Hammonasset Beach State Park is rich in history. The park first opened up to the public in the year 1920 and has been popular ever since. In the first year of operation, the park attracted more than 75,000 visitors. Five years later, that number grew to over 450,000! During WWII the park was closed down and was used as a firing range for the U.S. Army. It was later reopened as a park to the joy of many! Today, we are going to learn more about this very attractive state park, and see what it can offer you.
How to Get There
Getting to Hammonasset Beach State Park is really easy. If you are coming from the New York area, take I-95 North until you reach Exit 62. Once off Exit 62, take a right and go 1-mile. You will reach a traffic light where you will need to cross Route 1, and this will take you directly into the park. As you can see, this park is very easy to find, and it is close to just about everything.
In order to enter the park, you will need to pay a small fee at the entrance. There might be additional fees that will need to be paid, depending on the activities you plan to do. For example, if you choose to camp at the park, you will have to pay a site fee. There are also other areas at the park that can be rented for recreational purposes. Each of the fees that are taken in by the park is used to improve operations and keep the park open for everyone.
Spend the Day at the Beach
When it comes to beauty, Hammonasset Beach State Park Madison, CT has one of the most impressive beaches in the state! The beach here is 2 miles long, and there is plenty of room on the white sand to enjoy sunbathing. A great way to cool off during the summer months is by taking a dip in the Atlantic Ocean. Remember to play it safe while in the water, and keep an eye out for signs of a riptide. During some parts of the week, lifeguards are on duty while other days you will be on your own. If you are a beachcomber, you will enjoy walking up and down the beach collecting seashells. The beach is open from 8 AM until sunset during the warmer months of the year.
There are plenty of facilities at this very popular state park. With ample restrooms, you will never have to worry about finding a place to answer the call of nature. While at the park, you can have lunch at the picnic area or visit the nature center to learn more about the area’s wildlife. The park also has a concession stand, so that you can buy food and drinks while enjoying a sunny day on the beach!
The Nature Center
In the year 2016, a nature center was opened inside the park. The Meigs Point Nature Center was designed to educate the public about the area’s wildlife. Here you will find many different exhibits including fish, snakes, turtles, and other animals that call this area of the state home. There is also an observation deck that guest can use to view animals in their natural habitat. The nature center is a great place to bring children and allow them to learn more about the natural world. If you have a school group, this would be the perfect place to bring them on a field trip.
Hammonasset Beach State Park Camping
A great way to spend more time in this beautiful state park is by spending the night. Hammonasset Beach State Park Camping is super fun and a great way to spend a weekend with the family. This park has two different types of camping sites. Those that like to rough it a little can choose to stay at a tent site. They will be able to spend the night under the stars. For those who like a little more comfort, they can bring their RV along with them, and set up on one of the many RV ready sites. There are 59 tents sites to choose from and 50 RV sites. In total, the park has 556 sites, making it easy for you to find one that meets your needs.
If camping is not your thing then you will be happy to find that this amazing state park has cabin rentals. The park has eight cozy cabins to choose from. Each cabin comes with an open front porch, a fire pit, and a picnic table for you to enjoy! Each cabin sleeps up to six people which is perfect for a large group or family. All of the cabins have electricity for your comfort. Hammonasset Beach State Park cabins are on the waterfront, which will give you beautiful views! When renting one of these cabins, remember that pets are not allowed and the primary renter must be at least 21 years old. Smoking is also not allowed inside the cabins.
In addition to spending the night at one of the cabins on site, there are several hotels near Hammonasset Beach State Park. This is great for those who want the comforts of home, while still being near one of the most beautiful parks in all of the state. For those that like extreme comfort you may want to book a night at the Tidewater Inn. This hotel has all the luxury you will need! If you are on a budget and would like a nice hotel that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, you may want to book a night at the Comfort Inn Guilford. No matter what your needs are there are plenty of hotels that are in easy driving distance from Hammonasset Beach State Park Madison, CT.
Outdoor Activities at Hammonasset Beach State Park
If you love to fish then you will be happy to find that this state park has some of the best saltwater fishing in the area. During the day, anglers can enjoy fishing at Meig’s Point Jetty, which is located at the south end of the park. During the evening hours, the park allows night fishing along the 2-mile beach. Keep in mind that night fishing along the beach is limited to a certain time of year, so make sure to check with the park before going. There are many different types of fish species in these waters so you are bound to catch something! A valid fishing license is needed to fish in the park, which can easily be purchased online. You will also need to follow all the rules and regulations that have been adopted by the state. Make sure that before you go fishing in the park to brush up on everything so that you don’t find yourself in violation.
There are several hiking trails in Hammonasset Beach State Park. So if you enjoy getting away from the crowds and enjoying nature you just might want to try their trail system out. There are many footpaths in the park that visitors can walk on. If you love to hike, make sure you bring your camera with you because the views are beautiful and you just might see some of the area’s wildlife. Each of the trails in the system is very easy to navigate and they are all great for the entire family! Even if you have little ones with you, they will still be able to enjoy walking around the park.
Hammonasset Beach State Park Weather
During the winter months, the area around Hammonasset Beach State Park can be very cold. This is why most people choose to visit the park during the warmer months. In fact, the park is actually closed during the colder months. During most years, the park is open from Memorial Day weekend until the beginning of October. This will give you plenty of time to come and enjoy the park, but keep in mind it can be rather busy at times. So if you are planning on staying the night, you will need to make reservations at least a few days in advance. In the summer and fall, the park has mostly nice weather but a few thunderstorms can affect your plans. It is a good idea to check the local weather before visiting the park so that you can bring the right attire.
As you can see, this is truly one of the most fun and exciting parks in the state. Not only do you have a beautiful two-mile beach to enjoy, but you also have many other outdoor activities. Fishing, camping, hiking, and beach combing are just a few of the things that you can do here. If you are planning a vacation this year, why not head on over to Hammonasset Beach State Park and bring the entire family? Remember, if you do decide to come, bring your sunscreen and don’t forget to pack a picnic lunch. There is simply nothing like spending the day on the beach with your loved ones!