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Rocky Neck State Park, East Lyme, Connecticut

Date of Stay: August, 2005 - $15.00
Overall Rating:      

We just returned from an 8 night stay at Rocky Neck State Park. We were quite pleased with the park generally but I should point out that it is our preference to camp at state/provincial parks because they typically are more natural and have a rustic flavour with lots of trees, hiking, etc. The campground offers both wooded and open sites. There are more open sites so if you want a heavily treed lot you should call ahead. I think the best wooded sites were from #1 to # 16 and 22 to 36 in the Osprey campground. If you are looking for open sites with only a few trees, the Crane, Egret and Heron campgrounds would be your best bet. Most of the sites are large. The campground was clean and well cared for. The only real drawback was the lack of electric sites (which many state/provincial parks now offer). The campground was usually reasonably quiet which was nice. The fact that dogs/pets are prohibited makes it even quieter (but would obviously be a problem for those of you who like to camp with your dog). The park staff are fairly vigilant about enforcing rules but I found some of the rules rather unusual. I never did figure out why they insisted that your truck/car must at all times be backed into the site driveway (and you will get a reminder notice on your windshield if you forget and park the other way). Also, I wish I had known in advance that they do not allow any ropes or lanterns or anything hanging from trees. We usually hang a clothes line and had to improvise for the beach towels etc. Many people brought wooden hanging racks which I would recommend. I read a review on another site that suggested that alcohol is prohibited but that in fact is not the case. The park beach is wonderful - very large with soft white sand but I should mention it is a very popular beach and is accordingly pretty crowded at times with day users. You can walk or bike to the beach from the campsites. There is lots of crabbing and fishing at the park. The crabs are plentiful and many people come to the park just to crab. We caught a few and barbequed them over the fire - an interesting first experience which the kids loved. The hiking trails are pretty good although not very long. The park is in a great location to launch day trips of New England which was an added bonus. We also took the train into New York City. Basically, as far as location goes, you couldn't find a better base for exploring and doing tourist stuff. One thing I found strange was the lack of places to buy fire wood which I've never really encountered in an area where camping is located. You're better off bringing your own. In summary, I would recommend Rocky Neck State Park if like us you do not require all of the amenities of a private park but are looking for a lovely natural area with a beautiful beach in a wonderful location that has much to offer for summer camping vacationers. We camped at Rocky Neck State Park in a Tent Trailer.

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