Walking Bluff Point State Park

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Fishermen at Bluff Point
Fishermen at Bluff Point

This is where it all began. Bluff Point State Park is the historic site where John Winthorp made his homestead and founded the Connecticut Colony. Today it is a lush coastal forest free to be explored and offers many outdoor recreation opportunities including: fishing,sea kayaking, boating, a sandy beach, hiking, walking, mountain biking, and regular trail biking.



Bluff Point State Park is tucked in alongside the mouth of the Pequonot River.  This shallow and protected open water is excellent for sea kayaking and that is the first thing I noticed: lots of cars with kayak racks and people putting in near the parking lot.

The parking lot was well on its way to filling up when I arrived, and of the parks I have visited so far in Connecticut this one appears to be the most popular. Everyone was unloading something: bikes, fishing gear, coolers, and picnic baskets.

This park is a favorite among locals, families with children, and families with dogs.  This is a great place to take your dog for a walk, and you can probably go off leash if you dog well trained.

I did my typical thing - which is to hike. Or - maybe call it walking here. The trails are pretty easy. There are gravel roads off limits to motor vehicles which provide wide and semi-paved walking and bicycling.  But, there are also plenty of narrower woodland trails shooting off from the roads.

I saw more tread marks from mountain bikes than footprints along the woodland trails - so for a hiker it is a good idea to be alert and aware in case a biker comes barreling along. The trail maps indicate that these trails are multi-modal.

I walked for over an hour through the woods, starting on the road to John Winthrop's house and then along woodland trails to Mumford Cove and along the water till I reached Bluff Point.

John Winthrop was the first governor of The Connecticut Colony which was a consolidation of several River Colonies along The Connecticut or Long River. What remains of his homestead is hardly worth seeing. But for anything to remain from a 1600's cottage is still pretty amazing.

Bluff Point itself is pretty impressive when emerging from an hour in a coastal forest. There are great views up and down the coast and across The Sound to nearby islands. Ships and sailboats saunter past while cool breezes and wind whip waves up against the rocky shore. Though, I think Bluff Point is poorly named, the height does not reach what I would call a bluff - but maybe technically this geography falls into that category.

This won't go down as the most impressive park in Connecticut's portfolio, but it is a nice relaxing outdoor setting and perfect for a Saturday afternoon picnic. There is no fee for the parking lot or for entrance to the park. so If you are looking for a low cost afternoon this is another good one that is not too far from major population centers. Or, perhaps, if you are on a drive between New York and Boston, stop in here to stretch your legs - this is at the geographic midpoint between NYC and Boston.


Directions and Map


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Map Key:
  1. Kayaking Area - Pequonock River
  2. Bushy Point Beach
  3. Winthrop House
  4. Bluff Point
  5. Mumford Cove Bike Trail

Address for your GPS: 45 Depot Rd. Groton Connecticut
| coordinates: N41.336494,W072.033546 |
From Bridgeport1.5 Hours
From New Haven1 Hour
From Hartford1 Hour
From New London10 Minutes
From Providence1.25 Hours
From New York2.75 Hours



Photos

Bushy Beach, Bluff Point State Park, Groton CT
Bushy Beach, Bluff Point State Park, Groton CT


Woodland Trails through Trough Tropical Coastal Forests, Groton CT
Woodland Trails through Trough Tropical Coastal Forests, Groton CT


Foundations of John Winthrop House, Bluff Point State Park, CT
Foundations of John Winthrop House, Bluff Point State Park, CT


Bluff Point, Groton Connecticut
Bluff Point, Groton Connecticut