Charles island – Island in Milford
Charles Island is a small, undeveloped island located about 0.5 miles off the northeastern tip of Milford Sound, Connecticut, situated about 0.75 miles south of Soura Beach. Charles Island has a population of around forty people. The island is not heavily populated, but does have some commercial fishing and tourism development. People who enjoy sailing, scuba diving and snorkeling may enjoy vacationing on this unincorporated town’s three main beaches – Cove, Garden and Point. Charles Island is the only officially-designated U.S. beach resort.
The most popular attraction on Charles Island in Milford CT is Charles Island State Park. Located right next to the seacoast of Charles Island, you can stroll through two small neighborhoods filled with state park features and buildings. One of these neighborhoods features an interpretive center that offers educational activities such as U.S. history and the history of the New England colonies. This park also has an interpretive center that offers educational tours of the park, historical gardens, and nature preserves that are located near the shoreline. You can see seals, dolphins, sea turtles, deer, elk, and moose on this park. You can also walk through the trees and take a tour of the natural vegetation and the unique animals that inhabit Charles Island.
Charles Island has been a location frequently mentioned by famous author Mark Twain as a favorite among his friends. Some of Twain’s friends included Ben Franklin and Captain George Aycock. A former friend of Twain’s was actually the first recorded pirate captain to arrive on Charles Island and he named his station “Totty quarters.” After he was turned into a prisoner, he hid at this point on Charles Island where he built a small store and even had a cabin. In 1845, Franklin and Aycock constructed the present-day burial site for Captain Joel Swett, which still exists to this day.
Because of its location, Charles Island has long been a popular site for heron hunting. Many have reported seeing rare herons up close. Herons live in marshlands and tidal marshes, so it is no wonder that many people search for herons around the area of Charles Island. In fact, over twenty years ago a diver searching for herons off of Charles Island found what he believed to be a heron nest on its underwater doorstep. It was not until sometime later that a group of divers from the Bermuda Islands located the nest and were able to remove the heron nesting material that contained over one thousand eggs.
The most important reason why you should visit Charles Island in Connecticut is that it allows you the opportunity to watch bald eagles, other bird species, and a variety of marine life that cannot be found anywhere else in the state. You will find humpback whales, red and gray dolphins, albatrosses, sea turtles, and other sea life when you visit Charles Island. However, you may not be able to bring your camera with you on your trip because no one else is permitted to go on the land during the breeding season (which runs from May through September) due to the strict laws regarding conservation and endangered species protection. That said, you can still enjoy staying at the five-star hotel on Charles Island between the months of January through March, at which time all visitors are restricted to staying during the nesting season. Since this is a popular tourist destination for bird watchers, you may find that there are guided tours available during which you can learn about the various species of birds that are native to the area.
For even more bird watching opportunities, Charles Island in Milford CT also offers many locations where you can feed and interact with young birds. On the south end of the island there is the parking lot for the Charles Bird Rescue, which has been established as an official partner of the state’s threatened species program. This is an important part of protecting our nation’s most imperiled species. If you have a family that loves to bird watch, you will find a number of organizations that offer guided tours of the entire Charles Island coastline and surrounding areas, where you can get up close and personal with the birds that call the island home. If you love young birds, this is a great destination.
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