Return to CT.Gov Home
Department of Energy & Environmental Protection Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
About Us Programs & Services Publications Forms Contact Us DEP Home
 Connecticut Coastal Access GuideExplore the Connecticut Shore 
Coastal Access SiteStewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge-Outer Island
Branford, Connecticut Describe Site  Map Site Printable Version Help
Aerial view of Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge - Outer Island
Aerial view of Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge - Outer Island
In 1995, Elizabeth Hird donated the 5-acre Outer Island Unit, the southernmost island in the Thimble Islands chain, to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  A cooperative partnership has been formed between the Service, the Connecticut State University System, the Community Foundation For Greater New Haven, and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protectionís (DEP) Long Island Sound Fund to provide environmental education and scientific research opportunities for the public, while ensuring the wellbeing of migratory bird species, which utilize the island.  The Friends of Outer Island facilitate visitation by the general public, as well as host special events.  Hours of operation for the general public are weekends from June to the end of September, hosted by the Friends of Outer Island.  A maximum of 30 people can be on the island at one time.  Access will be on a first-to-arrive basis.  The schedule is subject to change without notice due to inclement weather.  The dock is not available for visiting boats; therefore, engine-powered vessels must moor offshore.  Also, there is a small beach that is available for small, paddle-vessel landings.  Kayak rentals are available at Stony Creek for exploring the Thimble Islands.  Furthermore, there is a water taxi service that leaves from Stony Creek and that travels, among other islands in the Thimble Islands chain, to Outer Island.  Educational groups may visit the island by appointment only.  See the Center for Education and Research at the <a href='http://www.ctstateu.edu/ceroi/ceroi.htm'>Outer Island Web site</a> for more information.

More Photos More Photos...
 Location
View interactive map of Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge-Outer Island Outer Island
Branford, Connecticut
 Fees
None
 Directions
From the East: I-95 South to Exit 56, which is the Stony Creek exit. Take a left at the end of the exit ramp onto East Industrial Road and proceed .3 miles. Then turn left onto Leetes Island Road and continue 1.6 miles. At the four-way intersection, continue straight onto Thimble Islands Road and proceed .7 miles. Then bear to the right onto Indian Point Road, where one will readily observe a parking area adjacent to the water, in addition to observing a boat launch ramp and pedestrian ferry service at the end of the wharf area (Town Dock). There is ferry service available from the Stony Creek Town Dock to Outer Island. Pedestrian access is the only form of access available on Outer Island.
address
From the West: I-95 North to Exit 56, which is the Stony Creek exit. At the end of the exit ramp, take a right onto Leetes Island Road and continue for 1.5 miles. At a four-way intersection, continue straight for .7 miles on Thimble Islands Road, followed by bearing right onto Indian Point Road, where one will readily observe a parking area adjacent to the water, in addition to observing a boat launch ramp and pedestrian ferry service at the end of the wharf area (Town Dock). Ferry service is available from Stony Creek Town Dock to Outer Island. Pedestrian access is the only form of access available on Outer Island.
 Parking
None
 Accessibility
A floating dock with a ramp exists on the island for public access, and the dock and ramp, in addition to a paved pathway, allow for wheelchair accessibility to the solar-powered restroom facility. The USFWS is in the process of making continuous public access improvements, including those improvements designed to assist the mobility-impaired.
 Site Contact Information
Website -U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Address -733 Old Clinton Road
 Westbrook, CT 06498-1760
 Facilities
Access PierAccess Pier
Handicapped AccessHandicapped Access
Sanitary Facilities (seasonal)Sanitary Facilities (seasonal)
 Activities
Bird and WildlifeBird and Wildlife
 Environment
IslandIsland
Fronting Long Island SoundFronting Long Island Sound
Rocky ShoreRocky Shore
Tidal WetlandTidal Wetland

Select the Map Site tab above to view an interactive map of this site.
Web site hosted by the
Long Island Sound Resource Center
A Department of Energy & Environmental Protection and University of Connecticut Partnership
Copyright 1998-2013 Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection