Westport Guided Tour

Guided Tour Pricing & Info | Westport Paddling Chart


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About the Saugatuck River
Saugatuck Experience

Our section of the Saugatuck River, from the Dam just north of Westport Center to Long Island Sound, is 1.5 miles.  Like most rivers in the region, it was home to many mills supporting local industry.  It’s a very healthy river, thanks to the efforts of Harborwatch and the Saugatuck River Watershed Partnership, and homeowners that live on the river that is environmentally conscious and responsible.

Long Island Sound is downriver, home to the local Norwalk Islands, an archipelago of 25 treasure spots, including the Stewart McKinley Wildlife Reserve and the historical Sheffield Island Lighthouse, or head east to explore Sherwood Island.  (All islands can be explored by recreational paddlers, we recommend that you be experienced and allow 1/2 day to really enjoy them.  Note that there is significant boat traffic in summer, especially on weekends.  Please consider taking a guide, to ensure your safety, and also so you can find your way back. Upriver, at just the right tide, you can paddle under the Route 1 bridge at Westport center as far as the dam and visit the fish ladder! This is recommended as a guided tour.

You may visit all the destinations on your own, and there are a few that we offer as guided tours at regularly scheduled times. And of course, you may hire a guide at any time to escort you.

 

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Full Moon Tour (2 hours)

Paddle at twilight out into the Sound where the Full Moon’s glow is reflected on the water creating a mystical feel that is both serene and exciting.  On your return trip you’ll be paddling into the moon – feel free to howl!  We paddle kayaks only for this outing.  Life jackets, paddles and light sticks are all included as well as seasoned guides that will also share info on the local area, wildlife, lore.  This tour is restricted to children 16 years and over, unless it’s a private tour.  7:30-9:30pm.

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Guided Tour (2 hours)

Our guides are very familiar with the local wildlife, flora and fauna.  We’re always hearing about new Osprey nests, Bald Eagle sightings (sometimes they’re even nesting!), Peregrine Falcons, Great Blue Herons, as well as whatever fish are currently running on the river.  Relax and let them lead you to their favorite spots – carefully selected based on tide and weather conditions.  In Westport locations include the Fish Ladder at the dam upriver of Westport Center, Stony Point, Greys Creek, Bermuda Lagoon, Cockenoe Island.  In Rowayton upriver to the tidal waterfall, downriver to Tokeneke Creek, Farm Creek, Fish Island.  Kayaks or paddleboards (if experienced).

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Paddle and Picnic (2 hours)

BYO Lunch

Enjoy a beautiful paddle to the islands, pull up on shore and break for a bite to eat while you take in the beauty of the Sound and it’s surroundings. The islands are a privately owned natural wildlife sanctuary and a popular destination for boaters.  As with any island/beach, the public is welcome up to the high tide line, allowing us to enjoy this glorious sandy beach and wading pools.  Bring a picnic from home or create one at the various lunch eateries in town. Wildlife we frequently see include horseshoe crabs, herons, oyster catchers, egrets, pipers, plovers, osprey, and cormorants. The islands are formed of bedrock, rather than the more malleable glacial deposits that formed the nearby Norwalk Islands, and are startlingly unchanged from the 1850s.

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4th July Fireworks Tour (2 hours)

Head out at twilight with our very experienced guides, who will ensure that you get an amazing view of the fireworks from the mouth of the harbor, while also keeping you together and safe from any boat traffic.  Light sticks are provided.  8-10pm.

2017 Fireworks Tour  -TBA –

 

 


 

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Cockenoe Island Clambake (kah-KEE-nee), (3.5 hours)

Paddle to an Island for a delicious clambake – relax and let us take care of all the details.  Cockenoe is one of 25 islands in the archipelago of Norwalk islands, it’s the closest to the shore from the Saugatuck River.  Great paddling, swimming, exploring, an abundance of wildlife – and supposedly home to buried treasure (home to a geocache or two!) It’s been a farm, whiskey distillery, and nearly a nuclear plant – before being bought by the town of Westport.  Check out how clear the water is at the mouth – great shell fishing around here (with a Westport license). The shallow waters around it make snorkeling during low tide in the heat of the summer a favorite pastime.   $130/single kayak, $210 double.

Your meal includes:  either chicken or lobster, steamed mussels & clams with herbs and garlic, tossed salad, coleslaw, corn bread, steamed corn, steamed herb potatoes, dessert.  BYO beverage, we encourage you to bring at least one bottle of water.  No alcohol is permitted – there are lots of places nearby for cocktails when you return!

6 person minimum – we will let you know within 24 hours if we do not have enough to run.  Tours run 3-6:30/7 on Saturdays and 4-7:30/8 on Fridays.  We allow 3 hours, but to be safe encourage you to allow 4 – late starts; the wind or current delays; having too good a time!

You have the option of a single or double kayak.  Paddle Boards only if you are very experienced and ideally are paddling with someone in a kayak and can switch.  Feel free to call us at the store to discuss this further.

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Other Locations You Might Like To Explore On Your Own Or With A Guide

Upriver on the Saugatuck

2 hours either side of low or high tide to get under bridge

Paddle up river, meandering around the coves, and docks, to the bridge at Route 1 in Westport Center. Depending on the tide, you can go under the bridge and enjoy an even quieter more pristine location – not many houses up here, some businesses. If you go far enough you will come to the dam, where there is a fish ladder.

Stony Point – High tide

Hugging the western shore (right) as you head down river, keep to the right and you’ll find yourself heading around Stony Point – a gorgeous inlet that leads back towards I95, and at high tide, you can get that far! We love this paddle for beginners, SUPers, birthday parties, classes, yoga, and meditation.

Longshore Marina Tour

As you paddle downriver, on the left side you will come across Longshore Sailing School and the Splash Restaurant. Longshore marina is tucked in behind – if you need to get off and stretch your legs you may just be careful of a slippery surface at low tide.

Gray’s Creek – High tide

A secluded paddle at high tide with an opportunity to shout out to your mates enjoying a round of golf at the Compo beach club! Grays Creek is just before you get to the mouth of the river, on your left, and heads back towards Compo Road, as far as the Minuteman Statue. Home to Osprey and occasionally Bald Eagles.

Bermuda Lagoon

Venture out into Long Island Sound and round to the west (right) to enter Bermuda Lagoon, a protected marsh area of diverse habitats; ideal for bird watching and fishing.

 

For more information on our paddling area and locations, check out the WESTPORT PADDLING CHART.