Situated along the scenic Connecticut coastline making great camping near New Haven, Rocky Neck State Park is a is a small recreation area that features white sand beaches, salt marshes, and the rocky remnants of Ice Age glaciers. The park is located about 1 hour southeast of Hartford, near the town of East Lyme, with a view across the sound of Fishers Island, Gardiners Island, and Long Island. The park showcases several examples of ancient glacial terrain, including rock scouring and polishing, potholes and erratic boulders. In some places, the overlying sediment has been completely eroded away to reveal interesting outcrops of banded granitic gneiss.
The campground at Rocky Neck offers 160 drive-in campsites for tent and RV campers. Visitors can choose from open, grassy sites and wooded, shady sites. Each site is equipped with picnic tables and fire rings, but RV hookups are not available. Sites can accommodate vehicles/trailers up to 35 feet; some sites are tent-only. Water faucets, restrooms, and trash/recycling receptacles are located throughout the campground; a dump station is located near the campground entrance. Dogs are not permitted in this park. Camping is available from May through September; sites are $20–$30/night; reservations accepted.
The main attraction at Rocky Neck is its wide, sandy beach, where visitors can lounge in the sun, or go for a dip in Long Island Sound. The park has several picnic areas for family and group gatherings, several miles of hiking trails for exploring the park’s salt marshes, waterways and natural features, and anglers can fish for saltwater bass, blackfish and flounder. Along the park’s western shore, the historic Ellie Mitchell Pavilion has concessions, and dining and lounging areas. The park also offers a variety of seasonal interpretive programs, guided hikes, wildlife viewing, and evening entertainment.
The beach is about a 1 mile walk or drive from the campground. The walk is lovely and I have seen deer, turkeys, many birds, skunks, raccoons, and other wildlife along the way. There are several osprey nests too. Many families bring bikes.
There are several camping areas at Rocky Neck - I think Crane is the best because it is quiet and the bathrooms are updated.
The tent camping area is in a field without much privacy or shade. I recommend setting up your tent at a traditional site.
The beach is great for relaxing and beach combing. The water is warm and shallow, very calm. No floats or toys are allowed in the water, not sure why. Don't bring your kite either as the Amtrak is next to the beach, it's interesting when it goes by!
Sometimes generators are an issue, but there are limited hours at which they can run.
Lots of dumpsters for easy trash disposal. Firewood available for a low price on site, don't bring any outside wood.
Campground is not too far from a Walmart if you forget something. There's a gas station close by too for ice.
This campground books up FAST, I usually book in the wintertime. I stay for a week at a time.
Typical state camp ground. Small hike to the water
Beach can be crowded. But it is worth it. Nice food shack. Great family place.
Love it here.
Nice CT state park campground with clean well maintained campsites. Mix of open field and well shaded campsites with reasonable space, some sites have decent privacy, most are pretty open. Good access to shared drinking water, restrooms and dishwashing stations. Most sites are mixed use allowing RVs but no hook ups or dump stations available. Bathrooms/showers are ok but could use better cleaning and upkeep. Rocky Neck state park beach is within walking distance if your ambitious otherwise its a 2min drive from camp. We like it here and return often for the opportunity to camp and enjoy beach time during the summer.
The skunks are friendly! Great for kids!
You'll enjoy the low tide.
every campsite has its own fire pit with a grill attachment and a picnic table. my site was tent only and you couldn’t pull your car up to the site so unloading and loading was a hassle. beach is a short drive on site and the showers were one site over. I had a great time
We had a great stay here. There are no hook ups but the bathrooms are clean and there is a separate area for doing dishes. The beach is a bit of a walk but there is plenty to explore and do.
My family has camped at Rocky Neck every year since i was a child. Every site had a central bathhouse and they have a variety of tree covering options for each campers preferences. The campsite is only a short walk from the beach and available mountain bike and hiking trails. A great family campsite with easy to get to activities.