About the Housatonic Valley » Facts
The Housatonic River flows 149 miles from its four sources in western Massachusetts. Following a south to southeasterly direction, the river passes through western portions of Massachusetts and Connecticut before reaching its destination at Long Island Sound at Milford Point. The Housatonic River has a total fall of 1430 feet (959 feet from the confluence of the East and West Branches). Its major tributaries are the Williams, Green and Konkapot Rivers in Massachusetts, the Tenmile River in New York, and the Shepaug, Pomperaug, Naugatuck and Still Rivers in Connecticut. The river's watershed, or the land area which drains into the river, encompasses 1,948 square miles and is characterized by rugged terrain giving way to rolling hills and flat stretches of marshland in the south.
While problems do exist in defined stretches, overall the river is characterized by high water quality. The river's flows are sufficient to support Class I, II, III and IV rapids.
With more than 100,000 acres of public recreation land throughout the watershed, opportunities for swimming, canoeing/kayaking, fishing, sculling, boating, hiking, camping and cross-country skiing abound. The Appalachian Trail runs along the river for five miles between Kent and Cornwall Bridge, the longest stretch of river walk between Georgia and Maine. Farther north the trail again parallels the river for about one-mile in Sheffield, MA.