What to do in Hammonasset Beach State Park

*This information was provided by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection*

"Hammonasset" means, "where we dig holes in the ground" and refers to the place where a settlement of eastern woodland Indians farmed along the Hammonasset River. They subsisted on corn, beans, and squash, and by fishing and hunting. The first colonists arrived in 1639. Property changed hands frequently between Native Americans and the first colonists.

In 1898 the Winchester Repeating Arms Company bought Hammonasset and used it as a testing site for their new rifle. Their Lee Straight Pull rifle was mounted on a horse drawn stone boat, from which it was fired into targets on the beach.

On July 18, 1920, Hammonasset Beach State Park was opened to the public. The first season attracted over 75,000 visitors. The park's reputation drew tourists from across the continent as well as the state.

During World War II the park was closed to the public and loaned to the federal government as an army reservation. Meigs Point functioned as an aircraft range. Planes flew over Clinton Harbor, fired at the range and then flew out over Long Island Sound.

The stone breakwater at the Meigs Point end of the park was built in 1955. The stones were brought in by truck from quarries in northern New England.

Today, over one million people come annually enjoy to Hammonasset Beach State Park.

Hammonasset State Park offers bathrooms, a boardwalk, a car top boat launch, concessions, a nature center, picnic shelters, picnic tables, showers.

Recreation
Bicycling, picnicking, camping, saltwater fishing, carry-In boating, saltwater swimming, fishing, walking trails, and a nature center with exhibits.

Location
From the north/Hartford area: take I-91 south to Route 9 south. Off Route 9, take Exit 9. Turn right (south) onto Route 81; continue down Route 81 until you run into I-95. Turn right onto I-95 entrance ramp and go approximately 1 mile to Exit 62, then turn left off the exit. Head south 1 mile down Hammonasset connector, go straight through the light crossing Route 1 (Boston Post Road) into the park.

From the south area: take I-95 north, Exit 62. Take a right off the exit ramp onto Hammonasset I-95 connector. Park entrance will be 1 mile ahead.

From the east/Rhode Island area: take I-395 south onto I-95 south, Exit 62. Take a left off the exit and go approximately 1 mile. Go straight through the traffic light crossing Route 1 (Boston Post Road).

From the west/New York area: take I-95 north, Exit 62. Take a right off the exit and go approximately 1 mile. Go straight through the traffic light crossing Route 1 (Boston Post Road) into the park.

Climate
The climate of this state involves a moderate amount of humidity, heat and cold. Summer highs reach 90 degrees F with low temperatures near 65 degrees. Evenings near the water can become cool and light jackets and sweaters are recommended. Winter temperatures average in the mid thirties during the day and in the teens at night. Rarely do temperatures dip to zero, especially in the southern portion of the state, where the water influences the more temperate weather.

Address
1288 Boston Post Road P.O. Box 271
Madison, CT 06443

Phone: 203-245-2785

Email: dep.stateparks@po.state.ct.us
  • Hammonasset Beach State Park Travel Q&A

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