|Hammonasset Beach State Park|
|Connecticut State Park|
|Elevation||10 ft (3 m) |
|Area||936 acres (379 ha) |
|Management||Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection|
|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. It is the state's largest shoreline park and one of the most popular attractions in the state, drawing an estimated one million visitors annually. The state park offers beach activities, large campground, and nature center. It is managed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
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. 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. Officials estimate annual attendance at one million visitors.
A new Meigs Point Nature Center was opened in 2016 to replace the center's original farmhouse site that had been in use for more than 40 years. The facility offers 4,000 square feet (370 m2) of exhibit space with observation deck and hands-on learning experiences. Exhibits feature a touch tank and live turtles, snakes, amphibians, crabs and fish.
The park offers bicycling, boating, fishing, hiking, picnicking, and swimming as well as a campground with 550 units.
Hammonasset, which accounts for roughly one-quarter to one-third of all paid [park] visitors in the state, generates over one-third of all park revenues...