DEEP: Hammonasset Beach State Park
Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
DEEP: Hammonasset Beach State Park

CT State Parks and Forests Main Page

Park Location and Contact Information
Hammonasset Beach 
State Park
1288 Boston Post Road
P.O. Box 271
Madison, CT 06443
(203) 245-2785
(203) 245-1817

{Symbol for Handicapped Accessibility}
This park offers:
{Symbol for Handicapped Accessibility} Bathrooms
{Symbol for Handicapped Accessibility} Boardwalk
{Symbol for Handicapped Accessibility} Camping
{Symbol for Handicapped Accessibility} Parking
{Symbol for Handicapped Accessibility} Picnic Tables
{Symbol for Handicapped Accessibility} Surf Chairs

The park is open from 8 am to sunset. When the campground is open (mid-May through October 8) the gates are monitored after sunset. Only campers, and fishermen with passes may enter the park. In the off-season, the gates are unlocked at 8:00 am and are locked at sunset.

Current information on swimming water quality.

Pets on a leash are permitted in the picnic areas. From Nov. 1 - April 1 ONLY they are alllowed in the campground and on the beach leashed and under control. 

(860) 424-3200
Seasonal Water Quality Information:
(866) 287-2757
(Toll Free in CT)
(860) 424-4070

{Meigs Point Beach at Hammonasset Beach State Park} Hammonasset Beach State Park
A visit to Hammonasset Beach State Park, is more than just another day at the beach.  Connecticut's largest shoreline park offers over 2 miles of beach to enjoy swimming, strolling along the boardwalk, or just relaxing in the sun and surf.
View details on construction projects at Hammonasset Beach State Park.
{Follow Hammonasset Beach State Park on Twitter} Follow us on Twitter.  Hear about events and activities occurring at the park and nature center.  Receive park status updates (closed due to the park reaching capacity, traffic conditions, water quality reports, etc).
Activities Facilities Geology Directions Map Overview
{Biking} Bicycling {Picnicking} Picnicking
{Camping} Camping {Fishing} Saltwater Fishing
{Car-Top Boating} Carry-In Boating {Swimming} Saltwater Swimming
{Fishing} Fishing {Walking Trails} Walking Trails
{Nature Center} Nature Center Programs and Exhibits
As Connecticut’s largest public beach park, Hammonasset offers over 550 grassy campsites perfect for the nature enthusiast..
More Information
Bathrooms, Boardwalk, Car Top Boat Launch, Concessions, Nature Center, Picnic Shelters, Picnic Tables, Showers
Picnic Shelter Rental Information
Note to Swimmers:  Please read the Beach Rules and Swimming Safety Information before entering the park
Meigs Point Nature Center
The Meigs Point Nature Center offers programs and activities for park visitors on a year round basis. The Center hours are 10am to 5pm Tuesday – Saturday, from April through October, and 10am to 4pm Tuesday – Sunday, from November through March. For information on programs, please contact Nature Center staff at (203) 245-8743. To visit the Nature Center, bear to the left at the access road rotary, go halfway around the rotary and follow the signs toward Meigs Point. The Center is on the left across from the Meigs Point bathhouse. Parking is available near the building.
Please note the Nature Center telephone number is answered by Nature Center staff that spend time working outside of the office.  Please leave a message and your call will be returned. 
{Hammonasset State Park Nature Center}
Meigs Point Nature Center
The Geology of Hammonasset Beach State Park
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 south 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.
From Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day there are separate weekend/holiday and weekday parking fees. On weekends from the third weekend in April through the weekend before Memorial Day weekend and again the two weekends after Labor Day weekend, the weekday parking fee is effect.
When the campground is open (mid-May through October 10) the gates are monitored after sunset. Only campers, and fishermen with passes may enter the park. In the off-season, the gates are unlocked at 8:00 am and are locked at sunset.
More Information

{Original Pavilion - Hammonasset State Park}
Hammonasset Boardwalk, circa 1925
"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 to enjoy Hammonasset Beach State Park.
Video Tour of Hammonasset Beach State Park  (link to ‘The Outdoor Enthusiast’ - CT Public Broadcastings’ Media Lab online project)

Other Nearby State Recreation Areas Include:
Chatfield Hollow State Park, Killingworth
Location: 1.5 miles west of Killingworth Center on Route 80
Activities: Picnicking, Hiking, Ice Skating, Pond and Stream Fishing, Swimming
Charge: Daily, in season
{Hammonasset Beach State Park}
Hammonasset Beach State Park
Rocky Neck State Park, East Lyme
Location: 3 miles west of Niantic (Exit 72 from I- 95)
Activities: Picnicking, Saltwater Fishing, Hiking, Scuba Diving, Camping, Interpretive Program, Field Sports, Cross Country Skiing, Saltwater Swimming
Charge: Daily, in season.  Camping fee
Sherwood Island State Park, Westport
Location: 1/4 mile south of Exit 18 from I-95
Activities:  Picnicking, Salt Water Swimming and Fishing, Field Sports, and Nature Programs
Charge: Daily, in season

Related Links
Connecticut Tourism Information
Friends of Hammonasset Beach State Park
Fishing Information
Boating Information
{Link to Top of Page}