Stewart B. Mckinney National Wildlife Refuge

Fish and Wildlife Service, Connecticut.

Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of 10 units stretched across 70 miles of Connecticut's coastline. It was established in 1972 and was originally called Salt Meadow National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge was renamed in 1987 to honor the late U.S. Congressman Stewart B. McKinney, who was instrumental in expanding it.

Located in the Atlantic Flyway, the refuge provides important resting, feeding, and nesting habitat for many species of songbirds, wading birds, shorebirds like the threatened piping plover and seabirds including the endangered roseate tern. The refuge is also home to the threatened northern long-eared bat and many other at-risk species. Overall, the refuge encompasses over 1,000 acres of forest, shrub land, barrier beach, tidal wetland and fragile island habitats.

Many opportunities exist for visitors to explore the diverse habitats of the refuge through the approved recreational activities detailed on other pages of our website.

Nearby Activities


Salt Meadow Unit (Headquarters) 

This unit is conveniently located just off Interstate-95 in Westbrook, CT. Take Exit 64 and go south on Horse Hill Road (Rt. 145). At the stop sign, turn left onto Old Clinton Rd. The visitor parking area is about 1 mile down the road on the right. There is a large brown McKinney National Wildlife Refuge sign at the visitor entrance. Once you reach the end of the visitor driveway and parking lot, you'll see two stone buildings on the right. The large one is refuge headquarters. Proceed up past the buildings to enter the information kiosk and trail system. 

Additional Information