Bluff Point State Park and Coastal Reserve

The promontory at the crest of the main trail affords scenic views of the rocky beach and Fishers Island Sound.
The promontory at the crest of the main trail affords scenic views of the rocky beach and Fishers Island Sound. Judy Benson/The Day

Bluff Point State Park and Coastal Reserve

Town: Groton

Directions: Take Interstate 95 to Exit 88. From northbound I-95, turn right onto Route 117 South; from southbound I-95, turn left onto Route 117 South. Turn right at the end onto Route 1 South. Take a left at the first light onto Depot Road. Park entrance is at the end of the road.

Where to Park: There is ample parking in dirt lot at trailhead.

Description: Bluff Point encompasses 800 acres of coastal forest, salt marsh, rocky shoreline and tidal areas on Long Island Sound with about four miles of marked trails. Saltwater fishing and shellfishing with a permit is also allowed.

Regulations: No motorized vehicles; dogs on leashes permitted.

Amenities: Restrooms near trailheads and at the point. Picnic tables located near the entrance. Bushy Point Beach is accessible on foot, about one mile from the beginning of the trail. Swimming is at own risk, since it is not manned by a lifeguard. There is also a boat launch. A historic site, the foundation of the Winthrop House, is located at a marked site off the main trail.

Natural Features: The main trail leads to a rocky promontory with scenic views of Fishers Island Sound. Bushy Point beach has nesting areas for piping plovers, terns and oystercatchers that are roped off in the spring and summer.

Fees: Free.

Things to note: Trail on eastern side of park connects with Haley Farm State Park. Groton-New London Airport can be seen from the western side. Park is a popular spot for runners and mountain bikers.

Owned by: State Department of Environmental Protection

More information: http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&;q=325178&depNav_GID=1650

Moss covers a decaying tree trunk along one of the trails at Bluff Point.
Moss covers a decaying tree trunk along one of the trails at Bluff Point. Jenna Cho/The Day
A view of the Poquonnock River near the parking lot at Bluff Point. The park is a popular school trip destination, and school buses are as frequent a sight in the parking lot as are horse trailers.
A view of the Poquonnock River near the parking lot at Bluff Point. The park is a popular school trip destination, and school buses are as frequent a sight in the parking lot as are horse trailers. Jenna Cho/The Day
The main trail starts along a tidal area of the Poquonnock River, then goes through hardwood forest.
The main trail starts along a tidal area of the Poquonnock River, then goes through hardwood forest. Judy Benson/The Day
The trail passes by salt marshes.
The trail passes by salt marshes. Judy Benson/The Day
Queen Anne's Lace blooms beside the trail.
Queen Anne's Lace blooms beside the trail. Judy Benson/The Day
Wild raspberries ripen in late July.
Wild raspberries ripen in late July. Judy Benson/The Day
Seaweed swirls in the surf at one of the rocky beaches at the park.
Seaweed swirls in the surf at one of the rocky beaches at the park. Judy Benson/The Day
The promontory at the crest of the main trail affords scenic views of the rocky beach and Fishers Island Sound.
The promontory at the crest of the main trail affords scenic views of the rocky beach and Fishers Island Sound. Judy Benson/The Day
Oystercatchers can be seen On the south side of Bushy Point Beach.
Oystercatchers can be seen On the south side of Bushy Point Beach. Judy Benson/The Day
The promontory at the crest of the main trail affords scenic views of the rocky beach and Fishers Island Sound.
The promontory at the crest of the main trail affords scenic views of the rocky beach and Fishers Island Sound. Judy Benson/The Day
Spring at Bluff Point.
Spring at Bluff Point. Jenna Cho/The Day
Ice and snow cover the Poquonnock River at Bluff Point.
Ice and snow cover the Poquonnock River at Bluff Point. Jenna Cho/The Day

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