Mystic River Rowing is an association of rowers that is hosted by the Mystic Branch of the Ocean Community YMCA, located off Masons Island Road, Mystic, CT on 22 acres of waterfront property known as William’s Beach. Our members include scullers of all ages and skill levels who are interested in rowing locally in southeastern Connecticut on the Mystic River. Some are former collegiate sweep oarsmen and women, others found the sport later in life, while youngsters who aspire to row in high school and college find sculling the perfect preparation.
The YMCA offers boat storage for single or double shells, and a sandy, riverside beach for wade-in launches and freshwater wash-down facilities. Inside the Y are locker room facilities, weights and Concept 2 ergometers. Our usual 7 mile round trip course stretching from Y’s beach to the head of the river in Old Mystic and back takes us through a scenic, no-wake zone of the river, past the Mystic Seaport museum harbor and many stately homes. The early morning sculler rarely encounters a power boat but is likely to see osprey, kingfishers, loons, duck, geese, egrets, bitterns and heron. For experienced scullers familiar with the weather, waters and tides, a favorite row circumnavigates Masons Island past the monastery on Enders Island, west into Noank harbor and back up the Mystic River to William’s Beach.
Sculling lessons are offered at the YMCA twice a summer, using stable recreational shells, and sweeps programs are available to middle schoolers in August and September. The YMCA has a limited number of recreational and racing singles and oars that may be lent to scullers who gain proficiency but do not yet own their own equipment. Vacationing visitors to the area who are already proficient scullers may also contact the group to borrow equipment and arrange for short-term river access.
All of our training and shared equipment has been donated by private individuals who want to encourage the growth of rowing in southeastern Connecticut and neighboring Rhode Island. If you own a sculling boat in good repair that is not getting the use it deserves, please consider a tax-deductible donation to the Mystic Branch YMCA.
Please join us on the Mystic River!