Willimantic River

The Willimantic River Greenway intersects with the Hop River Trail , the Air Line Trail and the East Coast Greenway at several sites that comprise our proposed linear park and arts and recreation hub.

All the waters of the Willimantic River watershed funnel into Willimantic and converge at WWP’s Bridge Street property, over bedrock gneiss (similar to granite) and ledges on a reach of river historically known as Willimantic Falls, where the Willimantic River drops quite precipitously, approximately 80 feet over the course of a mile. This is the ideal setting for building a class II/III whitewater rodeo feature that can be used for whitewater kayakers year-round and the lack of such features in Southeastern New England will naturally make it a popular destination.

Our vison for the Willimantic River is to restore its free-flowing state for the dual purposes of developing whitewater recreational opportunities and restoring migratory fish passage. John Anderson’s innovative design solution for the Willimantic River, the “catcher’s mitt,” will permit fish to by-pass whitewater play features, continuing their arduous journey to their historic spawning grounds. On the Willimantic River, the project is expected to provide anadromous fish access to 7.5 miles of high quality cold water habitat and restore the historic diadromous fish runs of American shad, river herring, and American eel. Additionally, 4.5 miles of significant high-quality habitat will be restored to the Hop River. In the Willimantic River watershed, all waters lead to Willimantic.