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Hiking Barn Island, Stonington, Connecticut

Updated on August 17, 2017
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I like to get outdoors and walk, especially if it's a natural beautiful surrounding. I enjoy sharing my favorite spots with others.

View of the Tidal Creek at Barn Island, Stonington, Connecticut
View of the Tidal Creek at Barn Island, Stonington, Connecticut | Source

Hiking in the Barn Island Wildlife Management Area

Barn Island is Connecticut's largest coastal wildlife management area; it is 1,013 acres of varied landscape.

We go here often to either hike or walk. If we want just a short walk we take the path up to the marshlands, where we can bird watch. If we are feeling ambitious, we hike around in a circle that brings us back to the start which is more like a 3 or 4 mile walk.

Throughout the many paths that run through the Barn Island marshlands and woods there are interpretive signs about the terrain, vegetation and wildlife. It's a great spot for birding. We saw several beautiful white egrets as we walked across the marshland.

There are beautiful marsh grasses and wildflowers. I have photographed some of them and put them in a photo gallery for you.


Referring to Barn Island:

"The finest wild coastal area in Connecticut..."

William A. Niering, PhD (1924-1999)

Coastal Conservationist, Connecticut College

Getting to Barn Island

Entrance-to-Barn-Island-Trail
Entrance-to-Barn-Island-Trail | Source

The closest highway exit to Barn Island is Exit 91 off of I-95. Then it's a pleasant drive down treed public roads with beautiful homes.

Parking is free.

The parking lot is located on the water as it is also a boat ramp area with large parking spots to accommodate boat trailers. To get to the walking trail you have to walk away from the water out toward the main road until you see this sign. There is a little roadside parking closer to the trail if you can find a space.

There are no picnic facilities or concessions here.

Dog walking is allowed.

There are seasonal bathroom facilities.

For more information check DEEP (Department of Energy and Environmental Protection) website

Stoney-Path-Barn-Island
Stoney-Path-Barn-Island | Source

Some of the Paths Are Stony

Many of the paths are stony. One needs to watch for protruding rocks to avoid tripping.

My walking companion and I disagree whether this is handicapped accessible or not. I think not. He believes a motorized scooter could travel most of the paths.

Grassy-path-barn-island
Grassy-path-barn-island | Source

Some of the Paths Are Grassy

Some of the paths have tall grasses. This is a wildlife preserve with deer and thus deer ticks.

The deer tick, before it is gorged with blood is only slightly larger than a mite. They are very difficult to see.

Dress appropriately to protect yourself from ticks. Wear light clothes and tuck your pant leg into your socks. Much as I am not a fan of insect repellent, when walking in places such as this, I spray a little on my socks and shoes. It seems to have worked for me so far.

Several Different Views Across the Marsh at Barn Island - Barn Island Is a Great Place to View Waterfowl.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Interpretive signs -- as you look across the marshExample of Interpretive sign
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Interpretive signs -- as you look across the marsh
Interpretive signs -- as you look across the marsh | Source
Example of Interpretive sign
Example of Interpretive sign | Source

Wild Flowers at Barn Island in June

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Butter and Eggs -- Named for the two shades of yellow presentButterfly WeedButterfly Weed -Common Mullein - Grows 6 to 8 feet. Has fuzzy leaves. A long time ago, I read that to end and earache put a few drops of mullein in your ear. Add a little glob of sterile cotton and wait 20 minutes.  It works!Common Yarrow- Easily dried. Just cut and hang upside down in a dry place.Common YarrowOx-Eye DiasyWild RoseWild RoseThistle
Butter and Eggs -- Named for the two shades of yellow present
Butter and Eggs -- Named for the two shades of yellow present | Source
Butterfly Weed
Butterfly Weed | Source
Butterfly Weed -
Butterfly Weed - | Source
Common Mullein - Grows 6 to 8 feet. Has fuzzy leaves. A long time ago, I read that to end and earache put a few drops of mullein in your ear. Add a little glob of sterile cotton and wait 20 minutes.  It works!
Common Mullein - Grows 6 to 8 feet. Has fuzzy leaves. A long time ago, I read that to end and earache put a few drops of mullein in your ear. Add a little glob of sterile cotton and wait 20 minutes. It works! | Source
Common Yarrow- Easily dried. Just cut and hang upside down in a dry place.
Common Yarrow- Easily dried. Just cut and hang upside down in a dry place. | Source
Common Yarrow
Common Yarrow | Source
Ox-Eye Diasy
Ox-Eye Diasy | Source
Wild Rose
Wild Rose | Source
Wild Rose
Wild Rose | Source
Thistle
Thistle | Source

Barn Island Wildlife Management Area, Stonington, Connecticut

A markerPalmer Neck Road, Stonington, CT -
Palmer Neck Road, Pawcatuck, CT 06379, USA
get directions

Barn Island Wildlife Management is located at the end of Palmer Neck Road, which runs off of Route 1

© 2012 Ellen Gregory

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    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Looks like a beautiful place to visit.