Hiking Trails in Connecticut Along the Coast

Some might consider the coastal hiking trails in Connecticut more of a stroll than a hike.

Because many of the trails are short and none are physically challenging…

But, if you want to see some unique birds, wildlife, and intriguing landscape, it’s well worth the trip. Maybe an ocean breeze to keep you cool in steamy August. 

Sound appealing?

I mean, you can always travel an hour or two to make your hike more of a workout

Let’s take a look at a few Connecticut coastal trails…

1. Shoreline Greenway Trail

Heads Up… This is a mammoth ongoing project of completing a 25-mile nature trail along the Connecticut coast between Hammonasset Beach State Park and Lighthouse Beach. (The first mile completed May 2017.)

2. Farm River State Park

The most recent 1/3 mile addition to the Shoreline Greenway Trail starts at this park.

Until recently, Farm River was described as not well kept with signs that were confusing. At least part of that has changed.

It’s about 2 miles of easily walked trails. But it’s diverse covering the forest, salt marsh, and tidal mud flats.

3. Quinnipiac University Trail

A self-guided nature trail prepared by the students. Teaming with wildlife especially at low-tide where 100’s of fiddler crabs scurry about the mud flats.

There’s roughly 1 hour of trails. With many interesting small trails either side of the marsh.

In spring and summer, you might even see some Osprey chicks as there are a couple of nests on the grounds. (Being listed as least concern for endangered, which is under debate.)

4. Connecticut Audubon Society Coastal Center at Milford Point

With longer coastal hiking trails in Connecticut, this one gets a thumbs up…

Seven sanctuaries devoted to preserving habitats and wildlife covering over 600 acres.  

  • Main – Hike through hardwood forests, old fields, lake, streams, and vernal pools. 7 miles of trails – Open year around.
  • Wildflower – Late spring and early summer you’ll find it a birding hot spot. 8 miles of trails.
  • Onieda – The smallest sanctuary (400) dedicated to the rare saltwater marsh eco-system where nesting birds have a safe haven.
  • Plus four more.

5. Rocky Neck State Park

A perfect compromise for the family member, or beginner who may not share your joy of hiking yet… Features clear water, sandy white stone-free beaches for swimming.  Plus campground conveniences.

710 acres of park with trails through scenic salt-marsh scattered throughout.

Also, abundant wildlife that changes with the seasons.

Birds like the Osprey visit early summer. Fishermen in search of striped bass, mackerel, blackfish or flounder should check the seasonal charts.

5. Bluff Point State Park, Groton.

Last but not least… Can’t leave the Connecticut coastline without hiking to a bluff where nature is still relatively untouched…

You’ll overlook a mile long crescent shaped beach below. About a 5 mile walk in all.

And yes, plenty of birds and wildlife.

There’s plenty of hiking trails in Connecticut…

With over 800 miles of maintained trails statewide, you could hike the state for months!

If you’ve been fortunate enough to visit the new Shoreline Greenway Trail, please share your opinion with us in the comments below…

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