Chaffinch Island and Grass Island

shoreline explorations in Guilford, CT

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Chaffinch Island

This is a lovely little park to explore! There are no official trails, just marshy, rocky shoreline to explore. Like any coastal adventure, there is more land to enjoy if you go at or near low tide. You can check the low tide times HERE.


This is a great spot for watching wildlife (we have seen osprey, bald eagles, and hundreds and hundreds of little crabs!), rock hopping, tossing pebbles into the water, and exploring. Part of the park also includes a small grassy meadow with picnic tables. There is not really any sandy beach, and at low tide the marsh mud can be very slippery - sneakers or boots are going to be better than sandals for this adventure.


This is a small park and we have never seen it be busy. We typically spend about an hour here. Your GPS should take you right to it!

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Grass Island

Grass Island is a 20 minute drive from Chaffinch Island and is an entirely different adventure! Your destination is the Grass Island Shack, a historic structure that offers shelter and a scenic hang-out spot at the end of a beach walk. Information on the history and preservation of the shack is HERE.


If you put Grass Island into your GPS it should take you to the Boat Launch at the end of Neck Road in Guilford. Follow the signs for the boat launch - you'll eventually turn right onto a wide gravel road that seems to be taking you out into the middle of the surrounding marsh. The parking lot at the end is the boat launch. Parking here is free and public. Looking across the water from the parking lot, look left and you will see the red shack on the beach. That is your destination, but you need to trek about a mile to get to it.


From the boat launch,. walk back down the gravel road the way you came. As you exit the gravel road, turn right onto the paved, dead end residential street. Walk a short way down to the dead end of this road and enter the beach. You'll walk along the beach until you reach the red shack!