Silver Sands State Park
|Silver Sands State Park|
|Connecticut state park|
Beach and tombolo to Charles Island at low tide
|Area||47 acres (19 ha)|
|Management||Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection|
Silver Sands State Park is a Connecticut state park in Milford, Connecticut, USA which consists of 47 acres (19.0 ha) of beach, dunes, restored salt marsh, open areas and woods. The park offers facilities for swimming in Long Island Sound, picnicking, trails, boardwalks and opportunities for bird-watching. It includes the 14-acre (5.7 ha) bird sanctuary of Charles Island, which is rumored to be the site of Captain Kidd's buried treasure. Silver Sands is adjacent to the city-owned park, Walnut Beach.
The park land was acquired by the state after Hurricane Diane destroyed 75 homes there in 1955. The area includes the tidal channels of the Fletcher's Creek and Nettleton Creek watershed and had been a local dumping site and landfill until 1977. Soil analyses have indicated the presence of heavy metal pollutants, probably due to the area's use as a dump. In 1997, a project to restore the coastal wetlands along Silver Sands was approved. The park was renovated according to plans begun in 1990 by architect Alfredo De Vido and completed in 2000.
During low tide, visitors can walk across the tombolo to Charles Island. The wooded interior of Charles Island is protected for heron and egret rookeries. It is one of the largest wading bird rookeries in the state. The ruins of a Catholic retreat from the 1920s remain on the island.
A boardwalk with railings extends from the parking lot to the beach (about 200 ft) and also runs along part of the beach. The land alongside the boardwalk had been used as a landfill. However, the salt water tidal marsh is being environmentally restored. Through the marsh, there are also remnants of the foundations of cottages that were destroyed by Diane. There is also an old dirt road that goes east-west through the park.
Connecticut State Parks are open from 8:00 AM to Sunset. After hours fishing is permitted for anglers who walk in or park in the fisherman's parking lot at the west end of East Broadway where it dead ends at the park.
Safety on the sandbar (tombolo)
Walking along the sandbar to Charles Island can be dangerous. If you plan to head out to the island, you should start out about one hour before dead-low tide and follow the tide out. Do not attempt to walk to Charles Island after low tide has passed. Many things can affect the tide, including the moon phase, time of year, and weather conditions. There are times that the sandbar will not uncover enough to safely get to the island. If it is not exposed by the time of dead-low tide, it will not uncover and you should never walk along any area of the sandbar that has already flooded. If you venture to the island in the late afternoon, make sure you are back at your vehicle before the park closes at sunset or it may get locked in.
If you are unsure if it is safe to walk on the sandbar, check with park staff for information.
Location and contact information
The main entrance to Silver Sands State Park is located on Meadowside Road in Milford, CT.
Silver Sands State Park
c/o Osbornedale State Park
555 Roosevelt Dr. Derby, CT 06418
Off I-95: take Exit 35. Follow Schoolhouse Road south to Route 1 (Bridgeport Avenue). Turn left onto Route 1 then right at first light (Silver Sands Park Way). Follow Park Way across Meadowside Road and continue down hill to main parking lot.
Pets & alcohol
- Pets are not permitted on the beach or boardwalk.
- Pets are permitted in all other areas of the park and must be on a leash and under control of the owner at all times.
- Silver Sands is an alcohol-free park. Please do not bring alcoholic beverages.
- "Silver Sands State Park". Audubon Connecticut. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
- "Silver Sands State Park". Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
- Zurko, Roz (October 13, 2009). "Charles Island Milford Connecticut for treasure and ghost hunting". Yahoo Voices. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
- Anthropogenic Trace Metals in Tidal Marsh Sediments, Silver Sands State Park, Milford, CT, Dias, S., Page, L., Fleming, T. H., and Coron, C. R., The Geological Society of America, Northeastern Section - 40th Annual Meeting (March 14–16, 2005) Saratoga Springs, New York.
- Alfredo De Vido Selected and Current Works
- Silver Sands State Park Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
- State Park & Forest Swimming Safety Information & Beach Regulations[dead link]
- CT State Park & Forest Recreation Area Regulations[dead link]