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Lake Champlain, VT

Connecticut's Southwestern Lighthouses
Greenwich to Norwalk

Sheffield Island light

Heading Eastward Through Greenwich,
Stamford, and Norwalk

Connecticut’s rocky shoreline and its many treacherous ledges and islands in Long Island Sound, constantly kept mariners on the alert, claiming the lives of many during New England’s fierce storms. Lighthouses were built to help the increasing shipping traffic and local mariners during these storms, many on those dangerous islands and ledges. Some of the lighthouses built in the southwestern area of Connecticut were built on some of these dangerous rock islands or ledges to guide traffic into the busy harbors of Norwalk and Stamford around Long Island Sound.

 

Connecticut's Southwestern Region
Lighthouses You Can Hike To

Note: Both Great Captain Island and Sheffield Island lights need access by ferries, then you can hike to each lighthouse. Some lighthouses mentioned below, that you can drive to, can also be viewed from various boat tours offered.

Click any lighthouse image or link below to find out information about each lighthouse, including historical stories, directions, tours, photos, and nearby attractions.

great captain island lighthouse

Great Captain Island Light

sheffield island lighthouse

Sheffield Island Light

 

 

 

Connecticut's Southwestern Lighthouses:
Best Viewed by Boat

Driving directions are also provided for getting distant views of Greens Ledge and Stamford Harbor lighthouses. Of Connecticut's twenty lighthouses, fifteen lighthouses are best viewed closely by boat, or need a boat or ferry to access the island the lighthouse is on. Only five lighthouses are easily accessible on the mainland by car.

Click any lighthouse image or link below to find out information about each lighthouse, including historical stories, directions, tours, photos, and nearby attractions.

stamford harbor lighthouse

Stamford Harbor Light

pecks ledge lighthouse

Pecks Ledge Light

toptop

 

Places to Visit Nearby (heading eastward):
Connecticut's Southwestern Region

Greenwich hosts many summer concerts.

It's a short hike to Great Captain Island lighthouse, after being dropped off by the Greenwich Parks Ferry which leaves daily during the summer months. stone architecture of reat Captain Island light

There are no amenities on this island except for a water bubbler and half of the island is part of a wildlife sanctuary for nesting birds, mostly white egrets.

Stamford is rich in history at its South-End district with plenty of picturesque beaches and parks and special Stamford Museum and Nature Center.

The Norwalk Seaport Association provides a daily ferry to Sheffield Island to tour the lighthouse and for picnicking on the grounds.

In the summer there are also weekly clambakes on the island. Sheffield Island light

Both Great Captain Island Lighthouse and Sheffield Island Lighthouse have unique architectural designs of stone that made these beacons part of a group of lighthouses known as the "Castles in the Sound" in the region. This expensive stone construction helped these beacons to weather the constant New England storms.

The island contains a scenic nature trail as part of the Stewart B. McKinney Wildlife Refuge. In early September, enjoy the annual "Oyster Festival" on the island.

Norwalk promotes many cultural events in the arts and music, and has its share of special museums, like the Norwalk Museum, and the Stepping Stones Museum nearby for children. The SONO Switch Tower Museum displays mechanisms used for switching trains and train tracks, and you'll enjoy the Maritime Aquarium to view plenty of aquatic exhibits.

The Norwalk State Heritage Park is a scenic urban waterfront area in the city surrounding the Norwalk River.

lockwood mansion

Visit the Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum, built just after the Civil War.

 

Boat Tours and Ferries:
Connecticut's Southwestern Region

Boat cruises mentioned below offer many types of cruises. While some may offer specific lighthouse cruises, some will pass by specific lighthouses as part of charters, narrated wildlife and historic tours, ferrying passengers, fishing tours and other types of excursions.

Greenwich Parks Ferry
Provides access to Great Captain Island lighthouse and the surrounding grounds from the ferry dock.
Arch Street
Greenwich, CT
Phine: (203) 618-7672
Email: gnpnr@greenwichct.org

Lighthouse: Great Captain Island Light

 

Norwalk Seaport Association
Provides ferry access to Sheffield Island from Norwalk and tours of Sheffield Island Lighthouse. Also provides special Norwalk Harbor cruises to view Pecks Ledge Light and Greens Ledge Light, and view Sheffield Island Light from the boat during the summer. Other events include clambakes!  

4 North Water St.
Norwalk, CT 06854
Phone: (203) 838-9444

Lighthouse: Sheffield Island Light, Pecks Ledge Light, and Greens Ledge Light

 

Maritime Aquarium
In addition to marine life study, seals, birding, and TGIF cruises, they offer a 3-hour Greens Ledge Lighthouse Tour, aboard their research vessel the Spirit of the Sound. It is the first vessel in the nation with quiet hybrid-electric propulsion. To celebrate National Lighthouse Day in early August, they have a 2.5 hour cruise around the Norwalk Islands to view Norwalk’s three lighthouses.

10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT 06854
Phone: (203) 852-0700

Lighthouses: Pecks Ledge Light, Greens Ledge Light and Sheffield Island Light

 

 

New Book Just Published Summer 2023!

The Rise and Demise of the Largest Sailing Ships:
Stories of the Six and Seven-Masted
Coal Schooners of New England

book of the rise and demise of the largest sailing ships

To order a signed paperback copy:

Available from bookstores in paperback, hardcover, and as an eBook for all devices.

my ebook on apple books

In the early 1900s, New England shipbuilders constructed the world’s largest sailing ships amid social and political reforms. These giants of sail were the ten original six-masted coal schooners and one colossal seven-masted vessel, built to carry massive quantities of coal and building supplies, and measured longer than a football field!

This book, balanced with plenty of color and vintage images, showcases the historical accounts that followed these mighty ships. These true stories include competitions, accidents, battling destructive storms, acts of heroism, and their final voyages.

Click for larger video here.

 

 

   

 

My book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, provides lots of special human interest stories from each of the 92 lighthouses, along with plenty of additional indoor and outdoor coastal attractions and tours in the area, with contact info to plan your trip.

Look inside!

book about lighthouses in southern New England

 

 

 

 

New England Lighthouses: Famous Shipwrecks, Rescues & Other Tales

This image-rich book contains over 50 stories of famous shipwrecks and rescues around New England lighthouses, and also tales of hauntings that occurred.

There is a story about the fire that engulfed the steamship Lexington near Sheffield Island Light.

You'll find this book and my lighthouse tourism books from the publisher Schiffer Books, or in many fine bookstores like Barnes and Noble.

 

 

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