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sailboat off the rocky shore of a state park near stamford connecticutConnecticut is the third smallest state by area in the USA, with a landmass of only 14,357 km. Which makes the fact that it possesses 102 state parks all the more impressive!

For those who live in, or are visiting, the city of Stamford, The Constitution State provides plenty of opportunity to explore the great outdoors.

From stunning forests and scenic rivers, to incredible coastlines and imposing rock faces, Connecticut there is plenty to see.

So, if you are searching for inspiration for where to go, these 5 state parks near Stamford are a good starting point.

Map of State Parks Near Stamford, CT

Here is a map of the state parks in Connecticut covered by this post:

List of State Parks Near Stamford

All of the five state parks near Stamford outlined below can be reached within a drive of less than 2 hours from the city.

This means you can easily visit them for the day. However, should you want to spend a few days at any of these destinations they all have camping facilities available for you to use.

1. Hammonasset Beach State Park

Location: 1288 Boston Post Rd, Madison, CT 06443

The Hammonasset Beach State Park is situated just an hour’s drive up the road from Stamford in a north eastern direction.

A very popular spot, on account of its coastal location, this park draws over a million visitors every year. Most of whom are attracted to its stunning 2 mile long shoreline.

Located on the Long Island Sound, Hammonasset is the largest shoreline park in the state. As such, it is a haven for those who love swimming, surfing, fishing, beach combing and taking in coastal views from its boardwalk.

With its picturesque setting this park is also well set up for camping. Overall there are 558 open sites in the William F. Miller Campground which caters to tents, RVs and trailers. There are also cabins available for hire too.

Facilities include bathrooms, showers and a dumping station. Unfortunately pets are not allowed and individual fireplaces are not provided.

However, if that is not an issue for you, then you will love your time at the park.

2. Black Rock State Park

Location: 2065 Thomaston Rd, Watertown, CT 06795

Another state park that is only an hour from Stamford is the Black Rock State Park.

You will reach it via a drive north from the city, and once you are there you will find yourself within the magnificent undulating hills of the Western Highlands.

Covering 444 acres, at an elevation of 525 feet, this park adjoins the Mattatuck State Forest. It is best known for the dramatic large rock face from which it derives its name.

Rich in Indian legend, this public recreational space offers outstanding hiking opportunities which showcase tremendous views of the surrounding landscape.

This includes steep, forested ledges that are covered with oak, pine and hemlock and the scenic Black Rock Pond. The latter of which provides a welcome opportunity to swim or fish.

All up the park offers 78 wooded and open camping sites. Showers and bathrooms are available, but only for certain parts of the season.

3. Devil’s Hopyard State Park

Location: 366 Hopyard Rd, East Haddam, CT 06423

At just over a 90 minute drive northeast of Stamford, the Devil’s Hopyard State Park is an intriguing 1,000 acre public recreational space to visit.

One of its main drawcards is the scintillating Chapman Falls, which cascades for more than sixty feet over a network of steps that have formed in a Scotland Schist stone formation. This is a lovely spot that is very Insta-worthy.

The park is a well known spot for hiking, picnicking and bicycling. It is also considered to offer some of the best opportunities for birding in Connecticut. While fishermen snare plenty of brook trout in the cool waters of the stream.

Unfortunately this is another park that is not pet friendly. It does, however, offer 21 wooded camping sites that are situated close to the waterfall, and also has youth group camping as well.

4. Housatonic Meadows State Park

Location: 90 US-7, Sharon, CT 06069

Situated along the gorgeous Housatonic River, the Housatonic Meadows State Park is one of the most serene public recreational spaces in Connecticut.

It will take you about 90 minutes to drive north there from Stamford, but once you are there you will be presented with an area that resides within the northwestern uplands. A spectacular area of rugged hills and rock strewn valleys.

Spread across 452 acres, this park is a top spot for hiking and photography. While catch and release fly-fishing for trout and bass, and canoeing are popular activities here too. (Swimming is not allowed).

The campground is nestled by the riverbank under tall pines, which gives it a rather sedate and biophilic ambience. It features 61 rustic sites which have bathrooms and showers available at selected times of the year.

Like most of the other state parks on this list, pets are not allowed. However, there is a dumping station at the campground, as well as portable toilets.

5. Hopeville Pond State Park

Location: 929 Hopeville Rd, Griswold, CT 06351

While Hopeville Pond State Park is the furthest park away from Stamford on this list, it is still only an hour and 45 minutes drive north east of the city. So you should really make the effort to go there.

Centered around the scenic Hopeville Pond, which is an impoundment of the Pachaug River, this fabulous 554-acre state park encompasses the site of the legendary lost village of Hopeville. Which was once home to several affluent mill operations.

Today the park is a popular place for boating, as well as swimming, fishing and picnicking. There is only one trail for hiking and biking – the blue blaze Nehantic Trail – which provides beautiful scenery to explore.

Overall the park has 80 wooded sites that are situated near the pond. Facilities include showers, bathrooms and a dumping station. While there is also a cabin that can be booked for a minimum stay of three nights.

Pets are not permitted here, and there is a permanent alcohol ban in place at the park as well.