The Mattabessett River meanders through floodplain forest and tidal marshes on an 18-mile course through central Connecticut, one of the most densely populated states in the country. The river and tidal basin are teeming with wildlife, including beaver, deer, muskrats, snapping turtles, orsprey and herons. Just to the south is the Connecticut River tidelands, which the Nature Conservancy has designated one of 40 "Last Great Places" in the Western Hemisphere.