot on this tour. To scout the rapids, take out on the left just before the bridge. The easiest way to run this chute is to line your boat up with the unaligned window on the covered bridge, the trick, is to keep your boat on course! This stretch of river, continues to run clear and quick to your take out point. The easiest route around the next set of rapids, known as the "ledges" is to keep to the left, looking for a narrow break in the rocks below the surface of the river. As you pass the state campground stay to the center of the river, skirting Turnip Island on either side. Your take out point is .5 miles from the Island, look for the canoe ramp on your right.
Put-in Point Falls Village, Power Plant Park, just below the Great Falls.
Take out Point: Cornwall Bridge, Housatonic Meadows State Park, picnic area, Rte. 7
Mileage: 10 miles 4 to 5 hours,