Did you know that as a guest of ours here at Hotel Zero Degrees Norwalk, you’ve not only the mainland pleasures of Connecticut’s Long Island Sound shore at your disposal—you also have easy access to a blissful island getaway?
The Norwalk Islands form a magical moraine archipelago in Long Island Sound just off our coast, and they aren’t hard to reach and explore. One of the largest, 52-acre Sheffield Island, is a particularly popular destination for cruises offered by the Norwalk Seaport Association.
Sheffield Island: A Long Island Sound Jewel
The South Norwalk docks at 4 North Water Street are just a few miles south of Hotel Zero Degrees Norwalk along the Norwalk River. To reach Sheffield Island, you’ll ride the Norwalk Seaport Association’s 45-foot catamaran, the CJ Toth Ferry, enjoying views of Norwalk’s harbor as you embark.
Named for Captain Robert Sheffield, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War who purchased the isle in 1804, Sheffield Island has many attractions, not least its all-around offshore atmosphere and maritime views. Its best-known landmark is the 1868 Sheffield Island Light, celebrating its 150th birthday this year and open for tours. (Captain Sheffield served as keeper of the original lighthouse that preceded the present structure, incidentally.) In summer, the Norwalk Seaport Association holds popular Thursday Evening Clambakes on the lighthouse lawn, the cost of which includes a tour of the handsome Victorian-style beacon building.
Birdwatching & Other Nature Appreciation on Sheffield Island
Sheffield Island is also a fantastic destination for nature lovers. It partly falls within the multi-unit Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, which helps protect coastal habitat along the Atlantic Flyway. Walk the Nature Trail on Sheffield Island and scan for egrets, herons, and other feathered marvels poised in the tidal wetlands. In June, you can also take a three-hour birding cruise of the Norwalk Islands led by an experienced field ornithologist; you’ll likely see nesting ospreys, seabirds, and shorebirds.
Harbor seals also haul out at Sheffield Island, while its thickets and glades are roamed by the white-tailed deer that swim freely among the archipelago.
The Views From Offshore
On clear days, you can pick out the skyscraping profile of Manhattan on Sheffield Island’s southwestern horizon. And special Sunset Cruises, meanwhile, will dazzle you with the dreaminess of a Norwalk Harbor evening.
Experience the Magic of Sheffield Island From Your Stylish Accommodations at Hotel Zero Degrees Norwalk
You can check out the ferry schedule and fare details right here. The Sheffield Island season runs from about Memorial Day to Labor Day, so take advantage during a summertime idyll with us here at Hotel Zero Degrees Norwalk!