Rocky Neck State Park is a public recreation area situated on Long Island Sound in the town of East Lyme, Connecticut. The state park's include a tidal river, a broad salt marsh, white sand beaches, rocky shores, and a large stone pavilion dating from the 1930s. It is managed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.Put Rocky Neck State Park on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our East Lyme trip planner.
During the 19th century, various fertilizer operations occupied the site. The park traces its beginnings to 1931, when conservationists purchased the land and held it until the state legislature authorized state purchase. During the Great Depression, a 356-foot, timber-and-granite pavilion was constructed by federal relief workers.
PavilionThe Ellie Mitchell Pavilion is a Rustic-style building completed in 1936 by the Works Progress Administration. Designed by Russell F. Barker and others, the curved masonry building stands more than long and wide. It is the largest Depression-era structure in the state.
Construction began in the early 1930s as part of an effort to ease crowding at Hammonasset State Park. Much of its timber and granite were drawn from local suppliers and quarries, and from an abandoned fish fertilizer plant on the grounds. Supporting pillars were fashioned from trees cut from each of the state parks and forests. The pavilion was handed over to the state in October 1936 and opened as the Ellie Mitchell Pavilion. Visitors could purchase food, eat in the dining areas, and warm themselves by eight fireplaces during cooler months. In 1986, the pavilion and its surrounding were listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Rocky Neck State Park reviews
We camped for the weekend and we were pleasantly surprised how beautiful the park was. The staff was friendly and helpful. It was crowded but it wasn’t annoying or anything. Lots of families enjoying.... more »
Wanted to try a new beach along the CT shoreline, and this did not disappoint. The boardwalk around the beach combined with multiple benches meant we could walk then sit and enjoy the beauty of the..... more »
Coming from NY, I thought $22 was a little steep for a state park; $12 is the usual price up here. However, the beach was nice, clean, and quite relaxing. We went on a busy Saturday, so there were lots of families, but we still found a nice spot in the sand and I didn't feel concerned about leaving any of my things on the beach while we were in the water. The water was also clean. It was a lovely experience and I'd go back again.
I've been going there from central MA for 24 years now. Easy 1 hour drive down 395/95. Park is routinely well maintained. The beach is long and sandy, and in general has small waves making it great for small kids. Not many shells to pick up but at low tide, the east beach has an outlet stream from the salt marshes, wide shallow sandbars and if you have sharp eyes, many tiny hermit crabs to study.
Build a tripTell us where and when you
want to go, we will build
the best sightseeing itinerary
Refine itYou have complete flexibility on your destinations and itinerary
Book as a packageUse our travel agents to get
package savings and hassle free booking
Enjoy your trip!Enjoy our 24x7
Popular things to do in East Lyme
Side trips from East Lyme
Trips to Rocky Neck State Park by other users
22 days in Danbury BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Rocky Neck State Park Mystic Seaport Museum Danbury Museum & Historical Society 30 days in Connecticut BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Hartford Chaplin Chester 3 days in East Lyme BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES East Lyme 11 days in Middletown BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Kidcity Children's Museum Wesleyan University Stubborn Beauty Brewing 2 days in East Haddam BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Hammonasset Beach State Park Rocky Neck State Park The Book Barn 60 days in Connecticut & Riyadh BY A USER FROM SAUDI ARABIA Manchester Washington Norwalk