Selden Neck State Park

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Selden Neck State Park
Map showing the location of Selden Neck State Park
Map showing the location of Selden Neck State Park
Location in Connecticut
LocationLyme, Connecticut, United States
Coordinates41°23′41″N 72°24′54″W / 41.39472°N 72.41500°W / 41.39472; -72.41500Coordinates: 41°23′41″N 72°24′54″W / 41.39472°N 72.41500°W / 41.39472; -72.41500[1]
Area607 acres (246 ha)[2]
Elevation52 ft (16 m)[1]
DesignationConnecticut state park
AdministratorConnecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
WebsiteSelden Neck State Park
Selden Island Site
Part ofLower Connecticut River Valley Woodland Period Archaeological TR
NRHP reference No.87001231
Added to NRHPOctober 15, 1987

Selden Neck State Park is a 607-acre (246 ha) island and public recreation area on the Connecticut River in the town of Lyme, Connecticut. Accessible only by boat, the state park has four areas for primitive, riverside camping.[3][4] Hiking, fishing, and hunting are also available. The park was among the first parcels secured for park purposes by the state, with initial land purchases on the island made in 1917.[5] It is managed by Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.


Selden Neck State Park is located on Selden Island, and is not actually a neck or peninsula. It is located on the east side of the Connecticut River south of Gillette Castle State Park, and is separated from the mainland by Selden Creek, land that is owned by the Nature Conservancy. The roughly lozenge-shaped island is about 0.5 miles (0.80 km) at its widest point and about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long. It is primarily wooded except for a fringe of tidal marshes, and has a high point of 230 feet (70 m).


The island is entirely roadless, but there are hiking trails on it. The main campground is located on the river side near the northern end. The island also has the remains of a quarry, located near the southeastern end. Begun in the late 19th century, the quarry provided red sandstone pavers for New York City and other regional cities. In addition to the quarry itself, the remains of a causeway for bringing stone from the quarry to the shore also survive.

The island also has a documented prehistory. Excavations on the island in the 1980s uncovered a sizable Middle Woodland Period village, with radiocarbon dates to c. 1000 CE. Stone tools, pottery fragments, and animal bones are among the many artifacts found in the excavation, which only covered an estimated 2% of the site,[6] which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Selden Neck 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-3. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  3. ^ "Selden Neck State Park". State Parks and Forests. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. July 18, 2016. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  4. ^ "River Camping". Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. December 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  5. ^ Report of the State Park Commission to the Governor 1918 (Report). Hartford, Conn.: State of Connecticut. December 24, 1918. pp. 18–19. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  6. ^ Cordell, Linda; Lightfoot, Kent, eds. (2008). Archaeology in America: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 61. ISBN 9780313021893.
  7. ^ "Selden Island Site". National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. National Park Service. October 15, 1987. Retrieved December 12, 2017.

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