Summer’s Last Hurrah at Hammonasset Beach on Long Island Sound
Posted on September 1, 2015
Write-Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com
With Labor Day Weekend at hand, in a few days Connecticut’s local television stations will inevitably assign reporters to head to Hammonasset Beach State Park and cover one of the most popular places in New England to enjoy summer’s last hurrah. Located in the quaint town of Madison, Hammonasset – an American Indian phrase said to mean “where we dig holes in the sand” – offers more than two miles of beach on Long Island Sound.
Unlike some beaches where the walk to reach the water’s edge is a long trek, a nice feature at Hammonasset is the breadth of the sand typically puts visitors closer to the surf. There is a boardwalk, walking/biking/ hiking trails to the dunes plus boat launches.
Popular throughout summer, the more than 550 camping sites makes this a sought after spot to spent the last ‘official’ weekend of summer with sites often booked well in advance.
At Meig’s Point Nature Center visitors can actually touch a turtle. Other reptiles are also housed here. Lectures about the history of the area, local wildlife and various topics are given at the center.
Hammonasset is a nature attraction with wetlands and marshes behind the beach, as well as, beautiful marsh plants growing wild. It is located at the “eastern trailhead” of the Shoreline Greenway Trail – on the day of my most recent visit the Friends of Hammonasset were holding a fundraising plant sale at the trailhead.
Opened in 1920, Hammonasset was a hit from the beginning and has since welcomed millions of visitors. During World War II it was closed to the public and utilized as a United States Army reservation.
Although Labor Day Weekend unofficially wraps up summertime, Hammonasset will be open through to early October. Recognized as a recipient of the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, Hammonasset is easy to reach from exit 62 off I-95. There are plenty of good restaurants nearby along Boston Post Road, and lovely Madison center is a mere two mile drive down the road.
Hammonasset Beach State Park 1288 Boston Post Road Madison, CT 06443