There are several small-craft facilities just below the bridge at Essex.
The river is navigable for small craft to the town of Essex, about 5 miles above the entrance. Local fishermen and numerous pleasure craft use the river.
The entrance is marked by a seasonal lighted bell buoy, and the bay channel is marked from the bar to about 2 miles above the entrance by a daybeacon and seasonal buoys. The bay channel is subject to continual change, and the buoys marking it are not charted because they are frequently shifted. Above Conomo Point, the town of Essex maintains seasonal midchannel spar buoys. The channel is narrow and difficult to follow. Mariners should obtain local knowledge before navigating the river.