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Barn Island Wildlife Management Area

The marshes at Barn Island look out over Little Narragansett Bay and Wequetequock Cove.
The marshes at Barn Island look out over Little Narragansett Bay and Wequetequock Cove. Jenna Cho/The Day

Barn Island Wildlife Management Area

Town: Stonington

Directions: From I-95, take Exit 91 to 234E/Pequot Trail onto North Main St. towards Stonington Borough; right onto Farmholme Road, right onto Route 1 South; first left onto Greenhaven Road; first right onto Palmer Neck Road; road ends at Barn Island.

Where to Park: There are parking spaces for a few cars at entrance to main loop trail; there is also a large paved parking lot at the boat launch.

Description: Barn Island contains more than 1,000 acres of saltmarshes and freshwater marshes, hardwood forests, old fields traversed by stone walls and grasslands. Mostly flat, wide three-mile main loop trail and side trails are suitable for hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing.

Regulations: Dogs on a leash; hunting allowed in season.

Amenities: Large boat launch with paved lot; port-o-johns at boat launch; interpretive signs along main loop trail.

Natural Features: Beautiful views of Little Narragansett Bay along main loop trail; designated an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society.

Fees: Free.

Things to note: Paved parking lot at the boat launch may not be plowed in the winter, but a few spaces are available at main trail entrance.

Owned by: State Department of Environmental Protection

More information: http://www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/wildlife/pdf_files/maps/maps_hunting_area/map23a.pdf

Hiking trails at Barn Island in Stonington.
Hiking trails at Barn Island in Stonington. Tim Martin/The Day
A great blue heron stands on the frozen marsh.
A great blue heron stands on the frozen marsh. Judy Benson
Hiking trails at Barn Island in Stonington.
Hiking trails at Barn Island in Stonington. Tim Martin/The Day
Cross-country skiers enjoy the winter landscape.
Cross-country skiers enjoy the winter landscape. Judy Benson
Interpretive signs describing the natural features of the preserve are located along the main loop trail.
Interpretive signs describing the natural features of the preserve are located along the main loop trail. Judy Benson
In winter, the expansive views along the main loop trail look out over snow-covered salt marshes onto Little Narragansett Bay.
In winter, the expansive views along the main loop trail look out over snow-covered salt marshes onto Little Narragansett Bay. Judy Benson
A sign for the marsh viewing area marks the entrance to the main loop trail.
A sign for the marsh viewing area marks the entrance to the main loop trail. Judy Benson
Hiking trails at Barn Island in Stonington.
Hiking trails at Barn Island in Stonington. Tim Martin/The Day
In winter, the expansive views along the main loop trail look out over snow-covered salt marshes onto Little Narragansett Bay.
In winter, the expansive views along the main loop trail look out over snow-covered salt marshes onto Little Narragansett Bay. Judy Benson
Early evening casts a warm glow over Barn Island.
Early evening casts a warm glow over Barn Island. Jenna Cho/The Day
In winter, the expansive views along the main loop trail look out over snow-covered salt marshes onto Little Narragansett Bay.
In winter, the expansive views along the main loop trail look out over snow-covered salt marshes onto Little Narragansett Bay. Judy Benson

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