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Camping at Rocky Neck Day Use Entrance

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General Information

Rocky Neck State Park is a popular outdoor destination located in East Lyme, Connecticut, known for its beautiful beaches, wooded trails, and diverse wildlife. The Day Use Entrance is typically the main entry point for visitors looking to spend the day exploring the park, rather than camping overnight.

Location and Directions

The Day Use Entrance can be found at:

  • Address: 244 West Main Street (Route 156), East Lyme, CT 06357

To access the park, visitors coming from different parts of Connecticut or out of state should follow regional highways and interstates that connect to Route 156, which leads directly to the park's entrance.

Hours of Operation

Rocky Neck State Park is open year-round. However, specific hours for the Day Use Area might vary depending on the season. Generally, the Day Use Area is accessible from 8 A.M. to sunset. It is recommended to check the park's official website or contact the park directly for the most current hours before planning your visit.

Entrance Fees

Entrance fees to the park are usually charged during the peak season, which runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Fees may vary based on the type of vehicle, with separate rates for in-state and out-of-state vehicles. Visitors on foot or bicycle may also need to pay an entrance fee. For the most accurate and up-to-date entrance fee information, refer to the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection's (DEEP) website.

Activities and Amenities

The Day Use Entrance leads visitors to a variety of recreational opportunities within Rocky Neck State Park:

  • Beach: A large, sandy beach on Long Island Sound is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing.
  • Picnicking: There are several picnic areas available for day visitors to enjoy a meal outdoors.
  • Hiking Trails: A network of trails provides opportunities for scenic walks and nature observation.
  • Fishing: The park is known for excellent fishing spots, particularly at the jetty and along the shore.
  • Bird Watching: The park is home to diverse bird species, especially in the salt marsh areas, making it a great location for bird enthusiasts.


Facilities at the Day Use Entrance include restrooms, a concession stand, picnic tables, and grilling areas. There is also a parking lot, which can fill up quickly on warm, sunny days, so arriving early is advisable.

Camping Information

While the Day Use Entrance is designed for visitors who are not staying overnight, Rocky Neck State Park does offer camping facilities in a separate area of the park. The campground has sites for both tents and RVs, along with additional amenities like showers and a camp store. Reservations for the campground should be made in advance, especially during the peak season.


The Day Use area of Rocky Neck State Park is generally wheelchair accessible, including the bathhouse and pavilion areas. However, visitors with specific accessibility needs should contact the park for detailed information.

Safety and Regulations

For a safe and enjoyable visit, abide by all park rules and regulations. This includes no alcohol, keeping pets on a leash, and refraining from feeding wildlife. Always pay attention to swimming advisories and lifeguard instructions, particularly at the beach.

Contact Information

For further information, including current conditions, programs, or to make camping reservations, contact:

Before heading to Rocky Neck State Park for a day visit, it's always prudent to check the latest information on weather, park advisories, and any changes to hours or fees.

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