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Rocky Neck State Park, East Lyme

#11 of 29 in Nature in Connecticut
State Park Nature / Park
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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
158 reviews
  • The beach is not very big but the sand is clean and there is a boardwalk that goes along the back. There is a train that goes by about every 15 minutes. It looks like with all the parking spots that t...  more »
  • Coming in at 2.5 hours from NYC area it is a stretch to say that it is in the NYC area. But if you live in New York City, you know that a trip to the good beaches on Long Island can take just as long,...  more »
  • We arrived early afternoon, so the early morning beach goers and 3 bus loads of kids were packing up for the day. The beach was clean with warm water and nice soft sand. The rest rooms were clean . No...  more »
  • 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!!!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!!
  • 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.

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