In researching any trip, finding out about access point is always important. I often rely on guide books, Paddling.net's launch site map, and internet searches.
One internet search led me to Connecticut Water Trails, which I mentioned at my Thimble Islands post. Under Coastal Paddling, Connecticut Water Trails listed only one launch point for Branford, the Stony Creek Dock. It did not list the public launch on Goodsell Avenue.
In Connecticut, unlike Maine and Massachusetts, the intertidal zone is publicly owned. That doesn’t mean access to the water is unlimited; there is no right to cross private land, or use private docks to reach public water. And many towns, including Branford, guard access to their beaches by providing a parking area for residents, and no parking anywhere nearby for nonresidents. So I thought failing to mention the launch on the Water Trails was a part of a plan to concentrate the “general public” in a few areas. After all, there is also no road sign at the intersection of Harbor Street and Goodsell (in BranFord) stating a public launch is available. But when I looked on-line to see if Spectacle Island was a bird sanctuary, a link brought me to the Connecticut Water Trail. Their page for Spectacle Island listed the access point for the island as the Branford River Boat Launch. It’s failure to be listed on the Coastal Paddling site is more likely to be just an oversight, as it is listed in the boat launch section.
And as I looked about the site further I found that Connecticut Water Trails does link to the State of Connecticut site about public access and a very complete list of access points.
So I thought I’d list here a few more sites about water access:
Finding access points in Connecticut:
Paddling.Net Launch Site Map
The site is confusing to maneuver about.
The State of Connecticut's Coastal Access Guide: About Coastal Access Town Search for Coastal Access
Information about beach access in general: