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Rocky Neck State Park, East Lyme

Categories: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
3.7/5 based on 140+ reviews on the web
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.
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  • It is difficult to get to a beach in CT even though we are blessed with lovely beaches. BUT-the almighty dollar has prohibited most of the public from enjoying any beaches-much better a few rich peopl...  read more »
  • We came here for a day from Kent. Brought a picnic and sat on gym mats on the white sand. Beach was quite empty(perfect) calm sea, light breeze and very relaxing. The train flew by once or twice but i...  read more »
  • Pros: Camp sites were nice, large amount of space and you were not on top of other campers. Different types of campsites - ones with lots of trees to being in a field. Close walk to the beach. Also ha...  read more »
  • Great park. Beach is awesome, especially with little kids. Whole left side of the beach is very shallow with very warm water. My 1 and 3 year old kids had a blast. The main downside I see is the long walk to the bathrooms and changing rooms and the jelly fish that the tide brings in towards evening time.
  • This beach was great!! Beautiful, clean sand and water! On the side where there are no lifeguards you can bring floaties. Which made our experience very enjoyable and memorable! Highly recommend to anybody!!
  • Suitable place for family camping - made our first camping experience awesome. 5 minutes to most amenities - dunkin donuts, gas, 10 minutes to Niantic downtown, Walmart superstore. Rangers tirelessly work to keep the place clean and safe - patrols done throughout the night. Wish the tent only camping area toilets get an uplift. None of the vending machines were working. Other than that, a well maintained place for the traffic it gets.
  • I really like this beach for a few reasons. First, it is right off the highway and easy to get to. Beware, if you go during a holiday weekend at peak morning time, expect to wait in traffic. I like to make it there by 9:30am and haven't sat in traffic yet, but never go on holiday weekends. The beach is set into a cove, which makes for smaller waves. This is good for children and older adults. They rake the sand each night which I really appreciate. This last visit the bathrooms were closed for the season, which they gave you porta potties. In the morning, it was fine. But by noon when everyone had used them- I wouldn't dare. I felt horrible for the mothers trying to get suits off their kids and not have them fall in. Hopefully this is temporary. The price for an out-of-state plate is $22, which on the weekends is a steal. Just be prepared to walk a little from your car to beach chair. Unless you're there early- it fills up fast.
  • My boyfriend and I went here on a recommendation from a friend. We live in the Albany NY area. Just 2 1/2 hour drive . Clean ,nice sandy beach. We loved it!!we're going again this weekend and bring 3 kids, who we know will have a blast as well. Parking 22$ for ny residents, a bit high but worth it. Get there early, gets packed quick
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