If you told me a year ago that I would be tubing down a rocky river in Central Connecticut, I would have politely replied something along the lines of “… I think you mean laying out in Laguna Beach.” Who would have guessed that I would decide to go tubing down the Farmington River?

This week’s Secret of SoCal is Farmington River Tubing.

Farmington River Tubing, located at 92 Main Street in New Hartford, is the perfect summer afternoon activity. When I pulled into the dirt parking lot off the side of the highway, I was surprised at how many other people had the same idea as us! It cost $20 to rent the tube and you could only pay in cash. After I paid, I grabbed my tube, strapped on my life jacket, and headed toward the river! I highly recommend leaving anything valuable in your car or at home- the current got bumpy at certain parts.

As I approached the river bank, an employee gave me a brief safety presentation. When initially sitting in the tube,  I noticed the water was a little chilly, but I am used to the Pacific Ocean so it didn’t really bother me. After about three minutes of floating down the river, the first of three sets of rapids hit. Needless to say, my beach bum skill set didn’t prepare me for the rapids that my friends glided over with ease. The group of eight individual tubes soon became two or three groups of multiple tubes; we linked the tubes together using tshirts, making the experience exponentially more fun.

The water levels were a bit low, causing me to bump into rocks when tubing through shallow parts of the river- next time I am definitely wearing shorts instead of bathing suit bottoms. We reached a red tube, hanging from a tree, signaling us to exit the river and hop on a bus that took us back to the parking lot. The entire 2.5 mile trip was supposed to take 1.5-2 hours, but my group took almost 3 hours….I attribute the extra time to having more fun.

Tubing in the Farmington River was definitely one of my favorite experiences I’ve had this summer. Not only did I see baby otters scuttle along the the river bank, but I also had the most unique summer adventure with some great friends. Grab your swimsuit, put on bug spray and sunscreen, wear some water shoes, and head to Farmington River Tubing to enjoy Central Connecticut at its finest. Check back next week for another Secret of SoCal.

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