Planning and Logistics

Getting Started:  The Guidebook

CT Guidebook

A guide, map set, and supplemental materials are available free from the state’s website. You can also buy a bound copy from by clicking on the picture to the right. The information provided is geared for someone paddling the trail in sections, rather than completing the entire trail in a single thru-paddle.


There is no other guide to thru-paddling the CT other than this website.


The thru-paddler needs to supplement the state guide with the location & hours of grocery stores, libraries, post offices, laundromats, and reasonably priced hotels located within walking distance of the beach. I discuss how to do this on the Planning and Logistics section.

The other important thing you need to add to the state guide are campground maps. Often you will spend the night at state, local, or private campgrounds that have designated tent sites and charge a fee. Since tenting will be by the water but the park office where they take your money is at the entrance road, having a site map in hand allows you to find a tent site, set up, then go pay, rather than wander all over the park confused.


I have compiled these park maps along with the maps of trail towns and have them available for download as PDFs on the Advanced Planning page.


When I was preparing for my circumnavigational trip, the biggest task I undertook was the mapping of every waypoint for every stop along the route. It involved finding locations using Google Earth, then copying and pasting the GPS coordinates into a Word document. That document became my “data book,” a quick-reference mileage chart that I laminated and kept in my deck bag. It listed almost 500 sites along the coastline, what services were available (water, groceries, hotel, camping, et cetera), the mileage between each site, and the GPS coordinates. I then pre-programmed my GPS unit with these 500 waypoints.

There is now a data book available from the state. Download the PDF here. I recommend laminating a copy and keeping it in your deck bag.

CT Data Book.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 334.6 KB