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Shetucket River

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Shetucket River
Shetucket River and environs
CountryUnited States
CountiesWindham, New London
Physical characteristics
SourceConfluence of Willimantic River and Natchaug River
 • locationWillimantic, Windham County, Connecticut, United States
 • coordinates41°42′46″N 72°11′31″W / 41.71278°N 72.19194°W / 41.71278; -72.19194[1]
MouthConfluence with Yantic River to form Thames River
 • location
Norwich, New London County, Connecticut, United States
 • coordinates
41°31′20″N 72°04′40″W / 41.52222°N 72.07778°W / 41.52222; -72.07778Coordinates: 41°31′20″N 72°04′40″W / 41.52222°N 72.07778°W / 41.52222; -72.07778[1]
Length20 mi (32 km)
 • locationWillimantic, CT
 • average718 cu ft/s (20.3 m3/s)Average, 1929-2005
 • minimum337 cu ft/s (9.5 m3/s)Annual mean, 1965
 • maximum1,243 cu ft/s (35.2 m3/s)Annual mean, 1938
Basin features
 • rightQuinebaug River, Little River (Shetucket River)

The Shetucket River is a tributary of the Thames River, 20.4 miles (32.8 km) long,[2] 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
Route 2
Providence and Worcester Railroad
Route 12/Route 2
Route 2
8th Street
Providence and Worcester Railroad Norwich/


Route 12
Route 169
Connecticut Turnpike
Bridge Street/Main Street Norwich/


Route 97
Route 203
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.

See also


  1. ^ a b Geographic Names Information System, United States Geological Survey (September 12, 1979). "Geographic Names Information System Feature Detail Report: Shetucket River". Retrieved 2007-06-09.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed April 1, 2011
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Shetucket River
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