Chester - Hadlyme Ferry

Celebrating 75 Years of Operation

Weather conditions, water levels, or mechanical issues can sometimes impact the operation of the ferry. Check CTroads for any closures before your trip.

2024 Season - April 1 to November 30


  • Monday to Friday:  7:00 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.
  • Saturday to Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Closed Thanksgiving Day


  • $5.00 per vehicle weekdays (car, SUV, truck, motorcycle or similar)
  • $6.00 per vehicle weekends
  • $3.00 Commuter Rate - (Requires pre-purchased commuter coupons priced at a book of 20 for $60.00)
  • $2.00 walk on rate for pedestrians and bicyclist all days


  • In Hadlyme from the East side of the Connecticut River: Take Route 148 off of Route 82 and follow signs to Ferry Landing.
  • In Chester from the West side of the Connecticut River: Take Route 9 (North or South) to exit 6 (Route 148) and follow signs to Ferry Landing.


For tourism information see CTvisit.


For additional information about ferry service or traveling through Connecticut visit Traveling in Connecticut.


Connecticut Department of Transportation
Bureau of Public Transportation
Ferry Operations at


Master Captain
John Kennedy


Ferry Administrator
Gregory Tower


(Click here to see full sized graphic)


Fun Facts about the Selden III: 
  • The Selden III was commissioned by the State of Connecticut in 1941, but due to shortage of steel due to World War II, was not built and launched until 1949. The ferry did not begin operating on its current route until the Spring of 1950. The delay was caused by the slips and gantries not being completed. 
  • Selden III was designed by naval architect Winthrop Loring "Wink" Warner and built for $109,000 at the Luders Shipyard in Stamford, CT. 
  • Selden III is 87 gross tons, 64' 8" in length, 30' wide, has a draft of 7', and can carry 8-9 cars and up to 49 passengers at a time. 
  • Selden III is a double-ended ferry, which means there is a diesel engine, propeller and rudder on both ends of the boat, so it can go back and forth without turning around. 
  • Approximately 12-14 gallons of paint are applied to dress the boat each year. A gallon of paint weighs approximately 10 pounds, which means that over the vessels 75 years of operation, approximately 9,750 pounds of paint, or 5 tons of paint have been applied to the boat. 
Fun Facts about the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry
  • Route started by Jonathan Warner in 1769. Known as Warner's Ferry through 1877, when the towns of Chester and Lyme took it over. Officially became known as Chester-Hadlyme Ferry in 1882. The State Highway Department took over the remaining Connecticut River ferries—Chester-HadlymeRocky Hill-Glastonbury and Bissell's ferries—in 1917. (Bissell's ferry was shut down in 1925 due to very low use.) 
  • There have been various means of crossing the river at the Chester-Hadlyme location over the years: 
  • Poled barges 
    • Sail-powered barges 
    • Horse-powered barges (two horses powering treadmills that turned small sidewheels) 
    • Steam-powered sidewheelers (three, in sequence: Emily A. Wright, Middlesex, and Cheslyme) 
    • Gas-powered tug and barges (tugs in sequence: Selden, Pattaconk, and Selden II) 
    • And the current diesel-powered Selden III. 
  • The Chester-Hadlyme ferry is a great way to get to Gillette Castle State Park, located on the hill just above it on the Hadlyme side. 


slide of chester hadlyme ferry boat



The Chester - Hadlyme Ferry, which began service in 1769, was orginally operated by Jonathan Warner who owned the land on both sides of the Connecticut River.  Warner's Ferry, as it was called back then, connected King's Highway in Fort Hill, Parish of Chester to Norwich Road in Lyme.  The ferry was often used throughout the Revolutionary War to transport needed supplies across the river.

The Original ferry was pushed across the river using long poles. A steam-powered barge began to serve the ferry crossing in 1879. The ferry was named the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry in 1882 while it was operated by the Town of Chester.

In 1917, the ferry was turned over to Connecticut Department of Transportation.  The present ferry, the Selden III,was built in 1949. It is an open, self-propelled craft, 65 feet long and 30 feet wide.  The vessel can accommodate 8 to 9 cars and 49 passengers.  The Selden III provides a convenient, direct link between Chester and Hadlyme at Route 148. 

The 65-foot-long diesel-run ferry is a quaint wonder and a convenience for business and pleasure conducted across the river. For tourists, attractions include Gillette’s Castle in Hadlyme on the east side, and, on the west side of the river, the Essex Steam Train. The ferry ride is actually a continuation of scenic Route 148, from Chester to Hadlyme. Traveling east it’s a real distance-saver to take the ferry when driving from Chester to Lyme: it’s 20.3 miles overland via the East Haddam bridge, but only 8.3 miles via the ferry and then some.