Barn Island Wildlife Management Area

New London County, Connecticut

Elevation Gain490ft
Trailhead Elevation12ft
Elevation Min/Max0/67ft
Elevation Start/End12/12ft

Barn Island Wildlife Management Area

Barn Island Wildlife Management Area is a hiking trail in New London County, Connecticut. It is 4.6 miles long and begins at 12 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 7.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 490 feet. The Barn Island WMA Trailhead Parking can be seen along the trail. There is also a grave yard along the trail.

Barn Island Wildlife Management Area Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Connecticut and Rhode Island (Falcon Guides)
George and Rhonda Ostertag
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"Before the Europeans arrived, much of Connecticut was swampland. This hike allows you to view this nearly vanquished habitat. Tidal marsh, estuary channels and ponds, a coastal river, upland woods, and coastal grasslands characterize the wildlife management area (WMA). Egrets dot white to open spaces, while hawks soar the sky and songbirds animate branch and wind. Old dikes and former roads partition the area. A historic cemetery is among the physical records of the past. Start at the stone monument honoring Louis Bayer, an advocate for this tidal marsh declared by noted botanist, educator, and conservationist William A. Niering to be “the finest coastal wild in Connecticut.” The WMA’s 1,000-acre mosaic has earned global recognition as an Important Bird Area." Read more
AMC's Best Day Hikes in Connecticut (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)
Rene Laubach & Charles W. G. Smith
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"The trail begins at an iron gate on the opposite side of the asphalt roadway from the parking area. Follow the graveled path as it curves left and gently down along a fringe of big bluestem grass adjacent to a universally accessible native plant garden and marsh overlook on the right with interpretive panels. As you continue, sassafras trees become more numerous, while mockernut hickory trees and some large red oaks up to 2 feet in diameter appear. Curve right to walk down a dike bordered on both sides by salt marsh. Elegant snowy egrets use their sharp black bills to snatch fish stranded in small pools by a receding tide." Read more

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Trail Information

New London County
Nearby City
Barn Island WMA, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Wildlife Division, Eastern District, 209 Hebron Rd., Marlborough 06447; (860) 295-9523;
Local Contacts
Year-round, sunrise to sunset Maps: WMA map (on-site map board only); online hunting map, but no current trail version, available at
Local Maps