Connecticut December 02, 2017
Connecticut’s Very First State Park Is Still One Of The State’s Most Stunning And You Need To Visit
The history of Connecticut state parks is long and interesting, and it all began with a piece of land that was purchased while in foreclosure in the early 1900s. The land had stunning water views, beach access and a large population of wildlife and it became the perfect place to claim the title of Connecticut’s first state park. Let’s take a closer look at all that this incredible location has to offer.
On December 22, 1914, the sale was finalized for the first piece of land to become a Connecticut State Park. The State Park Commission, working with a budget of $20,000 for their first two years, was lucky to find this five acre gem right on the Long Island Sound that was in foreclosure at the time and with this Sherwood Island State Park was born.
Although purchased in 1914, Sherwood Island State Park did not have public access until 17 years later. The park has continued to grow through land acquisitions and what began as a mere five acres now totals 235 acres of natural park land in Westport.
Sherwood Island State Park was originally scooped up for it's magnificent shoreline. Although the beach is the most popular reason that people visit, the first state park has more to offer than just a sandy shoreline.
There are several walking trails available at the park. You can chose to take the shoreline path or perhaps decide to take the path less traveled and view some of the wild life in the marshes. Either way the views are stunning any time of the year.
Keep your eyes open during your time at Sherwood Island State Park, there are many chances to observe birds and marine animals in their natural environments.
This state does have food concessions, but plenty of picnic tables also make it the perfect place to pack your own lunch and enjoy the atmosphere while you eat.
The park also has a large wide open grassy area that is perfect for frisbee, wiffle ball or an old fashioned game of catch.
One of the more unique features of Sherwood Island State Park is its model airplane runway. It is a joy to view the model planes soaring through the sky overhead at the park.
The nature center at the park is a relatively new addition. It opened in 2009 and if you are at the park, you must stop in and see what the center has to offer.
Inside the nature center there are quite a few opportunities to learn more about the creatures that live in the Long Island Sound. This is a place where you can get up close to horseshoe crabs and shellfish.
The staff at the nature center is very friendly and super knowledgeable about the wildlife at the park. Ask them lots of questions, they love to share their experience with others.
Another newer addition to the park is the 9/11 granite memorial. The memorial was placed here because on clear days you are able to see New York City in the distance across the Long Island Sound. In addition, the park was used as a staging area when relief efforts were being coordinated for the city during that tragic time.
The 9/11 Memorial reads, "The citizens of Connecticut dedicate this living memorial to the thousands of innocent lives lost on September 11, 2001, and to the families that loved them."
Sherwood Island State Park is open from 8:00 a.m. - sunset daily. The nature center is open 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Wednesday - Sunday.
Whether you are looking to spend a day at the beach, do some hiking, fly a model airplane or learn a little bit about wildlife, this Connecticut state park has all of it and more!
The first state park in Connecticut is one of the most stunning and it has abundant offerings that make it a sought out destination no matter what time of year. The next time you are looking for something to do, plan a visit to the sensational Sherwood Island State Park.
Have you ever been to visit Sherwood Island State Park? Did you realize that it is Connecticut’s very first state park? Share your experiences in the comments section below. For even more fantastic state parks in Connecticut, read