Sunrise State Park in East Haddam has reopened for hiking, walking dogs on leashes, wildlife viewing and horseback riding, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection announced Tuesday.

The 143-acre former Sunrise Resort property has been closed to the public for most of last year, as contractors removed dozens of small cabins and other buildings that remained on the property when the state purchased it in 2009, DEEP said in a news release.

"The agency appreciates the public's patience while this important cleanup project took place," DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said. "With the support of many state legislators, the hard work of local supporters and volunteers, and our state staff and contractors, Sunrise State Park is now an inviting and safe place for visitors again. We encourage people to come and enjoy this beautiful property."

The entrance is on Route 151 just north of the entrance to Machimoodus State Park.

The park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset daily.

Sunrise Resort dates back to 1916 when Henry Engle owned a 3-acre property named "Elm Camp."

The resort grew under a succession of owners and was purchased in 1986 by the Johnson family.

With the addition of the Sunrise property, state-owned land in the area expanded to 443 acres and more than 4,700 feet of Salmon River frontage are protected.


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