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Saturday, June 11, 2022

Hammonasset Beach State Park Walk - Paved Recreation Path in Madison, CT

 I always appreciated a good rec path and this summer I started thinking about including a rec path section on KW. Why do I love a good recreation path? They are often flat, in a super scenic area, and provide a safe place for you to walk, bike, run, walk your dog, rollerblade, or whatever you want to do outside (without a motor). Once I had Whitney, I learned to appreciate these dedicated pedestrian lanes even more as a safe place to run. Exercise is a priority for my physical and mental health and finding the time to fit it into my busy day usually involves bringing Whitney along for the ride. I run around our neighborhood a lot out of pure convenience (right out the door) and safety (quiet roads with cul-de-sacs). The only problem is it's very hilly and sometimes you just need some flat roads and a change of scenery. 

I started upping my mileage to include some long runs and knew I was bringing Whitney. It had been a while since I visited Hammonasset State Park a few towns over in Madison, Connecticut. It's known for its paved rec path through the park, beach access, campground, and nature center. It's all in the details like the rentable pavilions here families host birthday parties, the playground along the path, water stations along the trail (attached dog water stations included), boardwalks, a nature center, and some trails through the park. It's a great family-friendly place and truth be told, it's a great spot for a longer run. Safe, restricted paved path, bathrooms, a snack shack, a view, and flat terrain.

 I wanted to add a little more distance so instead of parking inside the park, I parked at the Shoreline Greenway Trail Parking Area off Boston Post Road, followed the beginning of the greenway trail, and continued on the rec path through Hammonasset down to the end. From the parking area to the end of the park and back, it was just about 5 miles. I added one mile on the neighboring street just to get to six miles. It was the perfect place for a long (flat) safe, run. It was a great run with distracting views and the perfect breeze. I even spent a few minutes in the parking lot chatting with some fellow stroller-running moms. We compared strollers and I even let them take mine for a jog around the parking lot. Stroller running is not for the faint of heart, we have to stick together. 

About: Hammonasset Beach State Park Walk - paved, multi-use trail (no motors allowed). The paved path runs 1.9 miles for a 3.8-mile out-and-back walk. Expect to share the trail with walkers, bikers, runners, dogs, and kids heading to the beach. To tack on extra mileage, park at the Shoreline Greenway Trail outside the park on Boston Post Road. 

Fee: The park is free to Connecticut Residents, but there is a daily fee charged at the gate for non-residents

Dogs: Dogs are allowed on the paved recreation trail all year round. They are not allowed on the campground, boardwalks or the beach in the summer (they are allowed on the beach from October 1 to April 1). 

Facilities: There are restrooms, water stations, a snack shack, and boardwalks along the trail. You can also find a playground and fitness station at the beginning of the path by the campground. 


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