Prepare for Your Visit View All
Why You Should Visit
Visitable only by small boat, this freshwater marsh is one of the most undisturbed and biologically significant in the region. It contains one of the largest stands of wild rice in Connecticut, providing a seasonal feeding area for various birds.
Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
Whalebone Cove is one of the most undisturbed and biologically significant freshwater tidal marshes on the Connecticut River.
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
In 2001, the Connecticut chapter purchased 4.2 acres that includes tidal marsh and sloping wooded land on the north side of Ferry Road and Whalebone Cove.
Dawn to dusk
This site can only be visited by canoe, kayak or other small boat.
What to See: Plants
Whalebone Cove is studded with grasses and reeds, and surrounded by oak, hickory, and hemlock trees. It is the location of one of the largest stands of wild rice in the state, providing a seasonal feeding area for various birds. Whalebone Cove is also home to several rare marsh plants, and other colorful plants that are not rare: pickerel weed, cardinal weed, wild iris, and wild roses.
What to See: Animals
Birds sighted at Whalebone Cove include green and great blue herons, sora rails, least bitterns, long-billed marsh wrens, Carolina wrens, white-eyed vireos, Canada geese, common mergansers, red-tailed hawk, marsh hawks, eastern bluebirds, brown creepers, mockingbirds, myrtle warblers and various woodpeckers. Mallards, wood and black ducks also nest and feed in the area.
In fall and early spring, osprey hunt the shallows. Tides keep the cove's mouth free of ice in winter, affording easier fishing for bald eagles, which winter in the area. The saucer-shaped nests of largemouth bass and bluegill are visible in the sandy-bottomed channels in early July.
Please enjoy your visit to this preserve. The Nature Conservancy welcomes passive recreation, including hiking, birding, canoeing, nature study and cross-country skiing.
To ensure those who visit after you are able to enjoy the same experience you have, please remember to stay on designated trails, pack out everything you brought in, and contact our office at: 203 568 6270 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any problems.
To maintain the ecological integrity of the preserve, the following activities are not allowed: collection of plant or animal specimens, camping, fires, fishing, hunting, bicycling, and use of motorized vehicles. Pets are not allowed on Nature Conservancy preserves.