Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, CT is a beautiful coastal park located on Long Island Sound. It features a beach, picnic areas, and a nature center. This is a great park for family fun!
Getting To Sherwood Island State Park
To get to Sherwood Island State Park, you’ll take Interstate 95. You’ll get off of Exit 18 in Westport. This exit will take you on to the Sherwood Island Connector. The park entrance is only about a half mile off of the exit.
Once you get to the entrance, if you’re from out of state, you’ll have to pay a fee to get in. During the week, it’s $15 per car. On the weekends, it’s $22 for out of state. If you’re looking to avoid paying those high prices, if you enter the park after 4:00pm, it’s only $7!
If you’re a Connecticut resident, you won’t have to pay to get in. CT vehicles get in for free!
Things to do
Although the beach is a main attraction, there are several other activities you can enjoy at the park. It’s a great place to take a nature walk, go fishing, or just sit and enjoy something to eat with a water view.
Sherwood Island State Park Beach
If you’re looking for a public beach in Fairfield County to enjoy a hot summer day, you’ve come to the right place! The park offers just over a mile of beaches on Long Island Sound. The beach has many broken shells, so it’s recommended that you wear water shoes to protect your feet.
Amenities at the beach include a concession stand, picnic shelter, picnic tables, bathrooms, and showers. At the concession stand, you can get your beach favorites from ice cream, to chicken tenders. It’s a great spot to grab a bite to eat during your beach day!
Sherwood Island also makes a great location for a picnic! There are various pavilions and picnic tables around the park. The main pavilion is a great for larger gatherings. We had my work picnic here and it was a great time! There are great views of the water from the pavilion!
There are also other pavilions along the beach. Since they’re close to the beach area, they do tend to fill up quickly! But, theses covered picnic areas convenient if you’re having a group beach day with the family!
If you’re looking to picnic while enjoying the sunshine, there are also picnic tables available outside of the pavilions. There are some outside of the main pavilion. There are also many picnic tables available around the park.
Another great way to enjoy the park is by walking the Sherwood Island Trail. The main trail is a 2.9 mile out and back trail. The trail takes you along the shoreline with sunning views of Long Island Sound. The path is wide and mostly gravel.
There are a couple of other trails off of this main path. If you take the trail to the left of Nature Center, you’ll be able to see a marsh. In this marsh area, you can expect to view marsh life including birds like ospreys, herons, and egrets as well as groundhogs.
There’s an osprey nest in the marsh, but be sure to bring binoculars for viewing because it’s not close to the edge. There are various spots along the grass path where the nest can be seen.
Another popular thing to do within the park is fishing. During the season (April 15-September 30), surf and shore fishing is allowed anywhere on the shoreline outside of the swimming areas. These areas include Sherwood Point, the East Jetty.
In the off-season, fishing is allowed on the beach. But, you can only fish here from 8am to sunset. Before 8am and after sunset, you can fish in the areas I mentioned above.
If you go fishing at this park, there are a variety of saltwater fish you can expect to catch. Some of the fish you can expect to catch are blackfish, bluefish, scup, summer flounder, winter flounder, and striped bass.
Sherwood Island Nature Center
The Sherwood Island Nature Center is a great place to visit with kids! The nature center offers a wide variety of displays and exhibits of the rich diversity of plant and animal life that live in the park.
The building is located between East Beach and the salt marsh nature trail. DEEP staff, assisted by interns and docents, host planned summer nature walks, bird watching, and learning activities for adults and children.
If you’re looking to visit the The Nature Center, you won’t be able to go on Monday or Tuesday. The Nature Center is open Wednesday – Sunday 10 am to 4 pm. Additionally, it’s only openly seasonally.
CT’s 9/11 Living Memorial
Another thing you can visit at the park is the 9/11 Memorial. This memorial is Connecticut’s official memorial to the victims of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The memorial can be found in the main pavilion. There is also a contemplative memorial space on the point.
One of the reasons this park has a memorial is because you could see the Twin Towers from Sherwood Island. The day of the attack and many days after, smoke from the towers was visible from the park.
Another reason why this memorial is in Westport is because this attack really hurt the community. Since Westport is so close to New York City, many people who lived there worked in the financial district. Many community members were lost in the attacks.
Reasons To Visit Sherwood Island State Park
Sherwood Island State Park is a great place to go enjoy the outdoors. Whether you’re looking to go to the beach, go for a walk, or have a picnic, there are various ways to enjoy this beautiful coastal park!
Looking for more Connecticut State Parks to check out? Be sure to check out the state parks below!
- Rocky Neck State Park: This is another Connecticut State Park that also offers a beach along Long Island Sound.
- Ferry Landing State Park: This park features a nice boardwalk with stunning views of the Connecticut River.
- Gardner Lake State Park: This large lake in Salem, CT also has a beach to swim in and it’s a great place to go boating and jet-skiing!