If you happen to be visiting anywhere in Connecticut, then one of the summer activities you’re going to want to do is Farmington River Tubing. It’s rated as the #2 thing to do in New Hartford on TripAdvisor and for good reason: it’s generally a slow-moving river which allows the whole family to have a safe tubing experience.
There are some things you’ll want to consider before you go tubing on the Farmington River, however, so take care in your planning to make sure you have the best time possible.
- River levels tend to be lower in July and August. Floating on the Farmington River generally takes about 90 minutes to complete with normal water levels. In the depths of summer, the lower water levels will usually double the amount of time you’ll need to plan for when enjoying this activity.
- You will be traversing 3 sets of rapids. Under regular river conditions, the rapids are generally not something which anyone needs to be concerned about. You’ll get some added movement and speed, but that is about it. Some younger children may need to have added supervision in these areas. Should river levels be high, you will want to consult with local tubing experts about the safety of tubing on that day.
- If you need extra supplies, then expect to pay cash. Most of the outfitters or providers that are located on the Farmington River are cash only. If you’ve found that you have forgotten something or you need to rent a tube because you haven’t purchased your own inflatables yet, then hit the ATM before you arrive for best results.
- Always be alert for the weather. Connecticut weather can change quite rapidly, including flash storms that may alter how the river flows. You will be asked to sign an indemnity waiver before entering the river and advised that you need to find an exit point should a storm develop. That may not be available at certain points of the river, so have a plan in place so you can be safe should something happen.
- Low river levels can also mean rocky conditions. Although the pace of the river is generally leisurely, there are some places where a few boulders can come up on you fairly quickly. You’re out there to relax and have a good time, but you’ll also want to keep your eyes open and your head on a swivel to make sure you don’t smash into something while you’re floating.
- The Farmington River tends to be cold, even in summer. The water temperature of the Farmington River rarely exceeds 65F. On a cool, windy day that may lead to uncomfortable floating conditions. It’s generally better to pick a sunny day to go floating, but even then there are shady areas that can bring a chill to some folks. If you always tend to be a little cold, you’ll want to plan accordingly.
Farmington River tubing can be a fantastic experience with a little planning, especially if you bring your own river floats for your trip. Take a couple of hours, float on down the river, and you will have one of the most relaxing experiences of your life.