|Silver Sands State Park|
|Connecticut State Park|
Beach and tombolo to Charles Island at low tide
|Elevation||7 ft (2 m) |
|Area||297 acres (120 ha) |
|Management||Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection|
|Website: Silver Sands State Park|
Silver Sands State Park is a public recreation area located on Long Island Sound in the city of Milford, Connecticut. The state park consists of 297 acres (120 ha) of beach, dunes, restored salt marsh, open areas and woods. It lies adjacent to the city-owned park, Walnut Beach, and includes the 14-acre (5.7 ha) bird sanctuary of Charles Island. The park offers swimming, picnicking, trails, boardwalk, and opportunities for bird-watching.
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.
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. Popular belief says the island is the site of Captain Kidd's buried treasure.
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. Park trails form segments of the East Coast Greenway.