Occupying two scenic miles of Connecticut beachfront on Long Island Sound, Hammonasset Beach State Park is one of the state’s most popular attractions.
Every year, some one million people come to it to enjoy its beautiful surroundings. Whether it be strolling along its boardwalk, swimming or collecting shells, the beach area provides a wonderful place to relax.
It’s not just by the sand where you can have fun at the park, other activities like hiking, biking, kayaking and canoeing are popular too. There are also excellent options to be enjoyed for wildlife watching and picnicking as well.
As it is less than a 30 minute drive from New Haven and 50 minutes from Hartford, the park is a regular day trip destination for city folk who want to reconnect with nature. However, for those who want to make a weekend of it – or even a longer vacation – there are 550 campsites available to stay at.
Visitors to this Connecticut state park can engage in several outdoor recreational pursuits during their time there.
Below is a small selection of some of the activities you can do while at Hammonasset Beach State Park.
Boating at Hammonasset Beach State Park
There is plenty of water at Hammonasset Beach State Park so make sure you bring your kayaks, canoes or stand up paddleboards with you.
If you want to explore the picturesque waters of the Long Island Stand, you’ll find a boat launch at one end of the beach that will easily get you into the water.
Should you decide to engage in such activities it is highly recommended that you wear a lifejacket as the water can get a little rough.
Swimming and surfing at Hammonasset Beach State Park
You should definitely bring your swimming costume, floaties and bucket and spade to Hammonasset, because on a hot day you’ll want to spend a lot of time at the beach.
It is worth noting the beach is not lifeguarded, so you should exercise caution as you enter the water.
For those into surfing, the swell can be quite good. So it is worth bringing your board with you as well.
To avoid sunstroke, be sure to wear a hat and plenty of sunscreen. Drink lots of water as well.
Fishing at Hammonasset Beach State Park
Anglers from all over the state and the surrounding areas come to Hammonasset Beach State Park for the chance to take advantage of its saltwater fishing opportunities.
Between 8 am to sunset, fishing is permitted on Meigs Point Jetty and the West Beach Jetty. Additionally, at night during the peak season, you can fish on the entire two mile stretch of beach.
No matter when you fish, there is a good catch you can catch striped bass, winter flounder, blackfish and bluefish.
Hiking at Hammonasset Beach State Park
For those who want to explore the park away from the beach, hiking is a very popular activity.
You’ll find a number of walking paths snaking off from the campground to various parts of its landscape.
One of the most popular trails is the Hammonasset Beach State Park Walk. This will take you on a 3.4-mile journey that showcases several stunning lookout points. Make sure you have your camera with you as you will want to snap lots of photos for your Instagram.
Whilst hiking, especially in the summer, remember to wear a hat, lots of sunscreen and mosquito spray and carry plenty of water with you.
Biking at Hammonasset Beach State Park
If you would rather explore the park on two wheels many of the trails are multi-use.
Many cyclists tackle the Hammonasset trailhead which is a part of the scenic 25-mile Shoreline Greenway Trail.
The course can get a little bumpy, so you would be well advised to wear a helmet and other safety gear.
Birding at Hammonasset Beach State Park
One of the most fascinating features of the park is the opportunity it provides you for wildlife watching.
Throughout Hammonasset you will be able to spot several species of sea birds if you have binoculars. Some of these reside at the park permanently, while others are migratory.
You should be able to get a full birding list from the park’s main office, but you can potentially see the likes of common yellowthroat, red-winged blackbird, purple sandpiper and northern goshawk.
You are welcome to bring your dog with you to Hammonasset Beach State Park. However, certain conditions on their presence within it have been put in place.
If you are planning on bringing your four-legged friend with you, it might be worth contacting their main office for a full rundown of the park’s pet policy.
With over 550 campsites available there is no shortage of overnight accommodation options within the park.
Despite being a large campground, most of the sites are quite spacious and can fit a 35-foot RV or trailer – although some are tent only. All up there are only 50 sites that provide hookups for electricity, so if you need this it is advisable to make a reservation well in advance of your visit.
Amenities at the campground include a camp store, bathhouses, potable water, dishwashing stations, and dumpsters.
They are all easily accessible from within each camping loop.
Please note, the campground only stays open for overnight guests between Memorial Day and the start of October.
For those wanting a more upscale option there are also eight rustic cabins available at the park.
Hammonasset Beach State Park
1288 Boston Post Rd
Madison, CT 06443
Here is a short YouTube video giving a tour of Hammonasset Beach State Park:
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