Situated along the scenic Connecticut coastline, 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.
Beautiful campground right near the beach. Hiking trails along the coast line. Beautiful state park
Great Beach, but beware, it can be crowded!!!! So get their early if you do go to the beach. Sites are nice, there is a dumping station and some great sites for group camping. Reasonable rates since it is a State Park!
I have been camping at Rocky Neck State Park for decades, both tent camping, and now In a 30' camper. Located right off I95 ( which you can hear at times), the park is convenient to all the major interstates and state roads. If you can, stay away from the front gates during the typical peak arrival / departure times. Traffic jams occur, partly because you're also in-line with the car loads of beach goers. The beach and beach parking lots fill to capacity. Week ends are the worst.
The campgrounds are located within internal loops. Most sites are quite level. Park-like settings surrounding a large lawn. Bathhouses are being rehabbed, deemed adequate; can be seedy towards the end of the season. Park is routinely patrolled by State Conservation Officers who will put you out if needed. CT State Police and local officers also patrol. Camp roads are paved, and lots and lots of kids spend time riding bikes, coloring with chalk, skateboarding, roller blading.
No electrical hook-ups; potable water spigots located within the camping circles. Generators allowed, but there are quiet hours. Dump upon exit; its up top by the entrance booths.
There is a "tent-only area" which is nice and abuts a paved road for campers to walk / bike to the beach. Use this. Stay off the main road to the beach if you can. The speed limit is enforced, but sporadically. The fines are very stiff (you receive a State traffic ticket from the Officer).
This beach road leads you to a wonderful overlook where lots of people take their kids crabbing for Blueshells. There are size regulations so be careful. The regs are posted. Bring some raw chicken wings and kite string and have some fun. You can also follow the signs that will lead you to nature walks. Amazing.
During inclement weather some campers leave the park. We always recommend taking a right out of the park onto east bound Route 156. Follow into downtown Niantic for restaurants, an Irish pub, or a movie. Nice village area, and pedestrian friendly.
Rocky Neck is a very nice park, and if I had to list one complaint, it is that the State is in a financial tight-spot, and has been cutting services and personnel. Entrance booths go unmanned and that leads to traffic jams that extend out and onto the main road. Very , very messy. Life guard towers at the beach are empty at times. Bath houses can be filthy.
All things considered, I would recommend this park..