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10. Paddling Trail

This spectacular 7.3 mile paddling tour  on Long Island Sound will introduce you to the wildlife and natural beauty of the Connecticut coast.  Abundant wildlife, shoreline birds, seals, lighthouses and islands to explore make this tour rewarding.  Don't forget your camera and your binoculars.

Put In Point: Calf Pasture Beach

Directions: I-95 N to exit 16 (toward E. Norwalk, CT). R onto East Ave. In .4 mi., L onto Cemetery St. In 500 ft., R onto Gregory Blvd. In .5 mi., L around monument, then R onto Calf Pasture Beach Rd. Go .6 mi. to parking area (follow signs to Calf Pasture Beach).

On the Water

Paddle south from the launch on Calf Pasture beach, bear right at Betts Island (privately owned) then head southwest.  Steer around the west coast of Chimon Island, a national wildlife refuge and home to many shorebirds.

As you make your way around Chimon Island, listen carefully for nasal croaks and soft grunts of the long-legged glossy ibis that frequent this island.

Soon you will pass Shea Island's rocky shoreline.

Paddling in a southwesterly direction the next island you will see is Sheffield Island.  Take time to stretch your legs and explore the lighthouse and hike along a trail in the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge to a platform that gives you a birds eye view of the wildlife that makes this island their home.

Continuing on travel south from the tip of Sheffield Island and swing northeast passing The Plains Island, here there is a short portage across a narrow section of land (approximately 2 ft at high tide- more at low tide. Or you can paddle east, then north around Copps Island, adding .5 mi. to trip.

Continue in a northerly direction skirting the western edge of Grassy Island; where you may want to pull off for a rest on its sheltered, sandy shoreline and take time to explore the delights of this island.

Leaving Grassy Island, head around the eastern edge of Betts Island, then paddle north/northwest back to the boat launch where this tour began.