Location: Norwalk, CT
Anchor Site(s): Calf Pasture Beach and Veterans Memorial Park
About the Site: Veterans Memorial Park is a 35-acre expanse with a marina and boat launch open to the public for a small usage fee. Its playgrounds, bike and jogging paths, basketball courts, and baseball fields overlook scenic Norwalk Harbor and are open from dawn until dusk year-round. Calf Pasture Beach is the area’s most popular recreational area. Its large sandy beach allows visitors to swim under a lifeguard’s supervision, go fishing off the pier, and view clusters of the Norwalk Islands from the shore. Its facilities include courts for sand volleyball and bocce, skate park, baseball diamonds, small boat ramp (car-top launches only), playground, and a food concess each summer.
- Head to Calf Pasture Beach to enjoy lifeguarded swimming, picnicking, birdwatching, fishing, a food concession during the summer, and a large kid-approved playground.
- Use the marina and boat launch site at Veterans Memorial Park.
- Bike or jog along paths that overlook Norwalk Harbor.
- Norwalk River Watershed Association
The Norwalk River Watershed Association (NRWA) website provides a trove of historical and current informaton on the Norwalk area. It features an up-to-date events calendar, volunteer information, and a vast collection of freely available publications that are both practical and ecologically insightful. Canoers and kayakers can use the photo atlas map to get acquainted with points along the Norwalk River, while anyone with a general interest in the Norwalk Islands can browse hundreds of links by focus and type.
- “Kayaking in and Around Norwalk Islands” David Park, 2009.
This practical and photographic guide, written by local resident and NRWA board member David Park, is complete with advice on launching, navigating, and camping the various Norwalk Islands. It can be purchased directly from the NRWA website, and 40 percent of proceeds from each sale go towards protection of the Norwalk watershed.
- Chimon and Sheffield islands, managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, are designated as a Stewardship area for their ecological importance. The Sheffield Island lighthouse is open to the public, and is accessible by ferry.
- The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk makes for an exciting and educational family excursion. From 34 exhibits journeying through the rich habitats of the Long Island Sound to close encounters with animals like sharks and seals, the aquarium has long been a popular attraction. Even come at night to view Hollywood blockbusters in its IMAX theatre.
- Adjacent to Veterans Park, but far less accessible, Canfield Island Cove is a 109-acre marsh area supports rich biodiversity.In recent decades it has lost significant amounts of high marsh and aquatic beds to climate change-induced rise in sea level.
- Norwalk Sailing School has sailboat and kayak rentals available at Calf Pasture Beach.
- Beach passes are free for all Norwalk residents.
- The City of Norwalk maintains docks for visitors to use for a small fee; check out the visitors’ dock web page for hours, rates, and details.
- Shellfishing is regulated and requires a permit; reference the Norwalk Shellfish Commission’s rules and regulations to know how to harvest appropriately.
- Long Beach hummock, a small body of sand that almost disappears during high tide, can be dangerous to boaters unfamiliar with the area.
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