The Norwalk Island Water Trail is some of the finest kayaking in the New York Tri-State area. Leaving from the only free launch in the area (in Westport, CT under I-95), you can make a loop up to 12 miles long hopping from island to island. Camping is permitted on some of the islands, and you can take time to visit the historic Sheffield Island Lighthouse.
Click here to find out more and for detailed maps.
PUT-IN: Take Exit 17 on I-95. Go north on Route 136 over the small bridge. Take the first right and look for signs for the put-in on Elaine Rd. The put-in is right under the I-95 bridge over the river. Click here for a map.
ROUTES: I recommend that you head out of Westport Harbor and turn south-west along the string of islands. Those on which you can land on are clearly marked on the chart linked below. As you travel, take care to watch both the wind and tide. There is 4 miles of open water on the far side of the islands and it can get rough if the wind picks up. The tide moves in and out from the East and it can move fast through here.
Check before you land and swim on the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Reserve. Some islands have nesting birds that should not be disturbed during certain parts of the year. Click here for more information. If you do land on the islands, please stay on trails. We are lucky to have them. The nature trail by Sheffield Lighthouse is one of very few hiking trails in a National Wildlife Reserve in the United States. Enjoy the hike. The trail just goes about a quarter mile from the lighthouse, where it divides into two trails. One goes to a viewing platform and the other to a small beach.
Sheffield Island has a historic lighthouse built in 1827. If you land during the summer season, you may choose to pay a $5.00 landing fee in order to tour the building. If you choose not to pay the fee, you must keep your boat below the mean high water mark. If you pay the fee, you may also tour the building.
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Copyright 2005 - by Jacob Tanenbaum. All rights are reserved.