Thimble Island Cruise
We will enjoy an hour long live narrated cruise among the Thimble Islands. The Thimble Islands is an archipelago of small islands located in and around the harbor of Stony Creek in Connecticut. The islands are made up of pink granite bedrock there were once the tops of hills prior to the last ice age. There is between 100 and 365 islands depending on where the line is drawn between an island and a mere rock.
This archipelago was first recorded as “ThimbleIslands” in 1739 but earlier maps show them named the “HundredIslands.” Legends say that the islands were named for thimbleberries, but are seldom found in the area. Dutch explorer, Adrian Block was the first European to discover the islands in 1614, although the Mattabesek Indians knew them well and referred to them as Kuttomquosh, “the beautiful sea rocks.” The sizes of the islands vary greatly and the majority can only be seen during times of low tide. The Islands remain a quiet summer community, but have witnessed resurgence in tourism. Of all the islands, only 23 are inhabited, and only six islands have electrical power. There are a total of 81 houses on the islands and they range from small summer cottages to huge mansions complete with caretaker’s quarters and basketball courts.
The islands are mostly used for residential purposes, but some have other purposes. Yale University owns Horse Island and it is part of Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History’s Ecological Laboratory, and Bear Island has a granite quarry which has exported stone to build Grant’s Tomb, the base of the Statue of Liberty, and the Lincoln Memorial.
Henry Whitfield State Museum
The Henry Whitfield House is a historic house located in Guilford, Connecticut, This house dates from 1639, having been built just before the town of Guilford was settled. It is the oldest house in Connecticut and the oldest stone house in all of New England.
The house, with its massive stone walls, served at one point as a fort to protect the local community.Henry Whitfield, for whom the house was built, was a Puritan minister who had come from Englandto flee religious persecution. The house was remodeled in 1868 and opened to the public in 1899 as the first museum of the State of Connecticut. In 1997 it was declared a National Historic Landmark.You will tour the house and learn about it’s remarkable history.
Doctor Francis Giuffrida Park
We will visit Giuffrida Park, here you will have the option of two relatively short hikes.
You can either do a leisurely stroll on the East side of the Bradley Hubbard Reservoir with almost no elevation gain, or if you wish to challenge yourself a bit more you can hike to the top of Chauncey Peak, with an elevation gain of approximately 400 feet. On the top you will find stunning views of the Bradley Hubbard Reservoir and the surrounding areas.
We will visit this waterfall in Wadsworth Falls State Park.
It is a beautiful 52 ft waterfall on the Coginchaug River.