By Maria Giannuzzi

In 1824, a group of prominent Hartford businessmen formed the Connecticut River Company to construct a canal that would bypass the treacherous rapids of Enfield Falls and extend navigation along the Connecticut River. Soon boats were a frequent sight in the village of Windsor Locks, named after the locks of the canal that ran alongside Main Street. Mills also sprang up in the area, utilizing the canal’s water to power their manufacturing operations. Today the canal has taken on a more historical, ecological, and recreational significance. Home to diverse plant and animal species, it is an excellent place to enjoy sweeping views of the Connecticut River and to see the factories that played a big part in the region’s history.

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