Around New Preston alone, there are many things to see and do. Here at the lake, there is fishing, camping, hiking, kayaking, boating, shopping for antiques, etc.
At lake Waramaug there is a public boat launch just a few hundred yards from my hot dog stand. For a one time inspection fee of $30 you can launch all summer for just $5 a visit. The lake is 7.5 miles around and provides some of the best fishing in the area with bass, trout, perch, pickerel and panfish. Exiting from the lake is the East Aspetuck river with some of the best trout fishing around. It runs from Lake Waramaug’s south end to New Milford just 10 miles south. Good fishing can be found anywhere along it’s run.
To the west is the Housatonic River. This river probably has the most diverse adventures you will find here in the Northwest Corner. It begins somewhere in VT, but we’ll concentrate on CT for now.
All along the river, from Falls Village to Long Island Sound you can find great fishing. There are even fly fishing lessons in the town of Cornwall Bridge across from Housatonic Meadows picnic area.
Kayaking and canoeing
Beginning around Falls Village, it offers a very nice whitewater run for kayaks and canoes. The first 5 miles are fairly quiet, but as you approach the covered bridge in West Cornwall the pace quickens. It ramps up to a class 2 run under the bridge for an exciting 90 seconds before winding down into a nice quiet pool at the corner. Here you can take a breather, or paddle back up into some of the rapids for surfing, eddying or just bouncing around. Continuing downstream, you can play in milder rapids all the way to the town of Kent. You’ll have to portage around the dam at Bulls Bridge and just beyond that there is a launch area under another covered bridge for experts only. It’s rated class 5 rapids. From there, you can paddle all the way to New Milford with a few more bounces along the way, flattening out just before the Rocky River powerplant. It’s quiet water from here on to the sound. The Housatonic Valley Association has been busy with a number of clubs in the area putting in portages and access ramps for paddlers along the river trail system from New Milford to the sound. You might check out the Housatonic Valley Paddle Club at Yahoogroups.com for paddle partners and upcoming adventures.
There is camping along the river in the town of Cornwall Bridge at Housatonic meadows state park, and Kettletown State Park in Southbury. Also at previously mentioned Lake Waramaug state park. All are among the prettiest campgrounds I know of, offering food concessions, dump stations, paddling and picnicking. Lake Waramaug state park will even rent kayaks and canoes to go out and play, fish or just enjoy the lake scenery.
Bubbles in the Lake
Many people have asked me about the bubbles in Lake Waramaug seen as you pass by on East Shore Road or Rt. 45. There are two such spots not far from each other. These are aeration systems that are placed in the deepest part of the lake to oxygenate the water. Some have thought them to be springs or even a boat in the process of sinking. Not to worry. They’re just part of the systems they put in to help rejuvenate the lake. In the past it was not a healthy lake, but it has been very beautifully restored. There are healthy populations of bass, perch, trout and many species of panfish, all very tasty and healthy enough to put up a great fight for the sport fishermen. If you plan to kayak the lake, the bubbles are fun to play in. In the southernmost system, there are two sets, side by side and very close together. Try hovering your boat between them. IT TICKLES! It’s also reported to have the biggest population of bass and trout and some of the largest have been taken from that spot.