Farm River State Park

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Coordinates: 41°15′17″N 72°51′25″W / 41.25472°N 72.85694°W / 41.25472; -72.85694
Farm River State Park
Connecticut State Park
Farm River Connecticut State Park Quinnipiac University Boat Docks.JPG
Quinnipiac University Boat Docks at Connecticut's Farm River State Park in East Haven.
Country  United States
State  Connecticut
County New Haven
Town East Haven
Coordinates 41°15′17″N 72°51′25″W / 41.25472°N 72.85694°W / 41.25472; -72.85694
Area 61 acres (25 ha) [1]
Established 1998
Management Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Location in Connecticut
Website: Farm River State Park

Farm River State Park is a 61 acre Connecticut state park on Long Island Sound in the town of East Haven. The undeveloped park follows 16 mile long Farm River, which has been known by 15 different names. The land along the river was acquired by the State of Connecticut and designated a state park in 1998 before developers began the construction of luxury condominiums along the river. The park is managed for the state by Quinnipiac University. The land contains marshland, tidal wetlands and a rocky shore that hosts a number of bird species including ducks, gulls, snowy egrets, and blue herons. The unique geology of the uplands and bedrock outcrops provide the landscape diversity and allow the tidal marsh flooding to separate the park into an upper and lower portions. Park activities include picnicking, hiking, bicycling, fishing, crabbing, bird watching, and car-top boating. Public access to the park is limited and boating is restricted to those with passes obtained from Quinnipiac University.

History[edit]

Farm River State Park is made of 61 acres that is located on the western shoreline of the Farm River before it enters into Long Island Sound. According to Leary, the Farm River competes with the Housatonic River for the most names, with at least 15 different known names. The Quinnipiac tribe called the river Mainnuntaquck, Moe, or Tapamshasick whereas the colonists and their descendents "have given it at least 12 different names".[2] One of these names, Deborah River, named for Deborah Chidsey relates to an incident with Governor Gurdon Saltonstall being stranded upon a rock in the river whilst waiting for the tide to recede.[2]

The land surrounding the river has been dominated by summer homes as recently as the early 1970s, when acreage was inexpensive and available. The land was obtained by the State of Connecticut and designated a state park in 1998 before the construction of luxury condominiums.[1] The State of Connecticut in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Trust for Public Lands, purchased a 57 acres parcel on the former Lippincott property and another 15 acre parcel on Mansfield Grove Road which has a marina for a total of $1.75 million.[3]

Though it only has 61 acres, the park has remarkable diversity according to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The land contains marshland, tidal wetlands and a rocky shore that hosts a number of bird species including ducks, gulls, snowy egrets, and blue herons. The unique geology of the uplands and bedrock outcrops provide the landscape diversity and allow the tidal marsh flooding to separate the park into an upper and lower portions.[1] In 2006, Quinnipiac University "received a grant for $86,000 from the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority to purchase and install a wireless network communication system" in the park, making it the first state park in Connecticut to have Wi-fi capability.[4] Also in 2006, a house on the site was destroyed by fire that was ruled arson, the building was vacant and planned to be demolished to make way for parking for the Farm River State Park.[5] In 2012, more than a mile of trail from the D.C. Moore School to Farm River State Park and Short Beach Road was cleared by Boy Scout Troop 401.[6]

Activities[edit]

The Farm River State Park is undeveloped and is difficult to access, but it does contain two access point trails that are "measured in hundreds, not thousands, of feet", but off-trail hiking leads to scenic vistas. Quinnipiac University, which manages the park, "offers a limited number of passes to the general public to launch canoes and kayaks at the site through its Community Boating Program" and the docks are only to be used by those with the pass.[1] In 2004, Leary wrote that a development plan being created that may result in parking, a boardwalk and proper entrance to the Farm River State Park.[2] Park activities include picnicking, hiking, bicycling, fishing, crabbing, bird watching, and car-top boating.[1]

The park is described as not being fully operational and only a portion of the park is accessible to the general public. There is access off Connecticut Route 142 (Short Beach Road) via an electrically-controlled gate off Mansfield Grove Road. Parking is limited to six cars before the park entrance gate, and a 0.3 mile walk on a gravel access road leads to the Farm River State Park waterfront.[7] Currently, "there is a $20 season pass fee for visiting the marina area of the park."[1] In 2006, access to the park was the subject of debate with Attorney General Richard Blumenthal stating, "... 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."[3]

Notes[edit]

Leary states that Farm River is 2 miles long, whereas other sources, including the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection instead list 16 miles.[2][1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Farm River State Park". State Parks and Forests. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Leary, Joseph (2004). A Shared Landscape: A Guide & History of Connecticut's State Parks & Forests. Friends of the Connecticut State Parks, Inc. p. 56. ISBN 0974662909. 
  3. ^ a b Zaretsky, Mark (April 23, 2006). "The secret park; Shhh! Don't gell anyone about this pristine waterfront area in East Haven". New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "$86G grant will put wireless link at park". New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). March 30, 2006. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Zaretsky, Mark (November 21, 2006). "Shoreline arson fires probed; Besides time, area, no common link found in 4 blazes". New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Misur, Susan (January 17, 2012). "Trail extension set in East Haven". New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "Farm River State Park East Haven, Connecticut". Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 

External links[edit]