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Harkness Memorial State Park
Directions: From I-95 northbound, take exit 75. Follow Route 1 for about four miles and take a right on Avery Lane. Follow Route 213, also called Great Neck Road, for about three miles. The park entrance will be on your right. From I-95 southbound, take exit 81 and turn left on the access road. At the first light, turn left on Cross Road. After one mile, turn left on Route 1. After 1.5 miles, turn right on Avery Lane and follow Route 213 for about three miles. The park entrance will be on your right.
Where to Park: Parking is available in two large paved lots at the end of the park's access road.
Description: The park's expansive lawns are dotted with shade trees and picnic tables. A short paved path leads down to a small sandy beach, which is a popular spot for surf-cast fishing. A grass and gravel path runs around the perimeter of the lawns. The Niering Walk meanders along the shore of Goshen Cove. Wildlife viewing platforms are located on the Niering Walk and the boardwalk.
Regulations: Park is open from 8:00 a.m. to sunset. Park remains open to fisherman after dark. Pets on a leash are permitted in picnic and lawn areas. Pets are not allowed on the beach or in formal gardens. Swimming is not permitted.
Amenities: Restrooms. Picnic tables. Amphitheater. Gardens. Mansion may be rented for private functions.
Natural Features: Goshen Cove is a marshy wetland that provides habitat for numerous fish and birds, including gulls, terns, ducks and herons. An Osprey nest can be seen on a man-made platform.
Good to know: The park was originally the summer home of Edward and Mary Harkness. Their 42-room mansion, Eolia, was built in 1906 and is open for tours weekends and holidays during the summer. The land became part of the State Park system in 1952.
Fees: Weekends/Holidays, Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day: Connecticut residents $9, non-residents $15; after 4:00 p.m. residents $6, non-residents $7. Weekdays: Connecticut residents $6, non-residents $10; after 4:00 p.m. residents $6, non-residents $7. Weekday rates are in effect weekends April 17-May 23 and September 11-26.
Owned by: State Department of Environmental Protection
More information: http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?A=2716&Q=325214