NEW HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – There’s a local spot where you can thrill out or chill out before summer comes to an end.
“This is tubing down the Farmington River with Farmington River Tubing,” said employee Jeremy Harraden.
Farmington River Tubing has been around for 38 years, according to Harraden. You get a life jacket and a brightly colored tube, and off you go.
Well, not until after folks get a quick safety speech. Then they go heading to the river’s edge to embark on adventure.
The water is cold. The approach is not always graceful, as participants get comfortable in the tube and begin the journey.
“[It’s] great for summertime floating, especially on a nice, hot, sunny day like the weather we’ve been having,” said Harraden.
Tubers share the river with fishermen and wildlife like geese and ducks. Some can even see the incredible bald eagles that fly low overhead.
“You float about three miles down the river. There’s three sets of rapids along the way, so, it’s got some rough spots, some thrilling spots,” said Harraden.
Tubers said the first thrill comes quickly.
“If you’re goofing off and not paying attention and float out of the main flowing channel, sure, you can hit a rock and run aground,” intern Jack explained.
Recovery wasn’t that tough. He could fetch his tube and start up again to be in good form for the second set of rapids.
“It’s a great outdoor activity,” said Harraden. “It’s a gem of Connecticut, a nice pristine wild and scenic river.”
The first rapids tubers went through are considered a Class 1 and a Class 3. After a lazy river portion of the trip, folks head towards more rapids, called a Class 2.
There are height and weight requirements for this excursion which kids around the age of 10 usually meet.
“The river is a little lower than normal for this time of year,” said Harraden. “These levels we wouldn’t usually see until into August.”
That’s thanks to the drought. Currently, it takes about three hours to complete the journey down the river.
“Which is good, you get your money’s worth. If you pay attention and paddle yourselves to stay in the moving water in the deeper waters you can float all the way down to the takeout,” said Harraden.
This adventure is equal parts relaxation and excitement, a unique blend of summer fun.
“Even with the high gas prices within an hour you can be here, you don’t have to travel a long distance to come on out and have some fun. It’s right here in Connecticut,” said Harraden. “Certainly come on out and give it a try. Everybody’s gotta do it at least once.”
Click here for more information about Farmington River Tubing!