U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Stewart B. McKinney
National Wildlife Refuge


733 Old Clinton Road
Westbrook, CT   06498
E-mail: fw5rw_sbmnwr@fws.gov
Phone Number: 860-399-2513
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
http://www.fws.gov/refuge/stewart_b_mckinney/
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  Recreation and Education Opportunities

Environmental Education
The refuge and its partners offer a variety of structured educational programs for individuals, schools and professional groups.

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Fishing
There is no crabbing, fishing, or boating access from the refuge. However, Gatchen Creek and Menunketesuck River adjacent to the refuge, provide good areas for crabbing and kayaking. These areas may be accessed from the public boat launch on Rt 145 in Westbrook.

Hunting
A waterfowl hunting program began in 2005 on 165 acres of the Great Meadows Unit. Waterfowl hunting is allowed in designed areas of this unit and requires a permit from the Refuge. There is no hunting on any other part of the refuge. Retrieval from refuge property is not allowed. Please contact the refuge for updates and further details.

Interpretation
Sheffield Island Unit An accessible self guided Island Ethics trail is available on Sheffield Island Unit. This trail explores the history of the island and the importance of island habitats. A tour of the island's historic lighthouse, owned and managed by Norwalk Seaport Association, is available to visitors. A ferry to the island leaves from the Seaport Dock from May through September. For more information on ferry availability, please visit the Norwalk Seaport Association website.

Great Meadows Unit A self guided trail at Great Meadows Unit is expected to be completed in the future (currently closed; not completed as of February, 2007). This trail will be fully accessible and even include voice recordings to increase the trails enjoyment by the visually disabled.

Outer Island Unit The island is open to the public on summer weekends (weather permitting) from July 4 through Labor Day from approximately 10 am to 3pm, provided the a docent from the Friends of Outer Island is staffed on the island. These island docents help to explain the fragile nature of Connecticut's islands. Public visitation is only allowed when the island is staffed. For more information, please write to the Friends of Outer Island at PO Box 305 Branford, CT. For more information on the summer docent schedule visit the Friends of Outer Island website.

Outer Island Unit is also open to public visitation during on open house event. Refuge staff, professors from Connecticut State University, and Friends of Outer Island volunteers, lead tours around the island and explain the island's unique history and ecology.

Falkner Island Unit One weekend each September, Falkner Island Unit is open to public visitation during the annual open house. This open house includes tours of the island's historic lighthouse, the research camp, and interpretation of the island's research activities. The refuge, US Coast Guard, and the Falkner Light Brigade team up to provide historical and biological interpretation during the event. For more information on this year's open house, please contact the refuge.

Wildlife Observation
The Stewart B. McKinney NWR provides many opportunities for photography and wildlife observation.

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Hours
Salt Meadow Unit Trails are open one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset (year round) Menunketesuck Island is generally closed to the public from April through September to provide bird breeding habitat.

Sheffield Island Unit Trail is open from May through September. One half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset.

Outer Island Unit The island is open to the public on summer weekends (weather permitting) from July 4 through Labor Day from approximately 10 am to 3pm, provided the a docent from the Friends of Outer Island is present on the island. Public visitation is only allowed when the island is staffed. For more information on the summer docent schedule visit the Friends of Outer Island website. For more information contact the refuge headquarters.

Falkner Island Unit is closed to public visitation except during the annual open house. For more information contact the refuge.

Chimon Island Unit sections of the west beach are temporarily open one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset. All interior portions of the island are closed to visitation.

Peach Island and Goose Island Units currently closed to public visitation.

Milford Point Unit overlook is open from one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset.

Great Meadows Unit is closed to public visitation until the trail is completed. Waterfowl hunting is allowed in designed areas of this unit at certain times of the year and requires a permit from the Refuge. For more information, please contact the refuge.

Calf Island Unit is open one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset (year round).

Entrance Fees
No entrance fees are charged by the refuge at this time.

 
 
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