Hammonasset Beach State Park

Madison, CT

Sun’s out, surf’s up at Hammonasset Beach all year long. With a two-mile sandy stretch of beach, a bustling campground, and serene nature preserve, Connecticut's largest shoreline park offers prime real estate for swimming, surfcasting, strolling the boardwalk, or just soaking in the rays and sweeping views of the Long Island Sound. 

Fun fact: "Hammonasset" means, "where we dig holes in the ground" — an eastern woodland Indian term used to describe their farming area along the Hammonasset River.

Views from the Park

1288 Boston Post Rd.
Madison, CT 06443


Open Daily
(8:00 a.m. – Sunset)

Open 24 hours for camping or fishing (Memorial Day – Columbus Day)


Main (203) 245-2785

Campground (203) 245-1817

Kayakers along pondside of Hammonasset State Park



Ride through the park on Hammonasset's three-mile BURT trail from West Beach all the way to Meigs Point. Or, ride to the park on your choice of miles of cycling paths, including a connector to the Shoreline Greenway Trail, an ever-expanding coastal trail that will eventually extend from all the way to Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven.



Bring your canoe or kayak and enjoy a paddle while soaking in the sun and views of the Connecticut shoreline.

To reach car-top boat launch:

  • Follow signs to Meigs Point and the fishermen's parking area. Look for the launch on the east side of the Meigs Point jetty.


  • Life jackets are mandatory from October 1 – May 31. Children under 12 must wear a life jacket year-round. 
  • Connecticut Boater's Guide



Camping has a long and storied history here at Hammonassett — legendary in Connecticut lore and family photo albums far and wide. And for good reason. With a whopping 40% of all the campsites in the state, it’s as much a pop-up summer community as it is a place to set up camp.

Situated a stone’s throw from the beach, 558 grassy open campsites (including eight rustic cabins) dot the meandering loops of the campground. With activities like weekend movie nights, guided nature walks, and bingo, it’s a perfect place to spend time with family and friends — and make new ones.


2024 Season:  Opens Friday, May 24 and closes Monday, October 14 at noon.  
Campground Office: (203) 245-1817 (seasonal)
Campground Map

558 RV/Tent Sites

  • Grassy sites with picnic tables
  • 88 campsites with electric and water hook-up available 
  • Six accessible campsites available by reservation
  • Six-person maximum per site
  • Maximum stay: 21 days

Daily Rates: 

  • Full-service: $35 resident/$45 non-resident plus processing fee
  • Basic: $20 resident/$30 non-resident plus processing fee

Eight Rustic Cabins

  • Two-room cabins with double bed and two bunk beds
  • Each cabin site includes one picnic table and a fire ring with a grate 
  • Comfortably sleeps four people with space up to six
  • Minimum rental: 7-nights (Sunday to Sunday only)

Daily Rates: 

  • $70 resident/$80 non-resident, plus processing fee, 15% occupancy tax, and refundable $50 security deposit 
  • Processing Fee: $9 for reservations or $3 for walk-ins.


  • Amphitheater
  • Bathhouses with hot showers, dishwashing, and potable water 
  • Camp store
  • Six dumping stations
  • Firewood and ice available on site
  • Playground with swings and slides
  • Recycling stations for mini propane cylinders
  • Trash and recycling receptacles
  • Swings, slides, sandbox, volleyball court, and adult exercise equipment





Surf cast from the stone breakwater. Cast a line from the serenity of your canoe. Catch dinner while catching the sunrise. Find all your favorite ways to go saltwater fishing here from spring to fall.

Types of fish: Blackfish (tautog), winter flounder, bluefish, summer flounder (fluke), porgy (scup), weakfish, striped bass

Daytime fishing (8 a.m. to sunset): 

  • Permitted at the Meig's Point Jetty (south end) and at West Beach Jetty 
  • Peak season (May – October)  

Night fishing: 

  • Permitted along the entire beach 
  • Peak season only
  • To access the park's car-top boat launch: 
  • Follow signs to Meigs Point and the fishermen's parking area. The launch is on east side of Meigs Point jetty.






Part brackish tidal marsh, part deciduous forest, and part estuary, the park’s rich habitats are teeming with wildlife — and home to many rare and endangered birds. So many, the National Audubon Society designated the area a Globally Significant Bird Area. Enjoy the scenic views of Long Island Sound and Hammonasset’s salt marsh from the Morraine Trail, Cedar Island Trail, and the Willard Island Trail.

Visit Meigs Point Nature Center, a state-of-the-art environmental education center,  and discover 4,000 square feet of hands-on learning experiences, including a saltwater touch tank; live turtles, snakes, amphibians, crabs, and fish; flora, fauna, and geology displays; and an exhibit featuring the scores of park’s bird species.

To visit the Nature Center: Bear left at the access road rotary, then follow signs toward Meigs Point. Look for the Nature Center on the left across from the bathhouse.




Pack some snacks, load up your cooler with a full lunch spread, or hit the snack bar and take a seat at one of our many picnic tables for a beach picnic with a view. Fire up one of the grills to take your picnic up another notch.

Open-Air Picnic Shelter Rentals 

  • Rent one of our four picnic shelters, each with space for 65 people. 
  • Each pavilion includes picnic tables and charcoal pedestal grills.
  • Available Memorial Day through Columbus Day 
  • Rental Fee: $220 (plus $9 processing fee). Does not include parking fees for those arriving in out-of-state vehicles.
  • Parking is free for all in-state vehicles.
  • Learn more about our picnic shelter rental polices and reservation details.

Reserve a picnic shelter



Cool off with a dip in the refreshing saltwater or don your scuba gear and explore what’s below anywhere along the park’s two-mile stretch of shoreline. The waves here are generally calm, keeping the water clear for sea life spotting and the surf ideal for visitors of all ages.

Tip: When the tide comes in, head down to the large boulders at Meigs Point to experience our “singing beach” in action. Listen carefully to hear thousands of tiny shells tinkle against each other, creating our very own seaside orchestra, two showings daily.  

Accessible Swimming/Beach Surf Chairs 

  • Available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis.


Field Trips


Hammonasset Beach State Park is available for groups to visit as part of organized educational programming provided by schools, camps and community organizations.  A variety of educational programs and activities can be coordinated through our environmental educators at Meigs Point Nature Center.  

A bus permit is required if transporting students to and from this location. For more information and to request a bus permit, please visit Bus Permits and Fees (ct.gov).


FREE – In-State Registered Vehicles
$22 – Out-of-State Vehicles (Weekends/Holidays)
$15 – Out-of-State Vehicles (Weekdays)
$7 – Out-of-State Vehicles (After 4:00 pm)
$112 – Out-of-State Vehicles (Season Pass)


Beach wheelchairs (first-come-first-served)


Camping (available by reservation)




Picnic Areas
On leash, year-round

September 30 - April 1

Columbus Day - May 1