Housatonic River Reach 20

Last Updated: 4/2018
Lake Zoar
Shepaug Dam to Stevenson Dam


Lake Zoar

       The lake was created by flooding an area named "Pleasantvale" or "Pleasant Vale", which had been part of Oxford and Stevenson.


Skill Level:          Class 1 (wind can be a factor some days)
Estimated Time:   3.5 hours
Distance:            10.5 miles
Max Depth:         64  feet
Shore Length:  miles
Area: 1,547 to 1,900 acres (depending on level behind dam)
USGS Maps: Newtown, CT, Southbury, CT

Bathymetry Maps North to South:​​

Lake Zoar North
[1] Shepaug Dam Portage - Mile 30.7 to 30.3
Take-Out Position: 41-27.01 N 73-17.75 W
Put-In       Position: 41-26.97 N 73-17.43 W
Nearest Address: 
 2120 R Road No 1, Southbury, CT 06488

       Total distances 0.33 miles.  Take out at the boat ramp located next to the dam on river left.  Follow the paved road down the hill to the main road.  Cross onto the grass and put in to the river at the concrete boat launch.

Lake Zoar South
Lake Zoar Authority 
        The Lake Zoar Authority is a multi-town organization consisting of representatives from the four towns that border the lake namely, Monroe, Newtown, Oxford, and Southbury. The Lake Zoar Authority is tasked with the goals of improving water quality and promoting safe boating on the lake.
Learn more and get the latest news by clicking below:
[3] Kettletown State Park Beach - Mile 24.2
Position: 41-25.48 N 73-12.41 W
Boat Launch:
Car top launch near the beach.
Nearest Address: 
1444 Georges Hill Road, Southbury, CT 06488
Look for State Park Entrance.
Unload your car top boat here and then park.
The beach is next to the grassy launch area.
[2] Lake Zoar State Boat Ramp - Mile 25.9
Position: 41-25.66 N 73-14.17 W
Boat Launch:
The state boat launch offers direct access to Lake Zoar. Parking for cars & trailers is available.
Nearest Address: 
211 Scout Road, Southbury, CT 06488
Excellent boat ramp with a very large parking area.​​
The launch dock makes it easy to embark and debark boats.
Pagussett State Park
       Paugussett State Forest is a Connecticut state forest with two separate sections located on impoundments of the Housatonic River in the town of Newtown. The forest's Upper Block encompasses approximately 800 acres on the western shore of Lake Lillinonah. It offers boating access to the river and hiking on the blue-blazed Lillinonah Trail. The forest's Lower Block encompasses approximately 1,200 acres on the western shore of Lake Zoar and offers hiking on the blue-blazed Zoar Trail.
         For trail maps try the links below:
Upper Trail Map
Lower Trail Map
[4] Stevenson Dam Portage - Mile 20.3 to 20.1
Take-Out Position: 41-22.90 N 41-10.49 W
Take-Out Address: 175 Roosevelt Drive, Monroe, CT 06468
Put-In Position: 41-22.96 N 71-10.13 W
Put-In Address: 240 Roosevelt Drive, Derby, CT 06418
       Total distances 0.35 miles.  Take out at the town paved boat ramp located on a busy paved road.  Follow the paved road to a turn off just before the road crosses the dam. Follow this paved road until is becomes gravel and ends.  Put in where is it easiest.
Follow this portage trail whose entrance is next to a Kios.
Take-Out river right at the Monroe boat ramp.
The last part of the portage is paved down to the river.
Follow the main road toward the dam being careful of traffic.  Cross over and follow this service road below the dam.
The river drops over 40 feet behind this dam.