There’s nothing like a long, unobstructed view of Long Island Sound or the thrill of water rushing over rocks and spilling into a lake, a shimmery ripple along its surface. Whether because of the reflections of puffy white clouds, the sail being unfurled on a Sunfish, or the delight of youngsters filling up their beach pails, a walk near water is a uniquely refreshing diversion. It’s no secret that Fairfield has plenty of options—and cool off with a quick swim or dip of your toe.

No. 1
In Southport Harbor, you’ll find the historic Ye Yacht Yard. This waterside route has easy walking with plenty of outstanding nautical views and sights. 985 Harbor Rd.

No. 2
The freshwater lake is a popular draw. Enjoy seeing its many splendors while exploring the surrounding 170 acres of woods with trails. Barring social-distancing restrictions, swimmers will be busy at the southern tip. The opposite side has a few rapids, called The Cascades, on Mill River, which feeds into the lake. The yellow trail is 2.5 miles along the perimeter, and the red route logs you 1.6 miles along the waterline of the lake and river. Expect dog walkers— it’s a popular draw. Consider checking for tips. 960 Morehouse Hwy.

No. 3
Mentioned above, The Cascades are along Lake Mohegan, but often referred to as an independent destination. Maybe because it is dog friendly (bring your own baggies) or just because it’s a unique view. The trails offer sights of a lake, waterfall and creek. 301 Eastfield Dr.

NO. 4
A wheelchair-accessible stretch of twenty-seven acres, Jennings is Fairfield’s largest beach. A town gem, expect to share it with families, college students and dedicated beachcombers of all types. Consider the coastline your trail, and enjoy an easy, relaxing, timeless stroll. (Off-season, dogs and horses are even welcome.) Just be sure to have your town sticker; see more at 880 S. Benson Rd.

No. 5
Penfield is three-and-a-half acres that offers an easy stretch of beach to saunter. Because of the play areas and grills, it can be quite the magnet for locals, so for a head-clearing walk, plan to go when it’s less busy. You’ll need a town sticker. Include a loop around the surrounding neighborhood, which offers flat routes and plenty of pretty homes to see. Start off from 323 Fairfield Beach Rd.

Three more beaches to consider: South Pine Creek Beach, 1424 South Pine Creek Rd.; Southport Beach, 1505 Pequot Ave.; and Sasco Beach, 1401 Sasco Hill Rd. Find more information, including maps, about town beaches at

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