Yes! You live near a National Wildlife Refuge! It’s a real privilege to be able to walk around a federally protected wildlife habitat. Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of 10 units stretched across 70 miles of Connecticut’s coastline. It was established in 1972 and was originally called Salt Meadow National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge was renamed in 1987 to honor the late U.S. Congressman Stewart B. McKinney, who was instrumental in it’s expansion. The Westbrook unit is called the Salt Meadow and offers about 2 miles of hiking via a couple of gentle terrain loops. There is a pavilion with plenty of reading material and a trail map to get you oriented and informed before you walk. As you venture out, you will find some old structures to explore, travel over grass and rocky trails and through shrubby woodlands to an expansive view of the marsh system for the Menunketesuck River. This river is the backbone of the CT Designated Greenway system called the Menunketesuck-Cockaponset Regional Greenway.
Directions: Follow Route 145 south and under Route 95. Take a left onto Old Clinton Road. You will see a large brown sign welcoming you to the Refuge and follow the access road to a good sized parking lot.
More Information: Maps of the trail system are posted at the trail head and can be viewed from The Refuge’s website.