New England Boating TV: Chester, CT


In this episode of New England Boating TV, co-hosts Parker Kelley and Tom Richardson visit the lovely town of Chester on the lower Connecticut River. Among the highlights are some wild topwater bluefish action near the river mouth with local guide Dixon Merkt, plus a scenic side trip along meandering Selden Creek, where Tom and Parker meet up with local impressionist painter Leif Nilsson. Later, they stop by Chrisholm Marina and visit the bizarre but fascinating Gillette Castle, which overlooks the river opposite Chester.

Big blues with Capt. Dixon Merkt
Big blues with Capt. Dixon Merkt. Photos/New England Boating.

Tom and Parker also sample the flavors of Chester Village, home to numerous shops, galleries, artists’ studios and restaurants, among them the esteemed River Tavern, where Parker interviews chef and owner Jonathan Rapp. Also featured is the delightful Riverwind Inn and a look at Selden Island State Park, where boaters can camp overnight and explore the island’s trails. Overall, there’s a lot to do and see in this deceptively quiet destination that flies below the radar of many boaters.

New England Boating TV, sponsored by GMC and Pursuit Boats and their network of New England dealers. Live on NESN Mondays at 6:30 p.m. and rebroadcast on the following Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

Check out the our Season 2 schedule here.

Mysterious Gillette Castle
Mysterious Gillette Castle.
Painter, Leif Nilsson works on a new painting. Photos/New England Boating.
Leif Nilsson at work in Selden Creek.