Know Before You Go
Birds, mammals, colorful trees, rare plants, historic buildings, cultural objects - all of these interesting things are found at the refuge. Many refuge units have nature trails, wildlife observation platforms and other visitor improvements too. Special interpretive tours or programs are given throughout the year - especially in summer. Maps of refuge units are available by clicking the link in the sidebar at right.
Visitors to the refuge should dress appropriately for the weather and wear sturdy walking shoes. Some areas, especially those near the marshes and wetlands, can have mosquitoes in summer – so insect repellent is advisable.
Hours and Seasons of Refuge Units
The Salt Meadow Unit in Westbrook, Milford Point Unit in Milford, Great Meadows Unit in Stratford, Chimon Island Unit in Norwalk (West Beach only) and Calf Island Unit in Greenwich are open daily year-round from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.
The Outer Island Unit in Branford and Sheffield Island Unit in Norwalk are open daily from mid-May through mid-September (when docking facility is in place) from 8am to dusk.
The Falkner Island Unit in Guilford is closed to visitation except during the annual open house in September or by issuance of a special use permit from the Refuge Manager.
The Peach and Goose Islands Units in Norwalk are closed to visitation except by issuance of a special use permit from the Refuge Manager.
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Did you know that there is a native cactus in Connecticut? Yes, Opuntia humifusa or the prickly-pear grows in all eastern states except Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Although it is rare and listed as a species of special concern in the state, you can find it on several units of the Stewart B. McKinney NWR.