Bluff Point in Groton, CT, offers an oasis of timelessness on Long Island Sound.
By Yankee Magazine
Feb 15 2017
Stepping into Another World | Bluff PointPhoto Credit : Julie Bidwell
By Steven Slosberg
When you walk the inviting carriage road alongside the Poquonnock River estuary at Bluff Point State Park, you find both passage back into pre-colonial Connecticut and a respite from the submarine-building industry that has shaped the area from the past century through today.
Visitors come to Bluff Point, a peninsula of some 800 undeveloped acres jutting into Long Island Sound, through what once were potato fields. In the mid-1940s the fields were developed into a sprawl of prefab housing to accommodate the naval submarine base and booming submarine work at the Electric Boat Company in Groton during and after World War II.
After dipping beneath an Amtrak railroad trestle and navigating a rutted dirt road, you reach the parking lot and shaded picnic tables at the Bluff Point entrance. From there, in just a few steps, everything—the industry, the railroad, the hubbub of commerce—is left behind.
Hikers, joggers, cyclists, parents with strollers, and even horseback riders find footing on a broad, mostly flat and unobstructed path leading, a mile and a half ahead, to the bluff and its airy panoramas of river and ocean. Along the way, there are folks on the pebbly riverbank digging for shellfish and, farther down the estuary, anglers casting saltwater lines. Kayakers and sailors are afloat. Despite sporadic traffic at the small regional airport across the estuary, the ambient sound is wind through the trees.
Side paths offer hikers more challenging, mildly hilly treks; alternatively, beachcombers can veer off toward a narrow, mile-long sandspit. The bluff itself, as rocky and exposed as any New England coastal precipice, likely still harbors discarded shells from the days of Pequots fishing for seafood here.
Views of gulls and ducks, distant islands and New London Ledge Light, glacial rock and stone walls, salt marshes and towering oaks, and a path for every pace—this is Bluff Point.