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Outings, Tours, & Camps

Eco Tours

Discover and explore with us at one of our amazing paddling destinations.

Experience spectacular natural beauty

Black Hall Outfitters (BHO) offers guided Eco Tours in one of the most spectacular wildlife preserves in the Northeast – The Great Island Salt Marsh. Great Island is a nationally recognized eco-system on the Long Island Sound. With direct access to one of the most pristine coastlines in New England, BHO’s Eco Tours are perfect for anyone who is passionate about kayaking, wildlife and the historical impact of the CT River Estuary System.

Guided by our BHO Eco Tour expert, Sharon Baldi, you will be led through different inlets along the way and meander through the salt marsh as well as stopping to observe the many species that live in the wetlands. Discussion will include the local history, fauna and flora. The estuaries’ wildlife will be the central topic throughout the tour. This trip is tidal dependent, but will offer you amazing views of osprey, marsh hawks, bald eagles, deer, mink, as well as many other bird species that live in the tidal wetland. Our BHO Eco Tours are considered to be one of the Northeast’s most pristine paddles.

Location

Black Hall Old Lyme
132 Shore Rd
Old Lyme, CT 06371

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Price

1-3 People
$125/per person

4+ People
$85/per person

Capacity

The maximum amount of participants for the BHO Eco Tour is 10 unless pre-arranged by our crew

The Details

  • Our BHO Eco Tours are perfect for the more experienced paddler. Eco Tours are held at our Old Lyme, CT location - directly on one of the most spectacular wildlife preserves in the Northeast. The Great Island Salt-Marsh – a nationally recognized eco-system on the Long Island Sound.
  • Eco Tours include a 2 ½ - 3 hour on-water, nature inspired paddling trip, accompanied by a highly experienced and knowledgeable on-water guide. If you have passion for both the wildlife and the significance of the CT River estuary system, a BHO Eco Tour is for you and will energize your inner explorer and be the highlight of your summer.
  • Kayak, Paddle and PFD included.
  • Bring water bottle, dry bag, snacks, camera and sunscreen.
  • Be prepared for all types of weather.

Contact

All Eco-Tours must be scheduled with the BHO Events Director directly by contacting audra@blackhalloutfitters.com

Eco Tours

What is the difference between a BHO Group Outing and a BHO Eco Tour?

BHO Eco Tours are more for the experienced paddler and are guided by one of our BHO very knowledgeable on-water guide(s).  Our Eco Tour Guide is educated in everything involving the ecosystem, including wildlife, birding, fish and plant life.

How long is a BHO Eco Tour?

Typically you will be on the water for 2 ½ - 3 hours for an Eco Tour

Where do you paddle on a BHO Eco Tour?

You will paddle out from our Old Lyme location – located on one of the most spectacular wildlife preserves in the Northeast.  The Great Island Salt-Marsh – a nationally recognized eco-system on the Long Island Sound

Photos of wildlife you may encounter during your eco-tour!

Photos graciously provided by Sharon Baldi

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

These waders live in or near our coastal wetlands and forage in tidal marshes, tide pools and along the shore of Long Island Sound where they feed on crustaceans, largely fiddler crabs.

Beaver

The beaver is the largest rodent found in North America. Adults can weigh anywhere between 30 to 65 pounds and measure from 24 to 36 inches, plus a tail of 12 to 18 inches.

Mink

A quiet and solitary hunter stalks the shores of Great Island – looking for fish, rodents, crustaceans, and even birds.

Northern Diamondback Terrapin

The Northern diamondback terrapin is the only species of turtle in North America, including Connecticut, that spends its life in brackish water (water that is less salty than sea water).

Immature Bald Eagle

More commonly seen to our west and north, Bald Eagles are found in Connecticut primarily during the fall migration and when a few appear in winter months.

Meet The Guide

Sharon Baldi

Sharon Baldi

2023 will mark Sharon’s 8th year as BHO Eco Tour Guide. Sharon’s passion and knowledge about everything Eco Tour related will inspire you to appreciate the beauty of this amazingly fragile environment. In addition to Sharon’s 8 years with Black Hall Outfitters, some of her additional background includes:

  • 30 Years Public School Teaching
  • 5 Years Guiding in The White Mountains of New Hampshire
  • 6 Years Naturalist for The Essex Steam Train and the CT Riverboat

Sharon’s Certifications Include:

  • CPR
  • Wilderness First Aid Afloat
  • National Outdoor Leadership School (Kayak Guide)
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