Thimble Islands, CT

Ok, so I am psyched about my first spring and summer in CT, can’t wait to do some local exploring. I saw some photographs of the Thimble Islands and often drive by the exit. Does anyone know if they are safe to paddle, are the currents manageable? I am really getting into amateur photography and there looks like there are some killer shots around there, but I want to make sure its safe and if so, where are the best put-ins?


Great paddling there
Our club paddles there all the time. Check out the BBS, and see if anyone’s paddling there.

Very scenic, lots of islands, and only 3 legal places to land/launch. Town ramp in Stony Creek can be a little tough to find parking in the summer. If you have kayak racks on your car, make sure you’re legally parked – paddlers don’t get any leeway there.

There are currents, but they’re not bad at all. Just have a chart and compass with you the first couple of times you go there – it’s easy to lose your bearing on the launch.

Have fun!

Oh yeah
and there are directions to the most commonly used launch sites in the state on the ConnYak website, too.

You may be hearing from me too.
I’ve been wanting to paddle the Thimble Islands for quite some time. And since my time is limited this year due to a new job, I’m looking for interesting weekends not too far from Philly.

What about the Norwalk Islands? Do you paddle there also? That area also looks quite nice.


Norwalk Islands
Dependent upon where you are in CT, the Norwalk Islands are a wonderful location as well. I’m out there every weekend, and during the week once summer hits. Plenty of weaving your way amidst the islands to be had, and a fair share of powerboat traffic on the weekends if you enjoy wakes. There’s a great little race called the Lighthouse to Lighthouse Race in September-feels like a mini Blackburn.

Chart of the area:

The club does
They usually do the Norwalk Islands once or twice a year, usually just off-season because of power boat traffic and the lack of good launch sites in season.

I’ve only paddled there once, because it’s a long drive for a day paddle from where I live. I’m closer to good paddling in Rhode Island than I am to many of the paddling areas in CT west of the Thimbles.

Put-in for Norwalk Islands
There is a decent public launch about a mile up the Saugatuck River, under the east end of the Interstate bridge. There is even a public toilet there.


If you are interested in good spots in RI, Wickford harbor is beautiful year round, some boat traffic but I’ve gone on the weekends at the height of the season with little disturbance. Also, Ninigrit state park is wonderful, and lots of wildlife to watch. For fresh water Burlingame State Park is great and its a camp ground if you’re interested in overnight stays. Another great campground is Fisherman’s Memorial but it books up fast, plus there is a little cove there with a causeway I use to go quahogging in as a kid. Unfortunately now I think pollution and sewage run off has all but elminated the appeal of quahogging there, but still a nice paddle. In Fisherman’s Memorial there is an old WWII bunker to explore if you are into history. I grew up in noirthern Rhode Island and mostly kayaked along the cape.

If you are interested in the boat launchs for Norwalk Islands, ConnYak has them (and directions) on their nice website, go check them out.

I kayaked a little around the harbor and out for a couple hours because I was there to see an IMAX film at the aquarium, but it was off-season so we just handlanched from the park walkway just past the Marina downstream from the Aquarium. there was a regatta going on so we didn’t feel like impedeing all the racers going on at the marina itself so we just launched by the park. Probably not legal in the summer but nobody bothered us.