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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, see Boat Tours below.

Click any lighthouse image or link below to find out information about each lighthouse including historic snapshots, directions, more photos, and links for places to visit.

great captain island lighthouse

Great Captain Island Light

sheffield island lighthouse

Sheffield Island Light

 

 

 

Connecticut's Southwestern Region Lighthouses:
Best Viewed by Boat

Driving directions are also provided for getting distant views of Greens Ledge and Stamford Harbor lighthouses. Of all of Connecticut's 20 lighthouses, fifteen lighthouses are best viewed closely by boat, or need a boat or ferry to access the island the lighthouse is on, and 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 historic snapshots, directions, more photos, and links for places to visit.

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 during the summer to tour the lighthouse and for picnicking on the grounds. 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.

The Norwalk Seaport Association provides daily tours to Sheffield Island and explore Sheffield Island lighthouse during the summer months, with clambakes on the island on Thursdays. The island is also part of the Stewart B. McKinney Wildlife Refuge.

 

 

Boat Tours:
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
(203) 618-76727
Email: gnpnr@greenwichct.org

Lighthouse: Great Captain Island Light

 

 

Norwalk Seaport Association
Provides ferry access to Sheffield Island from Norwalk.
132 Water St # 3
Norwalk, CT 06854
(203) 838-9444

Lighthouse: Sheffield Island Light

 

 

Maritime Aquarium

In addition to cruises for marine life study, seals, birding, and TGIF cruises, they offer two different Long Island Sound lighthouse cruises in the Spring. The one for Central Long Island Sound, covers Pecks Ledge, Greens Ledge and Sheffield Island lighthouses in Norwalk, Penfield Reef Lighthouse in Fairfield and Stratford Shoal (Middle Ground) Light. The one for Western Long Island Sound covers Greens Ledge, Sheffield Island, Stamford Harbor, and Great Captain Island.

10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT 06854

Lighthouses: Pecks Ledge Light, Greens Ledge Light, Sheffield Island Light, Penfield Reef Light, Stratford Shoal Light, Stamford Harbor Light, and Great Captain Island Light.

 

 

Additional Resources
For All You Connecticut Visitors

Connecticut Attractions

Connecticut Out Of The Way Attractions

50 Things To Do in Connecticut

Visit New England Site

Connecticut Research Resources

Connecticut Museums and Art Galleries

Connecticut State Parks

Connecticut Beaches

 

 

 

 

 

My new 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. I'll be happy to sign it for you here, or you'll find it in any fine bookstore.

Look inside!

book about lighthouses in southern New England

 

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