Hammonasset Beach State Park

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Hammonasset Beach State Park
Connecticut State Park
Hammonasset 12.JPG
State  Connecticut
County New Haven
Town Madison
Elevation 10 ft (3 m) [1]
Coordinates 41°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]
Area 936 acres (379 ha) [2]
Established 1920
Management Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Location in Connecticut
Website: 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.[3] It is the state's largest shoreline park and one of the most popular attractions in the state, with nearly 2 million visitors annually.[4][5] The state park offers beach activities, large campground, and nature center. It is managed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

History[edit]

Hammonasset Beach, 2016
Hammonasset Beach, 2016

The park began with the purchase of 499 acres in 1919. 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] Its popularity has remained undiminished with officials reporting that, 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]

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]

In 2016, a new Meigs Point Nature Center was opened to replace the center's original farmhouse site that had been in use for more than 40 years.[8]

Activities and amenities[edit]

The Meigs Point Nature Center 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]

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

References[edit]

  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. January 23, 2014. p. A-2. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "Hammonasset Beach State Park". Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. July 18, 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2016. 
  4. ^ "West Beach Improvements". Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. July 21, 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2016. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ Report of the State Park and Forest Commission to the Governor (1924). Hartford, Conn.: State of Connecticut. December 22, 1928. p. 26. Retrieved September 22, 2016. 
  7. ^ See Staff Findings and Recommendations: January 23, 2014, p. 32. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  8. ^ a b 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 links[edit]