Hike #47: McKinney National Wildlife Refuge- Salt Meadow Unit in Westbrook, CT

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A big thing I did when I lived in Los Angeles were the Secret Stair walks. That guide book got me out in the sun, visiting a neighborhood that was new to me, plenty of exercise, and all of the cheap price of a one-time book purchase. Now that it’s spring, I dug out my AMC Best Day Hikes In Connecticut hiking book and decided that I should tackle the hikes in this book during 2017. I won’t be able to do all 50 in 2017, but I certainly hope to do most of these hikes. My posts will not reveal all aspects of the hike, as I am not a replacement for owning this book, but hopefully my images can help encourage you to buy the book and follow along. Or at least inspire you to get a hike book for wherever you live and to get outside!

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After Hike 35 (and my stop into Cilantro Specialty Foods Coffee Shop along the Guilford Green) I continued on to Westbrook to complete hike #47. It was getting late in the day so this hike was perfect timing and the right topography (easy) for this cold windy snowy day.

This hike had nice views, but was still wooded which protected me from the wind on this cold day. It was also relatively flat, so the residual snow didn’t pose much of a slippery threat.

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Given the weather, I was the only one brave enough to handle this hike around 4pm on a Saturday. A nice big parking lot with just my Mazda in it. Thankfully based on the tracks in the snow, I could tell people had been there earlier in the day.

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I won’t share the map from the book, but here’s a photo of the map hanging at the start of the hike/walk. You can see it’s pretty straightforward, basically one big loop with some water views along half of the trek.

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This walk features plaques with information about the nature and the buildings on the property. This home has had some famous visitors (Eleanor Roosevelt!).

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Based on the signs, you can tell this is a great birding walk.

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You can see the paths are wide (snowy on this Saturday) and pretty flat.

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This is a view looking back at the homestead. So pretty.

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More birding plaques as the path makes its way into the woods.

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This path gets a little more narrow as it enters the woods, and that’s when water/marsh views come into play as well as a view of the train tracks.

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What a pretty peaceful trek. Just me and the birds.

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Toward the end of the loop are the “ruins” of an old fountains and bbq pit that the owners of the property used to use. Off to the left is a bath leading down to a bird/marsh viewing platform. Don’t miss checking this out because it was a highlight of the loop.

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I didn’t see any “special” birds, but Im no expert.

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The walk loops back up…

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And meets back up with the welcoming hut. Take a look at the paperwork + information inside.

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As a woodworker, I love the close up of the “hut”. From here it was a short walk to the parking lot. This easy just-over-a-mile walk is a great outdoor loop, and a nice addition to follow up a longer earlier in the day hike.

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One thought on “Hike #47: McKinney National Wildlife Refuge- Salt Meadow Unit in Westbrook, CT

  1. Pingback: Hike #35: Westwoods Reserve Trails- Lost Lake in Guildford, CT | LifeAbsorbed

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