Hammonasset Beach State Park

Hammonasset Beach State Park is a public recreation area occupying two miles of beach front on Long Island Sound in the town of Madison, Connecticut. It is the state's largest shoreline park and one of the most popular attractions in the state, drawing an estimated one million visitors annually.[3][4] The state park offers beach activities, large campground, and nature center. It is managed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Hammonasset Beach State Park
Hammonasset 12.JPG
Map showing the location of Hammonasset Beach State Park
Map showing the location of Hammonasset Beach State Park
Location in Connecticut
LocationMadison, Connecticut, United States
Coordinates41°15′54″N 72°33′21″W / 41.26500°N 72.55583°W / 41.26500; -72.55583Coordinates: 41°15′54″N 72°33′21″W / 41.26500°N 72.55583°W / 41.26500; -72.55583[1]
Area936 acres (379 ha)[2]
Elevation10 ft (3.0 m)[1]
DesignationConnecticut state park
AdministratorConnecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
WebsiteHammonasset Beach State Park
Nature center exhibit
Hammonasset Beach, 2016


The park began with the purchase of 499 acres in 1919.[5] The park drew over 75,000 visitors in 1920, its first year of operation, a figure that grew to nearly 450,000 by its fifth year of operation, 1924.[6] In 2013, Hammonasset accounted for over one-quarter of statewide park attendance and over one-third of the revenue generated statewide by the state park system.[7] Officials estimate annual attendance at one million visitors.[3]

The park closed during World War II when the site became a U.S. Army reservation and active aircraft firing range. In 1955, a stone breakwater was built at the Meigs Point end of the park.[3]

Nature centerEdit

A new Meigs Point Nature Center was opened in 2016 to replace the center's original farmhouse site that had been in use for more than 40 years. The facility offers 4,000 square feet (370 m2) of exhibit space with observation deck and hands-on learning experiences.[8] Exhibits feature a touch tank and live turtles, snakes, amphibians, crabs and fish.[9]

Activities and amenitiesEdit

The park offers bicycling, boating, fishing, hiking, picnicking, and swimming as well as a campground with 550 units.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Hammonasset State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ "Appendix A: List of State Parks and Forests" (PDF), State Parks and Forests: Funding, Staff Findings and Recommendations, Connecticut General Assembly, p. A-2, January 23, 2014, retrieved March 20, 2014
  3. ^ a b c d "Hammonasset Beach State Park". State Parks and Forests. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. September 2017. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  4. ^ The most popular Connecticut attractions are the casinos in Uncasville and Mashantucket, which draw an estimated seven million and eight million visitors annually. "Largest tourist attractions in Connecticut". Hartford Business Journal. May 18, 2015. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  5. ^ Report of the State Park Commission to the Governor 1920 (Report). Hartford, Conn.: State of Connecticut. December 29, 1920. p. 10. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  6. ^ Report of the State Park and Forest Commission to the Governor 1924 (Report). Hartford, Conn.: State of Connecticut. December 29, 1924. p. 26. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  7. ^ State Parks and Forests: Funding (PDF) (Report). Staff Findings and Recommendations. Connecticut General Assembly. January 23, 2014. p. 32. Retrieved September 22, 2016. Hammonasset, which accounts for roughly one-quarter to one-third of all paid [park] visitors in the state, generates over one-third of all park revenues...
  8. ^ Norton, Sam (August 12, 2016). "State budget cuts may force Meigs Point Nature Center in Madison to close". New Haven Register. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  9. ^ "About the Meigs Point Nature Center". Meigs Point Nature Center. Retrieved August 22, 2016.

External linksEdit