Mamacoke Island

Posted By on November 23, 2016

Mamacoke Island

1.89 miles; New London, CT

Today’s two hikes could not have been more different. One was a chore, the other a revelation. This is the kind of hike you can take your non-hiking friends on and they will love it. Also there are more trails here that need exploring, so I will be back.

Mamacoke Island is an island in the Thames River which belongs to Connecticut College, and is part of the Conn College Arboretum. It is kept as a “natural area,” and only has one blazed hiking trail which circumnavigates the island.

Railroad Tracks—use caution!

Railroad Tracks—use caution!

You access the island by first crossing through a field, and then, yes, across railroad tracks. Now this isn’t Amtrak, so it’s not electrified, but still, it’s an active railroad line. Use extreme caution.

Marsh

Marsh

Once across the tracks, you then cross over to the island on a—I was almost going to call it a salt marsh, but I don’t know if that’s exactly what it is… The Thames River is probably brackish at this point, at least, so maybe. And I don’t know if it was low tide when I came through, or if it is wetter during high tide. Sorry I’m not being very helpful here. I’d say to be on the safe side, try to plan your visit for low tide.

Rock Outcrops

Rock Outcrops

You can see from the above photo that the island has a huge rock outcropping in its center. The white-blazed trail winds around and partly over this outcropping.

View of the far shore

View of the far shore

After I got home I realized that this was the U.S. Navy’s Submarine Base I was taking a photo of. Probably illegal. As you can see, the trail gets right down to the shoreline at one point.

View of the Goldstar Bridge

View of the Goldstar Bridge

Further along the trail, the view got more legal. This is a view of the distant the Goldstar Bridge between Groton and New London. I’ve walked across that bridge.

Three Leaves

Three Leaves

This little arrangement of 3 reddish brown oak leaves just struck me as weirdly significant. Don’t know why.

Return through the field

Return through the field

The trail around the island is very short, under a mile. But as I said, there are more trails on this property that go all the way up to Mohegan Ave. Parkway (Route 32). I need to plan to revisit this place soon.

Mamacoke Track

Mamacoke Track (click to view more details about this track)

You can find out more about Mamacoke Island and the Connecticut College Arboretum at their website: www.conncoll.edu/the-arboretum/. Trailhead: 41.386594, -72.100509; 52 Benham Ave., Quaker Hill, CT. There is a small dirt pull-off here with parking for maybe 5 or 6 cars.

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