Thames River (Connecticut)

The Thames River (/ˈθeɪmz/)[1] is a short river and tidal estuary in the state of Connecticut. It flows south for 15 miles (24 km)[2] through eastern Connecticut from the junction of the Yantic River and Shetucket River at Norwich, Connecticut, to New London and Groton, Connecticut which flank its mouth at Long Island Sound. The Thames River watershed includes a number of smaller basins and the 80-mile-long Quinebaug River, which rises in southern Massachusetts and joins the Shetucket River about four miles northeast of Norwich.[3][4]

Thames River
Thames River (Connecticut)
Sailboat at the Thames River, seen from the waterfront in New London, Connecticut
CountryUnited States
CountyNew London
Physical characteristics
SourceThe Yantic and Shetucket rivers merging
 - locationNorwich
 - coordinates41°31′18″N 72°04′43″W / 41.5216°N 72.0787°W
MouthLong Island Sound
 - location
New London and Groton
 - coordinates
41°18′45″N 72°04′49″W / 41.3125°N 72.0804°WCoordinates: 41°18′45″N 72°04′49″W / 41.3125°N 72.0804°W
Length15 miles (24 km)
 - minimum377 feet (115 m)
 - maximum4,348 feet (1,325 m)


Sleighing on the frozen river, winter of 1903–1904

The river has provided important harbors since the mid-17th century. It was originally known as the Pequot River after the Pequot Indians who dominated the area. Other early names for the river have included Frisius, Great, Great River of Pequot, Little Fresh, Mohegan, New London, and Pequod. The town was officially named New London in 1658 and the estuary river was renamed Thames after the River Thames in London, England.[5]

The United States Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut College, a U.S. Navy submarine base, and the Electric Boat submarine shipyard are located on the river at New London and Groton. The USS Nautilus (SSN-571) was launched into the river on January 21, 1954 from Electric Boat, becoming the world's first nuclear-powered submarine.[6]

Two historic forts overlook the mouth of the river at New London harbor, now Connecticut State Parks: Fort Griswold on the eastern Groton Heights, and Fort Trumbull on the New London side.


The Yale-Harvard Boat Race is held annually in New London.

New London's Sailfest is an annual event which includes OpSail, a gathering of large sailing vessels, including the U.S. Coast Guard training ship Eagle.


Town Name Carrying


Mohegan-Pequot Bridge Connecticut Highway 2A.svg Route 2A
New London/


Gold Star Memorial Bridge I-95.svg I-95 and

US 1 (1961).svg US 1

Thames River Bridge Amtrak logo 2.svg Amtrak

See also


  1. ^ "How New London, Connecticut, Got Its Name". The New London Gazette. The Oldham Publishing Service. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2015-06-17.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed April 1, 2011
  3. ^ Eastern Connecticut Conservation District.[1] accessed June 24, 2112
  4. ^ "GNIS Detail - Thames River". Retrieved 2016-08-04.
  5. ^ "How New London, Connecticut, Got Its Name". The New London Gazette. The Oldham Publishing Service. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2015-06-17.
  6. ^ BBC News: "USS Nautilus: A record-breaking sub" Accessed 2014_01_21
Basset Brook

Basset Brook is a stream formed at a shallow pond located approximately 1.4 miles northwest of Warrenville, Connecticut, United States,. The brook flows south and east from this pond and eventually to its mouth at the Mount Hope River, with a length of approximately 1.4 miles.

Beaver Brook (Connecticut)

Beaver Brook is a stream that runs through Windham and Scotland, Windham County, Connecticut. The stream is currently 5 miles long. The stream begins at Beaver Brook State Park in Windham, Connecticut, and flows down to Merrick Brook in Scotland, Connecticut. A saw shop is named after the brook, and is located nearby the town line between the two towns.

Bigelow Brook

Bigelow Brook is a river in northeastern Connecticut, flowing from Mashapaug Lake in Union to its confluence with the Still River in Eastford.

Bigelow Brook is formed in Union, Connecticut at the outflow of Mashapaug Lake. After leaving the lake, it flows south through the Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union, and into Bigelow Pond. After exiting Bigelow Pond, the brook flows to the southwest and then into Myers Pond. After flowing out of Myers Pond, Bigelow Brook begins flowing to the south. It then leaves Union and serves as the border between the towns of Ashford, Connecticut, and Eastford, Connecticut. The brook then changes direction and starts flowing to the east, into the town of Eastford. It turns again shortly after, back to the south, and continues on a generally southerly or south-southeasterly path through Eastford. Bigelow Brook eventually ends at its confluence with the Still River, forming the Natchaug River.Bigelow Brook is popular with fishermen from the area. Trout are one type of fish that swim in its waters.

Fenton River

The Fenton River is a major water source for the University of Connecticut that runs through Mansfield, Storrs, and Willington, as well as small parts of Ashford and Windham, all in Tolland County, Connecticut. spanning 18.895 miles (about 30.408 kilometers). It feeds into Mansfield Hollow reservoir at its end, making it a tributary to the Mount Hope, Natchaug, and Willimantic rivers. The Fenton River is fed by several smaller brooks, streams, and creeks. It is used as a water source by the University of Connecticut Storrs Campus, and is as thus relatively shallow. The stone Gristmill on the intersection of Stonemill and Gurleyville roads was once functional, and now is protected by the Joshua's Tract Conservation and Historic Trust. Along its shores are huge swaths of protected land, mainly belonging to the university, Joshua's Trust, Nipmuck Trail, or other such preserve. Soil erosion is a small problem along some stretches. The USGS has a river flow and height monitoring station posted in the Fenton on Old Turnpike Road, in Storrs. It is currently not being pumped due to drought.

Fishers Brook (Connecticut)

Fishers Brook is a stream that runs for about 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) at its maximum length in spring. Most of the year, it reaches only 3,000 meters (9842.52 feet). It is located in Storrs, Connecticut. It feeds several small wetlands, including one small pond, before dropping off into Codfish Falls. It then leads into the Fenton River. Just before the falls, as well as in several other places, it is intersected by small bridges.

Five Mile River

The Fivemile River is a 23.5-mile-long (37.8 km) river located in Connecticut's Northeast Corner and flows through the towns of Thompson, Putnam, and Killingly.The original Nipmuc name was Assawaga, meaning "place between" or "halfway place". The Assawaga received its English name from the fact that the first land laid out upon it was "supposed to be about five miles from" Woodstock, Connecticut. The Five Mile is a tributary of the Quinebaug River and is part of the Thames River watershed. Its source is Little Pond (also known as Schoolhouse Pond), close to the Massachusetts border. It empties into the Quinebaug River at Danielson, near the intersection of Connecticut Route 12 and U.S. Route 6.

The Fivemile River has several dams, most of which are former mill operations. Its largest impoundment is Quaddick Reservoir, though there are several smaller dams including those that were built for the purpose of harnessing waterpower for industry. The best examples of surviving mill villages can be seen in Killingly in villages such as Pineville, Ballouville, Attawaugan, and Dayville.

French River (Massachusetts)

The French River is a river in south-central Massachusetts and northeastern Connecticut, USA.

The river rises near Leicester, Massachusetts, and flows generally southwards through Auburn, Oxford, and along the town line between Webster and Dudley; it then enters Connecticut where it joins the Quinebaug River at Thompson, just northeast of Putnam. The Quinebaug in turn flows into the Shetucket River and ultimately the Thames River to empty into the Long Island Sound.

The river's total length is 25.3 miles (40.7 km), of which 18.8 miles (30.3 km) are in Massachusetts. It drains a watershed area of about 95 square miles (250 km2), containing 67 lakes and ponds, 38 of which cover at least 10 acres (4.0 ha). Only one lake in its basin is larger than 500 acres (200 ha), namely Lake Chaubunagungamaug (Webster Lake) in Webster, Massachusetts at 1,195 acres (484 ha).

French River was so named from a settlement of French Protestants in Oxford.

Hop River

The Hop River is a river that runs through Tolland County, Connecticut. The Hop River's marshy source is just southeast of Bolton Notch, Connecticut. It flows for about 15.0 miles (24.1 km) to its confluence with the Willimantic River. There is a popular paddling route beginning where the Skungamaug River enters the Hop River just north of the Hendee Road bridge and ending at the Willimantic River. Most of this route consists of quick-water, but a few Class I and Class II whitewater areas exist.

The Hop River State Park Trail crosses the river twice and is parallel to the river for the majority of the river's length.

Little River (Shetucket River tributary)

The Little River is a river that runs through the towns of Hampton, Canterbury, Scotland, and Sprague, Connecticut. It begins at Hampton Reservoir in northern Hampton, CT and snakes its way down into the Shetucket River at the town borders of Norwich, Sprague, and Lisbon, CT

Moosup River

The Moosup River is a river in the U.S. states of Rhode Island and Connecticut. It flows approximately 23.7 miles (38.1 km).

Natchaug River

The Natchaug River is a 17.9-mile-long (28.8 km) river in Windham and Tolland Counties in northeastern Connecticut.

Oxoboxo River

For the census-designated place, see Oxoboxo River, Connecticut.The Oxoboxo River, shown on federal maps as Oxoboxo Brook, is a tributary of the Thames River in New London County, Connecticut. It flows roughly 6 miles (9.7 km) in a southeasterly direction from its source at Oxoboxo Lake to its confluence with the Thames. It has a watershed of 6,768 acres (27.39 km2), 87% of which is in the town of Montville.The Oxoboxo was an important source of water power during English colonial settlement and 19th-century industrial development in Montville. The first sawmill on the river was established in 1653. As of the 1880s, the river supplied power for 15 cotton, woolen, and paper mills. The river's source, Oxoboxo Lake, is a natural lake whose size and elevation have been increased by damming. The earliest dam at Oxoboxo lake was constructed in the 17th century; it has been rebuilt and increased in height several times since, reaching its current elevation in the 1880s.The name was derived from Native American terms for the river and lake. Other historical names for the stream and alternative spellings of "Oxoboxo" include Abscubogset, Absubogsuck, Cochikuack Brook, Cokichiwake, Cokikuak, Cuchickuwock, Okeshoksee, Okseboksce, Oxopaugsuck, Oxyboxy, and Sawmill Brook. Many are transliterations of the feature name in the Mohegan and other Algonquian languages of historical Native American tribes in the area.

Pachaug River

The Pachaug River is a 16.0-mile-long (25.7 km) river arising from the Pachaug State Forest at the Connecticut - Rhode Island border and draining into the Quinebaug River. It is crossed by the Ashland Mill Bridge in Griswold, Connecticut, a bridge which is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Preston, Connecticut

Preston is a town in New London County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 4,726 at the 2010 census. The town includes the villages of Long Society, Preston City, and Poquetanuck.

Quinebaug River

The Quinebaug River is a river in south-central Massachusetts and eastern Connecticut, with watershed extending into western Rhode Island. The name "Quinebaug" comes from the southern New England Native American term, spelled variously Qunnubbâgge, Quinibauge, etc., meaning "long pond", from qunni-, "long", and -paug, "pond". The river is one of the namesake rivers in the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor.

Shetucket River

The Shetucket River is a tributary of the Thames River, 20.4 miles (32.8 km) long, 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.

Uncasville, Connecticut

Uncasville is an area in the town of Montville, Connecticut, United States. It is a village in southeastern Montville, at the mouth of the Oxoboxo River. The name is now applied more generally to all of the east end of Montville, which is the area served by the Uncasville ZIP Code.

In 1994 the federal government officially recognized the Mohegan Indian Tribe of Connecticut, which had historically occupied this area. That year Congress passed the Mohegan Nation (Connecticut) Land Claim Settlement Act. It authorized the United States to take land into trust in northeastern Montville for the Mohegan tribe's use as a reservation. Since gaining a reservation, in 1996 the tribe developed the Mohegan Sun casino resort. It has also built the Mohegan Sun Arena on their land. The Mohegan are one of the Native American peoples of the Algonquian languages family.

Willimantic River

The Willimantic River is a tributary of the Shetucket River, approximately 25 mi (40 km) long in northeastern Connecticut in the New England region of the United States.

It is formed in northern Tolland County, near Stafford Springs by the confluence of Middle River and Furnace Brook. It flows south to the city of Willimantic, where it joins the Natchaug River to form the Shetucket. It's joined by the Hop River on the Coventry, Columbia, and Windham town border.

Yantic River

The Yantic River forms at the confluence of the Deep River, Sherman Brook, and Exeter Brook about 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Colchester, Connecticut. It runs for 14.2 miles (22.9 km) and flows into the Shetucket River in Norwich, forming the Thames River. The Yantic River is a popular whitewater paddling destination with a mix of quickwater and Class I-III whitewater. It passes through the towns of Lebanon, Bozrah, and Norwich.

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