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700-acre Rocky Neck State Park features 1/2 mile of crescent-shaped sandy beach. Rocky Neck's varied terrain offers something for everyone. Clear waters and the stone-free beach with expanses of white sand make it ideal for swimming. Diverse trails within the park provide easy and interesting walks to the scenic salt marsh and to such points of interest as Baker's Cave, Tony's Nose and Shipyard. Picnickers enjoy the large stone pavilion. Bounded on the west by a tidal river and to the east by a broad salt marsh, 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 provides saltwater fishing opportunities, and high spring tides allow schools of alewives (herring) to swim into Bride Brook, toward inland spawning grounds. Osprey, cranes, and herons wade among cattails and rose mallow, and fishermen may catch mackerel, striped bass, blackfish, or flounder.

Natural Features

Located on Long Island Sound in the town of East Lyme, 710-acre Rocky Neck is a popular recreation spot. The public now enjoys use of the park because of a few farsighted conservationists who secured the land in 1931, using their personal funds until the State Legislature authorized its purchase. In the 1930's, relief agencies constructed the curved masonry building of native materials and crafted supporting pillars with wood cut from each of the state parks and forests.


There are 5 miles of hiking trails on the western side of the park, as well as ocean-side picnic areas. Other activities include a wildlife viewing platform, interpretive programs, scuba diving, saltwater swimming and fishing, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, rollerblading, and camping.


The camping season begins in May and ends September 30. Additional park facilities include restrooms, food concessions, group picnic pavilions, picnic tables, restrooms, drinking water, paved and gravel parking, and pay telephones.

Nearby Attractions

Nearby attractions include Bluff Point State Park and Coastal Reserve, Devil's Hopyard State Park, Haley Farm State Park, Hammonasset Beach State Park, and Harkness Memorial State Park.

Picnic Shelter Cancellation Policy:

Refund amounts will be determined as follows:
• Cancellations made 30 days or more prior to the picnic shelter reservation: full refund less the $9.00 non-refundable reservation fee and $9.00 cancellation fee
• Cancellations made 6 - 29 days prior to the picnic shelter reservation: refund of $145.00 less $9.00 cancellation fee
• Cancellations made within 5 days of the picnic shelter reservation: Not eligible for a refund.

You can now make a reservation for the day before your arrival and up until 11 months in advance.

Please be aware that on busy days the park may close because it is at maximum capacity. It is advised that all in your party arrive between 8 and 10 am.

NOTE: All Parking fees are additional and will be collected on arrival at the gate.

Additional information can be found at the following address.

CT State Parks (DEEP)
Friends of Connecticut State Parks
General Camping Information

Explore the natural and cultural histories of Connecticut State Parks and Forests through interpretation! Interpretive events are listed on the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection's website. Take a hike, meet a snake, learn about forest heroes, and more! Follow this link to the DEEP's Calendar of Events. Perform a "Keyword" search for this park/forest and then join a program. Additional programs may be offered, so be sure to check with the campground staff. For additional information please call the DEEP Division of State Parks at 860-424-3200. Find interpretive programs: http://www.depdata.ct.gov/calendar/ NO PETS ALLOWED IN PARK

Heavy weekend use at each park may lead to gate closures if the park fills to capacity. In the event of this happening, no more cars are allowed to enter. Guests should plan to arrive as early as possible to avoid being turned away. (Picnic shelter rental does not guarantee entry to the park.)

Rocky Neck Picnic Shelter camping trips are easy to plan with ReserveAmerica. Rocky Neck Picnic Shelter campground reservations can be made online. Click one of the links below to see available campsites at Rocky Neck Picnic Shelter or day pass availability.