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Seagull perched on wood post at Sherwood Island State Park

Nestled on Long Island Sound, Sherwood Island State Park is a stunning public recreational space in Westport, Connecticut.

Located an hour’s drive from both New York City and Hartford, and just 30 minutes from New Haven, it was designated as the first state park in Connecticut in 1914.

Spread across 238-acres, the park features a beach, picnic areas and hiking trails through woodlands and wetlands. It is a popular spot for swimming, fishing and birdwatching.

The park is also home to the Sherwood Island Nature Center, which offers educational programs and exhibits on the local flora and fauna.

Although the Sherwood Island State Park does not have a campground onsite, it is open year-round. It also offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors of all ages.

Activities

Visitors to Sherwood Island State Park can enjoy its picturesque surroundings and stoic scenery in a myriad of ways.

Outlined below is an overview of some of the main activities you can engage in during your time there.

Swimming at Sherwood Island State Park

Sherwood Island State Park offers fabulous swimming opportunities which in the scenic surrounds of Long Island Sound.

Within the park you will find a large beach area that has lifeguards on duty during the summer season. Guests can also enjoy the beach and cool off in the sound with a refreshing swim.

It’s important to note that swimming conditions can change depending on the weather and water conditions. So you should always check with the lifeguards on duty for the latest information on swimming conditions if you intend to enter the water.

Additionally, visitors should also be aware of the park’s rules and regulations. These forbid pets and the use of flotation devices in the swimming areas.

Fishing at Sherwood Island State Park

Sherwood Island State Park offers terrific opportunities for anglers.

Whilst at the park, patrons can fish from its pier or on the shoreline along its beach. The park also has a boat launch for visitors who wish to cast a line from a boat or watercraft.

The Long Island Sound is home to a variety of fish species, including striped bass, bluefish, flounder, and winter flounder. It’s also regarded as a good place to catch some saltwater fish species like blackfish and weakfish.

Visitors are required to have a valid Connecticut fishing license to fish at the park. If you are a novice fisherman, or fancy brushing up on your skills, the park runs fishing clinics and various advisory programs throughout the year.

Hiking at Sherwood Island State Park

Sherwood Island State Park offers several hiking trails for visitors to explore the park’s natural flora and fauna.

These trails vary in length and difficulty, so they provide an option for hikers of all skill levels. Individually, they all showcase unique sections of the park’s pristine landscape.

Here are some of the trails at Sherwood Island State Park:

  • Beach Trail – Length: 0.5 miles. Degree of Difficulty: Easy
  • Nature Trail – Length: 0.75 miles. Degree of Difficulty: Easy
  • Sound View Trail – Length: 1.25 miles. Degree of Difficulty: Moderate

Picnicking at Sherwood Island State Park

Sherwood Island State Park is a great place to enjoy a picnic with friends and family while taking in the beautiful scenery and natural surroundings of the Long Island Sound.

The park’s picnic areas offer a variety of options including shaded tables and open areas. Some picnic areas are equipped with grills and fireplaces, making it easy for visitors to cook their own meals.

The park also has a few designated picnic areas that are available to hire by groups for special events. These areas can be reserved in advance, and may have additional amenities such as electricity and running water.

Birding at Sherwood Island State Park

Sherwood Island State Park is a popular spot for birdwatching due to its location on Long Island Sound.

Throughout the year, a variety of bird species can be found there. This includes the likes of ospreys, egrets, and herons.

During the spring and fall, the park is a popular spot for bird migration, with a variety of shorebirds, waterfowl, and songbirds passing through the area. In the summer months, birders can spot various nesting birds such as terns, gulls, and shorebirds.

Pets

Pets are allowed at Sherwood Island State Park, however, they must be kept on a leash at all times and are not permitted on the beach. Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets and disposing of waste properly.

It’s important to check with the park’s official website or contact the main office directly for the most current information about pet regulations. They may change at any given time.

Additionally, it’s also important to note that not all the facilities of the park are pet-friendly, so it’s always good to inquire and plan accordingly.

Camping

Unfortunately there are no campgrounds available directly at Sherwood Island State Park. However, within easy driving distance of it there are several other sites you can choose to stay overnight at.

One of the best nearby campgrounds can be found over at Milford in Silver Sands State Park. It provides several accommodation options including tent and RV sites, as well as cabin rentals. The park also features access to a stunning beach, as well as modern amenities like restrooms with flush toilets and hot showers.

You will also be able to find a range of camping choices at nearby Hammonasset Beach State Park, Rocky Neck State Park, Osbornedale State Park and Indian Well State Park.

Wherever you intend to stay, it is worth making a reservation ahead of time to avoid inconvenience or disappointment.

Park Location

Sherwood Island State Park
Sherwood Island Connector
Westport, CT 06880
Phone: 203.226.6983

Park Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Sherwood Island State Park: