Connecticut April 16, 2019
Take These 6 Ferry Boats In Connecticut For An Unbeatable Adventure
When you mention the word “ferry” in Connecticut, most people think of the huge boats that transport vehicles from the Nutmeg State to Long Island. But there are six other lesser-known ferry boats that will take you on unique adventures. Venture to a lighthouse, an island beach park or a wildlife refuge — choose your own adventure and then hop on a ferry!
1. Outer Island
Only In Your State/Natalie Clunan
Outer Island is the furthest of the Thimble Islands from shore. Many have taken a boat tour of these gorgeous islands off the coast of Branford but if you want to explore one of these gems, Outer Island is the only one that can be visited by the public.
Only In Your State/Natalie Clunan
As part of the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, this island is accessible by the Thimble Island Ferry Service, not through the boat tours of the area. Explore the natural oasis and its stunning views. Walk the trails or just relax on a large flat rock. You can visit Outer Island from May 30 - September 25. Learn more
2. Sheffield Island
Take a journey from Norwalk to Sheffield Island in the Long Island Sound for an incredible day trip. The ferry trip takes about 40 minutes and is full of local scenery to enjoy.
Sheffield Island is home to a historic lighthouse that is open to the public for tours. You can also explore the beach and island trails. Make sure you bring your camera, this three-hour tour is loaded with breathtaking views. Learn more
3. Rocky Hill - Glastonbury Ferry
The small ferry linking Rocky Hill and Glastonbury at Route 160 is the oldest continuously running ferry in the nation. It was established in 1655 and still crosses the Connecticut River today.
The ferry can carry just three cars plus passengers and cyclists. But the trip across the river is short so you never have to wait for too long. Combine a river crossing with a visit to Dinosaur State Park which is just three miles away for a fun day. Learn more
4. Cross Sound Lighthouse Cruise
Cross Sound Cruises makes exploring the shoreline in search of lighthouses a breeze. Travel in climate-controlled comfort on one of their high-speed vessels to do some sightseeing from the water.
Jump aboard the Classic Lighthouse Tour for a trip from New London to Long Island stopping at eight lighthouses along the way. The Lights & Sights Tour heads from New London to Watch Hill and then onward to Fisher's Island. Check out the mansion-lined shoreline on Rhode Island's coast and stop at nine lighthouses during the cruise. Learn more
5. Chester - Hadlyme Ferry
This historic ferry crossing has been servicing the area since 1769. From poled ferry to steam-powered barge to the current open-air self-propelled craft, this ferry crosses the Connecticut River at Route 148 between Chester and Hadlyme.
Not only is this ferry a direct link between two river towns, but it's also a fantastic way to visit several local attractions. Gillette Castle State Park is on the east side while the Essex Steam Train is on the west side of the river. The ferry operates between April 1 - November 30. Learn more
6. Pleasure Beach Park
Hop aboard one of two ferries that leave from the fishing pier at Seaview Avenue in Bridgeport to head to Pleasure Beach Park off the coast. The peninsula reopened to the public in 2014 after having been closed for two decades.
Once at Pleasure Beach, you'll cross a half-mile boardwalk to reach the sandy shore. Splash in the surf or stroll on the sand at this isolated spot in the Sound. The seaside park has bathrooms, showers, and a limited concession stand. Learn more
Which of these ferry boats have you taken? Which one was your favorite? If you’d rather be in the driver’s seat when it comes to water adventures, take this drive-your-own boat tour that is easy and full of fun!