When I’ve had a chance to visit the East Coast one of the nicer state parks that I found in southern New England was Rocky Neck State Park. 700-acre Rocky Neck State Park has 1/2 mile of crescent-shaped sandy beach.
Rocky Neck’s varied terrain offers something for just about everyone. There are clear waters and a stone-free beach with a lot of white sand that makes it ideal for swimming. Many trails within the park provide easy and interesting walks to the scenic salt marsh and to interesting places like Baker’s Cave and Tony’s Nose. Picnickers will enjoy a large stone pavilion. The Park is bounded on the west by a tidal river and to the east by a broad salt marsh. A long time ago, Rocky Neck was known to both Indians and colonists as a place of abundant fish and wildlife, and today, the large marine estuary that bisects the park still provides saltwater fishing opportunities. Osprey, and herons wade among cattails and rose mallow, and fishermen may catch mackerel, striped bass, blackfish, or flounder.
An ideal setting for families, Rocky Neck State Park has lots of interesting geological features that are perfect for exploring. I think some of the best spots to see these geological spots in the Park can be found along the water’s edge near the beach, only a short walk from the parking lot. Likewise, the hiking trails in the Park have nice examples of what the glaciers did when they covered this area. In the 1930’s, the WPA built the curved masonry building out of native materials and constructed the supporting pillars with wood cut from each of the state parks and forests.
Located on Long Island Sound in the town of East Lyme, Connecticut, Rocky Neck State Park is easy to get to by using exit 72 off of I-95. Turn left on Route 156 and follow it for ¼ mile to the park.
This park has 161 camping sites mainly located around five paved loops in the park. Of these, 135 are non electric and 23 are tent sites only. There are also three rustic cabins all along the tidal river side of the campground. The camping facilities are in full operation from Memorial Day to Labor Day. There is a dumping station with showers and restrooms.
Based on https://freecampsites.net/#!East+Lyme,+CT there are four free campsites within 40 miles of East Lyme, Connecticut.
—-Hiking and Biking—-
The Park has a trail that is a 2.5-mile loop trail that has beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.
—-Things To Do—-
Walk under the train overpass at Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme and you’ll arrive at the water. While you’re there you might see or hear a train. Amtrak’s Acela Express train goes through the edge of the park at least three times a day.