Farm River State Park

Farm River State Park is a privately operated, publicly owned recreation area on the western shore of the Farm River estuary in the town of East Haven, Connecticut. Public access to the 62-acre state park is limited and boating is restricted to those with passes obtained from Quinnipiac University, which manages the park for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Park activities include nature trail hiking, bird watching, and fishing.[2]

Farm River State Park
Farm River Connecticut State Park Quinnipiac University Boat Docks.JPG
Map showing the location of Farm River State Park
Map showing the location of Farm River State Park
Location in Connecticut
LocationEast Haven, Connecticut, United States
Coordinates41°15′17″N 72°51′25″W / 41.25472°N 72.85694°W / 41.25472; -72.85694Coordinates: 41°15′17″N 72°51′25″W / 41.25472°N 72.85694°W / 41.25472; -72.85694
Area62 acres (25 ha)[1]
DesignationConnecticut state park
AdministratorConnecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
WebsiteFarm River State Park


The park sits along the estuarine portion of the Farm River, which begins as a freshwater stream 16 miles (26 km) to the north in North Branford.[3] The park contains marshland, tidal wetlands and a rocky shore that hosts bird species including ducks, gulls, snowy egrets, and blue herons. The unique geology of the uplands and bedrock outcrops provide landscape diversity and allow tidal marsh flooding to separate the park into upper and lower portions.[4]


To create the park, the State of Connecticut, in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Trust for Public Lands, purchased a 57-acre parcel and another 15-acre parcel for $1.75 million in 1998.[5] The land was obtained and designated a state park before luxury condominiums were constructed along the river.[2] In 2006, Quinnipiac University installed a wireless network communication system to be used for educational purposes.[5] A trail from the D.C. Moore School through Farm River State Park was cleared by Boy Scout Troop 401 in 2012, as part of the development of the Shoreline Greenway.[6][7]

Activities and amenitiesEdit

Park activities include hiking, fishing, bird watching, and car-top boating. The boat launch and docks are managed by a private concessionaire contracted by the state.[2] Trails lead to scenic vistas and a self-guided nature trail.[4] The main access points are off Connecticut Route 142 (Short Beach Road) and via an electrically controlled gate off Mansfield Grove Road.[8] Access to the park is restricted to trailheads with limited parking.[9]


  1. ^ "Appendix A: List of State Parks and Forests" (PDF). State Parks and Forests: Funding. Staff Findings and Recommendations. Connecticut General Assembly. January 23, 2014. p. A-1. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Farm River State Park". State Parks and Forests. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. April 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
  3. ^ Leary states that Farm River is 2 miles long, whereas other sources, including the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection instead list the river as being 16 miles long. Leary, Joseph (2004). A Shared Landscape: A Guide & History of Connecticut's State Parks & Forests. Hartford, Conn.: Friends of the Connecticut State Parks, Inc. p. 56. ISBN 0974662909.
  4. ^ a b Daryll C. Borst and Barbara L. Borst (2013). "Self-Guided Nature Trail in Farm River State Park" (PDF). Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Retrieved August 17, 2016.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  5. ^ a b "Wireless park to teach Quinnipiac students". The Hour. Norwalk, Conn. April 24, 2006. Retrieved August 17, 2006.
  6. ^ Misur, Susan (January 16, 2012). "Planning for Shoreline Greenway trail 'at an exciting point'". New Haven Register. New Haven, Conn. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
  7. ^ "Shoreline Greenway: D.C. Moore & Farm River State Park" (PDF). South Central Regional Council of Governments. 2016. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
  8. ^ "Farm River State Park". Connecticut Coastal Access Guide. Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  9. ^ The lack of parking has not been without controversy: In 2006, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal stated, "... it is wrong for the university to close a parking lot on a state park to the general public and there may be and should be some way to accommodate the renters of slips without effectively barring the general public, which, after all, owns it." Zaretsky, Mark (April 23, 2006). "The secret park; Shhh! Don't tell anyone about this pristine waterfront area in East Haven". New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Archived from the original on June 29, 2014. Retrieved May 22, 2014.

External linksEdit