Wildlife viewing is encouraged in nearly every part of the McKinney Refuge. Trails and wildlife observation platforms at the Salt Meadow Unit in Westbrook and Great Meadows Unit in Stratford offer views of some of the only large coastal wetlands remaining in Connecticut. These units are designated Important Bird Areas and contain a wide variety of songbirds, waterfowl, and long-legged waders like herons and egrets. Mammals, reptiles and other wildlife are also abundant there. The forest, meadow and marsh habitat is beautiful at any time of year.
The Milford Point Unit is located adjacent to a large state wildlife area and Connecticut Audubon's Coastal Center, with the whole area offering amazing wildlife viewing opportunities year-round.
Island units such as Chimon and Sheffield in Norwalk, Calf Island in Greenwich, and Outer Island in Branford offer good opportunities to see shorebirds and seabirds, unique plants, as well as crustaceans and other aquatic species.
Visitors must remain on established trails, at viewing platforms and other open areas of the refuge. Going off trail into forest, marsh or other habitats is prohibited.