Rocky Neck State Park

41.315582, -72.241485

Website

★★★★★

Rocky Neck State Park

Connecticut State Park

708 acres in East Lyme, CT

Parking: Lots of parking at 244 W Main St, Niantic, CT or more direct access to trails near 275 CT-156
East Lyme, CT

Trail Map


Rocky Neck is a masterfully crafted park that is split into camping, beach, and hiking areas.  Highlights include the soft sand beach, the seasonal pavilion, the overlook at Tony’s Nose, and Bakers Cave.

Beach/Swimming

For water quality alerts visit www.ct.gov/deep/beachstatus 

Rocky Neck has about a half mile of beach that some consider the best in the state.  There is ample parking, a snack concession area, and shower/dressing rooms.  The sand is soft the waves are low to none and is well kept in general.

Hiking

I first visited Rocky Neck in early 2019.  From the beach parking area I took the white trail all the way north and took the blue trail back. The hiking was simple, the trails were well blazed and easy to follow.  There wasn’t much to note until reaching the ridges along the blue trail near where it meets the yellow.  This area has Tony’s Nose Overlook a clear rock ledge with views of Four Mile River and over the railroad to a cove of the Sound.  Just off the trail there is a rock feature that looks like an unflattering nose.

Bakers Cave

Just off one of the paved roads is Bakers Cave.  Another of Connecticut’s boulder jumble caves.  Relatively easy to find, the cave entrance is hidden behind some rocks and under an overhang.  Inside is a small chamber about 10 feet long with just enough room to crouch the length.  It is supposedly named for a local man who hid in the cave to avoid military service during the American Revolution though everyone seems to doubt .

Camping

The Rocky Neck State Park Campground will be open for the 2020 season from May 24th through September 1st (daily). Walk-in season: May 17 – May 23, September 2-September 29th.

There are 160 wooded and open sites. Along with concessions, dumping station, bathrooms, and showers. No pets.
$20/night/campsite for CT residents
$30/night/campsite for non-CT residents
$50/night/for CT residents, Rustic Cabin
$60/night/for non-CT residents Rustic Cabin 

Reserve a site online here through ReserveAmerica
Campground Office: (860) 739-1339/Park Main Office: (860) 739-5471

Fishing

Salt water fishing is allowed though old reports seem to note it as inconsistent and less ‘fishing friendly’ than Hammonasset or Harkness.

History:

Established as a state park in 1931.  Rocky Neck was one of the featured parks in the 2019 Sky’s the Limit Hiking Challenge.


Links:

East Lyme Historical Society – Rocky Neck

The Geology of Rocky Neck State Park

Peter Marteka – Catching Spring Fever At Chilly Rocky Neck Beach In East Lyme (2011)

CTMQ – Bakers Cave

The information shown here is for general reference purposes only. exploreCT.org gives no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy or reliability of this data. Parking in all areas, whether designated here or not, is at your own risk. exploreCT.org is not responsible for any damage or loss to vehicles or contents.
Last updated November 15th, 2019

Posted in State Parks and Forests

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