EcoTravel Day Trips

Lighthouse Cruise on the Connecticut River

Lighthouse Cruise Lynde Point Lighthouse
Saturday, August 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Enjoy a relaxing cruise along the Connecticut River to the two lighthouses of Old Saybrook. Join us aboard RiverQuest, departing from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam, for a cruise south to the mouth of the Connecticut River in Old Saybrook to view Lynde Point Lighthouse and the Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse. Narrators will describe the history of the river as well as identify birds and wildlife along the way. Bring whatever you like to eat or drink on board and enjoy the magnificent scenery! Children 10 and over, please. For more information call 860-767-0660 or make you reservation online by clicking HERE. Fee: $40.

We’re also taking reservations for our late-summer Tree Swallow cruises.

For online Swallow Reservations click here.

Or, you may call our office to make reservations: 860-767-0660.

Overnight packages are available.

 Saybrook Breakwater Light


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Day Trip Listing 


High Line Park, New York     SOLD OUT!
Saturday April 25     8am-5pm
High Line is a public park built on a historic train line, elevated above the streets of Manhattan’s West Side. The line was built in the 1930s as part of a massive project that lifted traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets. The structure is now being maintained as a public park, its gardens a sight to behold in full April color. Leader: Bob Kuchta. Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.

Early Spring Migrants
Wednesday, April 29     7am – 4pm
Late April is the beginning of the migration madness when bird species are headed north to summer habitat. With the right weather and winds, some species like to get a head start and we’ll be there to greet them. Visit some of the local spots that are known for their great diversity. See the birds in their nuptial plumage and listen to their enthusiastic spring songs. Leader: Andy Griswold. Members $75/Nonmembers $85.

Birding the Easton Loop
Saturday, May 2     7am – 3pm
Search for spring migrants nestled in the wooded sections of Saugatuck Falls and Trout Brook Valley, both located near Easton. Make your way into these natural areas and you’ll soon disappear into another world. It’s not a huge place, but the terrain changes frequently and allows for great diversity of flora and fauna. Great places for nature lovers! Leader: Joe Bear. Fee: Members $75/Nonmembers $85.

Annual Lyme Loop
Wednesday, May 6 and Friday, May 8     6am – 3pm
Travel through Lyme and Nehantic State Forest in search of neotropical migrants. The various habitats of the state forests include wetlands, streams, and ponds, all excellent places in spring for the morning chorus of warblers, vireos, and other songbirds. This area hosts the largest concentration of Worm-eating Warbler in the state. Leader: Andy Griswold. Members $75/Nonmembers $85.

Barn Island
Saturday, May 9     7am – 3pm
Travel to Stonington and the Barn Island Wildlife Management Area. This 1,013-acre area is the single largest coastal property managed for wildlife conservation, providing a diversity of ecosystems including upland, open field, mixed hardwood forest, and tidal wetland. Enjoy the peak of the migration season. Leader: James Restivo. Members $65/Nonmembers $75.

Wood Warblers of Cockaponset State Forest
Thursday, May 14     6am – 3pm
Cockaponset, named after an Indian chief whose gravesite is found in the town of Haddam, is the second largest forest in the Connecticut state forest system, encompassing over 16,000 acres. An oasis of habitat for migrating songbirds, it should provide for a busy morning of warblers, vireos, thrushes, and more. Leader: Andy Griswold. Fee: Members $75/Nonmembers $85.

The Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts
Saturday, May 16     8am – 5pm
This turn-of-the-century home of novelist Edith Wharton was designed and built based on the precepts outlined in her 1897 book The Decoration of Houses, co-authored with architect Ogden Codman, Jr. Edith Wharton was an authority on European landscape design as well as a passionate gardener. She envisioned gardens as an elegant series of outdoor rooms and created unique architectural compositions planned to be in concert with the house and the surrounding natural landscape. The gardens and grounds include over 5,000 trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants, as well as nearly 3,000 annuals and perennials. A gardener’s delight! Leader: Bob Kuchta. Fee: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.

Migrants of Machimoodus and Gillette Castle
Saturday, May 23     7am – 2pm
Machimoodus Park in Moodus has some wide open areas that allow for excellent views of spring migrants. Prairie Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, plentiful Indigo Bunting, and Orchard Oriole are likely. The trip will also include a visit to the trails at Gillette Castle State Park. Leader: Andy Griswold. Fee: Members $75/Nonmembers $85.

Selden Island Hike
Saturday, May 23     8:30am – 12:30pm
Connecticut Audubon Society naturalists will take a cruise up the Connecticut River on RiverQuest to disembark onto Selden Island for a morning hike. Selden Island is the largest island on the Connecticut River and both the river and the island are rich in history. The trip provides the opportunity to learn about local botany, geology, and ornithology, and perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to see some of our resident Bald Eagles en route. Fee: $45.

Nehantic State Park for Beginning Birders
Thursday, May 28     7am – 3pm
Nehantic State Forest in Lyme is a fabulous place for beginning birders to get their feet wet. This forest is one of the best stop-over places for migrating songbirds and nesting residents, all in their colorful plumage and cheerily singing. Leader: Andy Griswold. Members $75/Nonmembers $85.

Songbirds of the NW Corner
Thursday, June 4     5:30am – 3am
The natural beauty of Litchfield County is a splendid backdrop for spring migrants in their colorful plumage. Travel to hot spots and visit backyards around Barkhamsted, Goshen, and New Hartford. A couple of stops will be made at local state parks for trail walks and more bird spotting. Leader: Nick Bonomo. Members $85/Nonmembers $95.

Rose Garden at New York Botanical
Saturday, June 6     8am – 5pm
Celebrate the peak of color and beauty at the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden. Enjoy live music, plant care demonstrations, and tours with expert rosarians. Take in the flowers of early spring and bid farewell to a long, arduous winter. Leader: Bob Kuchta. Members $85/Nonmembers $95. Pick-ups along Route 95.

Birding Griswold Point and Coastal Areas
Wednesday, June 10   8am – 3pm
Join EcoTravel on a birding trip to the coastal areas of southeastern Connecticut. Start in Old Lyme at the mouth of the Connecticut River, travel east visiting Rocky Neck State Park and other popular birding spots. Leader: Andy Griswold. Members $75/Nonmembers $85.

Branford Trolley Trail and Thimble Island Cruise
Thursday, June 18     8am – 4pm
The Branford Trolley Trail is essentially a long footbridge along the route of an abandoned trolley track. The bridge links nature trails on both sides of the water through a marsh habitat that is home to many shorebirds, fish, mammals, and invertebrates. After lunch in Stony Creek, the group will take a 45-minute cruise around the Thimble Islands. Leader: Priscilla Wood. Members: $85/Nonmembers $95.

Exploring Fisher’s Island
Saturday, July 11   10am – 8pm
Don’t miss this very popular day trip to Fisher’s Island, New York which is a small island that sits between the eastern coast of Connecticut and the tip of Long Island Sound. The Island, which is part of Suffolk Country, New York, is accessible by plane or ferry and serves mostly as a remote destination for summer vacationers in their exclusive island estates. The group will visit the Henry L. Ferguson Museum, a local oyster farm, and take a tour of the gated East End, which is off limits to the public. Please bring your binoculars, field guides, a bag lunch, and money for dinner. Leader: Bob Kuchta. Members $95/Nonmembers $105.

Cruisin’ For Osprey Chicks
Saturday, July 18   9:30am – 12:30pm
Enjoy a three-hour cruise along the scenic Connecticut River in search of Osprey and their young. The lower part of the Connecticut River is heavily populated with Osprey nests, and the area is very busy with adult Osprey feeding their young and getting the chicks trained for fledging (flight). Bring whatever you like to eat or drink on board and take in the gorgeous river and its habitats as your background. Fee: $40.

Beaches and Birds of Rhode Island
Wednesday, July 22     9am – 5pm
A warm summer day is the perfect time to stroll the beaches in search of shorebirds. Rhode Island has a wide selection of state parks and shore front, just perfect for birding and a great walk along the ocean front on the famous Cliff Walk of Newport. We make stops at Sachuest Point, Brenton Point State Park, other birding hot spots, as well as a vineyard stop on the way back to Connecticut. Leader: Priscilla Wood. Members $85/Nonmembers $95.

South Beach in Chatham, Massachusetts
Wednesday, August 5   7am – 6pm
Take in a full day of shorebirding on one of the barrier beaches off the coast of Chatham, Massachusetts. Your group will be ferried to this beautiful and vast island habitat populated by Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Marbled Godwit, and Piping Plover. In the past we’ve found Arctic Tern! A beautiful way to spend a warm summer’s day. Leader: Andy Griswold. Members $95/Nonmembers $105.

Wave Hill
Saturday, August 8     8am – 5pm
Plantsmanship, aesthetic sensibility, and the human experience of the natural environment are the horticultural emphasis of Wave Hill’s 28 acres of gardens and woodland in Bronx, New York. The group will tour through this estate that was once leased by Theodore Roosevelt’s family and Mark Twain. Of winter at Wave Hill, Twain wrote, “I believe we have the noblest roaring blasts here I have ever known on land; they sing their hoarse song through the big tree-tops with a splendid energy that thrills me and stirs me and uplifts me and makes me want to live always.” Leader: Bob Kuchta: Members $85/Nonmembers $95.

Milford Point Shore Birds
Saturday, August 22     8am – 4pm
Check out the shorebirds of Milford Point and see what the dog days of summer have to offer in the birding world. Stops at other birding hot spots including Mondo Pond and the Connecticut Audubon Society Milford Point Coastal Center are on the agenda. Enjoy the warm summer day by the water in hopes of a cool breeze. Leader: Jim Sherwonit. Members $75/Nonmembers $85.

Lighthouse Cruise
Saturday, August 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Enjoy a relaxing cruise along the Connecticut River to the two lighthouses of Old Saybrook. Join us aboard RiverQuest, departing from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam, for a cruise south to the mouth of the Connecticut River in Old Saybrook to view Lynde Point Lighthouse and the Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse. Narrators will describe the history of the river as well as identify birds and wildlife along the way. Bring whatever you like to eat or drink on board and enjoy the magnificent scenery! Children 10 and over, please. For more information call 860-767-0660 or make you reservation online by clicking HERE. Fee: $40.

Kykuit: Architecture, Gardens, and Art
Saturday, September 12     8am – 5pm
Kykuit is a preeminent Hudson Valley landmark. For architecture, remarkable gardens, art, history, and spectacular scenery, a trip to Kykuit is simply amazing. This hilltop paradise was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family, beginning with the philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil. His business acumen made him, in his day, the richest man in America. Now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, this extraordinary landmark has been continuously and meticulously maintained for more than 100 years. Leader: Bob Kuchta. Members $85/Nonmembers $95.

Wine Trail of Litchfield County
Wednesday September 23     9am – 5pm
Litchfield County, in the northwest corner of the state, has been named one of the most exciting and fastest growing wine regions in the United States. A tremendous variety of wine style and stunning scenery are to be enjoyed as we meander through this beautiful part of our state. This cool-climate growing region allows for refined flavor development of wines and is also a great place to look for early fall migrants. Trip will also include a short hike at White Memorial Conservation Center. Leader: Priscilla Wood. Members $85/Nonmembers $95.


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Have you ever wanted to search for a rare bird near Connecticut, but couldn’t find directions or were concerned about going alone? Here’s your chance to join CAS EcoTravel Rarities Expeditions. We’ll provide the transportation, driver, pleasant company, experienced leadership, and logistical arrangements. This is how it works: first, call EcoTravel to sign on. Then, when a “bird of significance” is in the area, EcoTravel will contact you with the chance to join the adventure. You have the option of coming along or waiting for the next big rarity. The fee will be determined by how far we have to drive for each bird and the number of people participating. Call 800-996-8747 to get your name on the list! Call now so you will not miss out!



Falcon in a Tree

Falcon in a Tree

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Connecticut Audubon Society EcoTravel
30 Plains Road
PO Box 903
Essex, CT 06426

Andrew Griswold, Director

Priscilla Wood,
EcoTravel Assistant

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TV News Clips:
Fox 61: Swallow Cruise
MyTV 9: Swallows at Sunset
CBS: Eagles - Species Status
FOX: Selden Island "Daytrippers"
ABC: Eagles in Essex