There are tremendous opportunities to boat or paddle at the refuge. Paddling along Westbrook's Menunketesuck River in summer provides great views of the Salt Meadow Unit and marsh birds like egrets, ibises, willets and herons. In fall the paddle is absolutely beautiful, and it allows visitors to see foliage in every shade of red, orange yellow and brown. There is a small boat launch at Kirtland Landing on Rt. 145 in Westbrook that is open to the public without charge.
Kayaks and small motorboats may access refuge units such as Outer Island and Sheffield Island (fee to dock) very easily, as good docking facilities are available there during the summer. On refuge units where there are currently no docks, such as Chimon Island and Calf Island, kayakers may pull up to the open beaches and explore the refuge from there. Motorboats may also be anchored offshore in designated areas. Visitors should be sure to obey "no landing" signs.