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Shetucket River facts for kids

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Shetucket River
Shetucket River, Baltic, CT.jpg
Shetucket River (Connecticut) map.jpg
Shetucket River and environs
Country United States
State Connecticut
Counties Windham, New London
Physical characteristics
Main source Confluence of Willimantic River and Natchaug River
Willimantic, Windham County, Connecticut, United States
41°42′46″N 72°11′31″W / 41.71278°N 72.19194°W / 41.71278; -72.19194
River mouth Confluence with Yantic River to form Thames River
Norwich, New London County, Connecticut, United States
41°31′20″N 72°04′40″W / 41.52222°N 72.07778°W / 41.52222; -72.07778
Length 20 mi (32 km)
Basin features

The Shetucket River is a tributary of the Thames River, 20.4 miles (32.8 km) long, in eastern Connecticut in the United States.

It is formed at Willimantic by the junction of the Willimantic and Natchaug rivers. It flows southeast and south. Approximately 4 miles (6 km) northeast of Norwich it receives the Quinebaug River and broadens into a wide estuary which stretches southeast for approximately 5 miles (8 km) and joins the Thames estuary on the south side of Norwich.

The river flows through a rural section of New England, despite the historical presence of industry in the surrounding region. Parts of the rivers have been designated by the federal government as the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor. The National Park Service describes the river valley as the "last green valley" in the Boston-to-Washington megalopolis. In nighttime satellite photos, the valley appears distinctively dark amidst the lights of the surrounding urban and suburban regions.


Carries Location
Connecticut Highway 2.svg Route 2 Norwich
Providence and Worcester Railroad
Connecticut Highway 12.svgConnecticut Highway 2.svg Route 12/Route 2
Connecticut Highway 2.svg Route 2
8th Street
Providence and Worcester Railroad Norwich/


Connecticut Highway 12.svg Route 12
Connecticut Highway 169.svg Route 169
I-395.svg Connecticut Turnpike
Bridge Street/Main Street Norwich/


Connecticut Highway 97.svg Route 97 Sprague
Connecticut Highway 203.svg Route 203 Windham
Providence and Worcester Railroad
Plains Road

Paddling the River

The entire length of the river, as well as the lower part of the Natchaug River flowing into it, is a popular recreational paddling route.

Canoe/Kayak launch sites are located at the following locations:

  • Lauter Park off Route 195 - Willimantic (on Natchaug River 1 mile above Shetucket River)
  • Recreation Park on Plains Road - Windham
  • Baltic Riverside Park on Route 97 - Sprague
  • Occum Dam canoe portage - Sprague
  • Lisbon Canoe Launch off Route 169 - Lisbon
  • Greenville Dam canoe portage - Norwich
  • Howard Brown Park - Norwich

Short, marked portages are required at four hydroelectric dams: Scotland Dam, Occum Dam, Taftville Dam, and Greenville Dam.

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