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Hiking Barn Island, Stonington, Connecticut
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
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
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.
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
Wild Flowers at Barn Island in JuneClick thumbnail to view full-size
Barn Island Wildlife Management Area, Stonington, Connecticut
Barn Island Wildlife Management is located at the end of Palmer Neck Road, which runs off of Route 1
© 2012 Ellen Gregory