Rocky Neck State Park, East Lyme

#10 of 29 in Nature in Connecticut
Rocky Neck State Park is a publicly owned recreation area on Long Island Sound in the town of East Lyme, Connecticut. The state park's include a tidal river, a broad salt marsh, white sand beaches, rocky shores, and a large stone pavilion dating from the 1930s. It is managed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.HistoryDuring the 19th century, various fertilizer operations occupied the site. The park traces its beginnings to 1931, when conservationists purchased the land and held it until the state legislature authorized state purchase. During the Great Depression, a 356-foot, timber-and-granite pavilion was constructed by federal relief workers.FeaturesPavilionThe Ellie Mitchell Pavilion is a Rustic-style building completed in 1936 by the Works Progress Administration. Designed by Russell F. Barker and others, the curved masonry building stands more than long and wide. It is the largest Depression-era structure in the state.Construction began in the early 1930s as part of an effort to ease crowding at Hammonasset State Park. Much of its timber and granite were drawn from local suppliers and quarries, and from an abandoned fish fertilizer plant on the grounds. Supporting pillars were fashioned from trees cut from each of the state parks and forests. The pavilion was handed over to the state in October 1936 and opened as the Ellie Mitchell Pavilion. Visitors could purchase food, eat in the dining areas, and warm themselves by eight fireplaces during cooler months. In 1986, the pavilion and its surrounding were listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Put Rocky Neck State Park on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our East Lyme trip planner .
Create an itinerary including Rocky Neck State Park
Rocky Neck State Park Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
161 reviews
  • September 16, 2017
    Rocky Neck State Park is both my and my wife's favorite Connecticut State Park. It has a relatively large beach. There are two bath houses with bathroom facilities and showers. One is located at the w...  more »
  • September 4, 2017
    The sandy beach is small but very pretty. The surrounding park has some great rock outcroppings to hike on and take beautiful photographs. It's often crowded here in the summer, but not in the off-sea...  more »
  • August 22, 2017
    We came from Maryland on the weekend and it cost $22 for an out of state vehicles. Parking was fairly easy and we were able to walk to the beach. The beach was very crowded, but that was to be expecte...  more »
  • June 30, 2017
    Never felt so out of place. I remember a time when you was able to go to the beach with the family and enjoy each other. Now it's horrible! The music is super loud! Impossible to find a place to even sit. Some of the most ghettoest people I've ever seen in my life! And I grew up in New Britain! Will never go there again!!!
  • June 15, 2017
    Clean state Beach. Areas to play Frisbee and other games. Make it a weekend trip and camp here as well. Clean restrooms and even a concessions with ice cream cart. Lifeguards on duty as well. Great spot if your not looking for loud and crowded beach spot. There is a train track near but it's not constant. Maybe only a couple times it went through.
  • June 24, 2017
    Great beach! Yes you do have to walk a little bit to enter the beach and the parking is pricey, but they offer grills and picnic benches for use so that's a plus compared to other beaches. People complain about the train coming through but it's barely noticeable. Soft sand and nice water.
  • July 9, 2017
    Horrible experience at the campground at Rocky neck, bathrooms we're disgusting,quiet times were not enforced, people were warned numerous times and we're still allowed to stay after numerous complaints about them. Will never ever be going back. We will find another campground that will appreciate out business!!
  • May 28, 2017
    One of my favorite Beaches... But get there early during the season. It gets very busy which makes it difficult to find parking and you end up caring your stuff for quite a distance.

Plan your trip to East Lyme

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in East Lyme

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor