The Sheffield Island Lighthouse is an iconic symbol of Connecticut’s maritime history. This historic lighthouse and light keeper’s cottage is located at the southern end of Norwalk’s necklace of islands on the west entrance of the Norwalk River in Long Island Sound. One of the best ways to kick of the season is to take a cruise on the C.J. Toth on Saturday, May 25, Sunday, May 26 and Monday, May 27. at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. on all three days. Tickets for this exciting excursion can be purchased in advance by clicking here or at the dock, space permitting.
Activated in 1868, Sheffield Island Lighthouse, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places was in service for thirty- four years before it was retired in 1902. Today a visit to this historic Connecticut landmark gives visitors a first-hand experience on how important this lighthouse was to coastal and oceangoing shipping as these vessels plied their way on Long Island Sound, a major artery of communication and transportation. A bonus is that once on the island visitors get to explore the 151- year old lighthouse.
A highlight of this journey is the cruise itself. The cruise allows passengers to experience the beauty of Norwalk from the water with wonderful views of the shoreline, islands and the harbor. The fresh sea breeze and birdlife are enjoyed in the comfort of the Seaport’s modern vessel on the way to and from the island.
Reaching the Island, passengers take a tour of the ten-room light keeper’s cottage and the lighthouse that is furnished in period furniture giving visitors a glimpse of what life was like as a lighthouse keeper. If the day is clear, the New York City Skyline can be seen. Make sure to save time to look for shells, play on the lawns, and unwind with a picnic lunch on your own private island before heading back. A new telescope that is free to use affords spectacular views all the way to New York! Visitors to the island this spring will also get a sneak peek at a Pavilion that is being built on the Island that will be available for parties and special events. The Pavilion is expected to be completed July, 2019.
If you love nature and birdlife, don’t miss the chance to explore the Nature Trail through the Steward B. McKinney Wildlife Refuge that is also located on Sheffield Island. There is a wide array of bird and wildlife to be seen here including nesting herons, wading birds, shorebirds, terns and many others. A special viewing platform enhances the viewing experience. Don’t forget to charge your cell phone up and to bring your camera and binoculars.
Round trip ferry tickets are $28 for adults, $16 for children 4-12, and, children 3 and under are $7. The boat leaves from the Sheffield Island Dock located at the corner of North Water Street and Washington Street in historic South Norwalk. Parking is available in the adjacent Norwalk Maritime Center Garage. Be sure to wear comfortable, closed toe shoes. For safety reasons, flip-flops are not allowed. The capacity of the boat is limited to 49 passengers, so purchasing tickets in advance is recommended by visiting the website or visit ticketing.
About the Seaport Association
The Norwalk Seaport Association was founded in 1978 by a group of local citizens who had the vision to revitalize South Norwalk and preserve Norwalk’s maritime heritage.
The Norwalk Seaport Association offers a cultural, environmental, and historical journey to the Norwalk Islands. The Sheffield Island Lighthouse and the Light Keeper’s Cottage provide a unique historical and educational venue, which strives to increase awareness, appreciation, and consideration for our environment and how the preservation of historic buildings and nature contribute to our quality of life.
It is our belief that preservation strengthens the perpetual partnership between the past, the present and the future. The combination of the Lighthouse and the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge offers an unparalleled opportunity to educate children of all ages and adults about the importance of preserving Long Island Sound, our environment and maritime heritage.