Silver Sands State Park in Milford – Beaches, Pirates and Buried Treasure

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Silver Sands State Park in Milford CT
Silver Sands State Park. Photo by Esha Samajpati. All rights reserved ©
Silver Sands State Park in Milford CT
Silver Sands State Park. Photo by Esha Samajpati. All rights reserved ©

Legend has it that Captain William Kidd, notorious pirate that he was, may have buried some of his treasure on Charles Island, off the coast of Milford in Connecticut. The island is accessible from Silver Sands State Park during low tide but it’s off limits for most of summer as it’s a designated natural preserve for local birds. The slippery half-mile sandbar (or tombola if you will) gets submerged during high tide and beach-goers are encouraged to be careful on it.

Compare the pics above and watch the sandbar disappear like magic. On a pedagogical note, it’s a good opportunity for kids to get to the bottom of this so-called magic and learn about gravity and tides.

Going back to 1699, the story (which many historians vouch for as true) of Captain Kidd goes like this – being a marauder of sufficient merit, he had a ship full of spoils, only part of which he buried on Gardiners Island, while stashing the rest away on Charles Island. After being captured in Boston and sent to England, he claimed to have tempted the authorities with the possibility of yet-to-be-discovered buried treasure in Connecticut. This could very well have been a last-ditch effort to save his life.

Also, going by local folklore, Kidd’s ghost haunts the island so as to protect his riches from up and coming treasure-hunters.

Connecticut’s coastline with its gentle waves could do with more such stories, as they add a certain charm to the place. We had a ghost-less, pirate-free, pretty unremarkable but quite pleasant day at Silver Sands. Sand castles were built, decorated with seashells, the water was tested, waded in, and splashed around. The day was not too windy with just the right amount of sun.

To go along with the cut-up watermelon and drinks in our cooler, we got seafood wraps with French fries in Chinese take-out boxes from the nearby Greek Spot Cafe and Grill. The fries were crunchy and served with four different types of dips, each tastier than the next. You can probably guess that we will be going back to the Spot.

The salty sea breeze made everything taste better. The sun continued to shine, the water remained cold and refreshing, and the seagulls didn’t tire of looking for food in picnic baskets. A relaxing day like this is by itself a treasure, don’t you think?

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