A Walk by the Sea in Bridgeport


Saint Mary's By The Sea - Bridgeport CT

The walkway at St. Mary's By The Sea - Bridgeport CT
The walkway at St. Mary's By The Sea - Bridgeport CT
Few walks along the coast of Connecticut are as pleasant as St. Mary's by the Sea. It is a short walk to be sure; - measuring in blocks - not miles. But, it curves around a neck at the mouth of Ash Creek, passes along with views of two historic lighthouses and a Fairfield Beach, and turns at the picturesque Black Rock Harbor. This is a place for sunrises, for fishing trips, for picnics, and for walking and reviving. The Park City is certainly lucky to have a public parcel like this on their waterfront. It needs to be connected to the rest of the city somehow, but on its own it is a good park.

The Fayerweather Lighthouse in Bridgeport CT.  With the Port Jefferson - Bridgeport Ferry beyond.
The Fayerweather Lighthouse in Bridgeport CT.
With the Port Jefferson - Bridgeport Ferry beyond.


 
Meeting steamers do not dread.
When you see three lights ahead,
Starboard wheel and show your red.

Green to green or red to red,
Perfect safety, go ahead.

When to starboard red is near,
'Tis your duty to keep clear;
Act as judgment says is proper,
Port or starboard back or stop her.

But when upon your port is seen
A steamer’s starboard light of green,
There’s not so much for you to do,
For green to port gives way to you.

Both in safety and in doubt
Always keep a good Look-out;
In danger, with no room to turn,
Ease her! - Stop her! - Go astern!





Black Rock Harbor - Bridgeport CT
Black Rock Harbor - Bridgeport CT
Black Rock Harbor - Bridgeport CT
Black Rock Harbor - Bridgeport CT
Fresh Bake Muffins at Harborview Market
Fresh Bake Muffins at Harborview Market
These Rocks are Revolutionary War Ruins
These Rocks are Revolutionary War Ruins
Penfield Reef Light from St. Mary's be the Sea
Penfield Reef Light from St. Mary's be the Sea
This place is as near as 6 blocks from my front door. Black Rock feels like its own place. It has its own main street, its own post office, its own harbor. In fact it was settled 130 years before the United States was independent, and before Bridgeport was founded. Black Rock is now a neighborhood - annexed by Bridgeport. Though it remains distinct. With a leafy canopy and cape cod styled homes. Fairfield claims Black Rock as theirs - but then - Fairfield claims everything was theirs first. I suppose it is good to be fought over.

Having a linear park along the waterfront shouldn't be such a great privilege, but in Fairfield County it is. At St. Mary's you will find a peaceful place to contemplate the sea - to observe the tides - and to consider history.

There is a pile of rocks that can be viewed at dead low tide. These are the rubble ruins of a rebel fort which defended Black Rock Harbor through The Revolutionary War. Of course there is the stately Fayerweather Lighthouse across the harbor at the end of Seaside Park. And in the distance there is the haunted Penfield Reef Light where the ghost of Fred Jordan, a keeper who was taken by The Sound on his way across to the mainland for Christmas celebrations, now dwells.

If you find that you have finished your walk before breakfast, as you should because
the sunrise is especially picturesque here, you might want to enjoy some fresh baked muffins or a full breakfast at the nearby neighborhood favorite: Harborview Market. There is outdoor seating, and indoor - and sometimes even on an early Saturday morning you can catch live music.



DIRECTIONS

Address for your GPS: 900 Gilman Street Bridgeport CT
|Coordinates: N41.144697,W073.232185 |
From Bridgeport-
From New Haven35 Minutes
From Hartford1 Hour
From New London1Hour
From Providence2 Hours
From New York1.5 Hours




LINKS

Connecticut Coastal Access Guide

NY Times Article

Wikipedia - Black Rock

Harborview Market - Breakfast & Lunch

OTHER WATERFRONT WALKS REVIEWED BY CT-EXPLORER