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Hammonasset Beach (Meig's Point) - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Day Trip Report
Trip Dates: July 25, 2014
Nearest City: Madison, CT
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Submitted by: CopperKodiak View Profile

Description:

My family and I made our first trip to Hammonasset Beach in Madison, CT. with the intent to go sea kayaking. My son Riley and I went paddling while my wife and daughter sunned themselves on the beach. Our specific destination at Hammonasset was Meig's Point, which is to the far east of the state park and my personal favorite area.

Parking at Meig's Point is easy when you arrive before 1100 hours or so. There are 5 or 6 parking places designated for vehicles with trailers. I have a long pickup truck and I tow a 4 place home built kayak trailer. Unfortunately, regular passenger vehicles often park in the trailer designated places. There is a large field for parking, but it is several hundred yards from the launch area.

The launching of kayaks and small boats is permitted via a paved access road that runs parallel to the beach some 80 yards from the water's edge. Its perfect for car topping or trailer off loads.

Meig's Point offers many scenic attractions. There is a moraine deposit of glacially transported stones/boulders, with a hiking trail through this area. A long 100 yard long stone jetty is also close by. We like to launch our kayaks between these two features.

Paddling in this area is wonderful. Most often, the waves are 2' - 4' in height, though they can be large with coastal storms. Riley and I first paddled about 3/4 of a mile to the east around the point and towards a marina. There was some pretty good chop at high tide that morning. We decided not to fatigue ourselves early on with long paddling, so we broke our paddling time into 4 sessions.

The next three sessions were to the west around the stone jetty, where we found some interesting tidal features. As high tide was still filling Long Island Sound moving west, a return current paralleled the coastline on the western side of the jetty, and flowed back into the western flowing current at the jetty's end. With submerged rocks breaking up the current flow, it made for a unique white-water experience that was approximately 250' wide and reached far out from the end of the jetty. Within the white-water we experienced 5' waves propelling us at our stern, met by 3' - 4' waves crashing at our bow. Cross chop converged at times on either side of our kayaks, with deeper ebbing on the starboard side.

After paddling hard for 3 or 4 minutes, we found that we had progressed little more than 40' when in the midst of the chaos. It was exhilarating! What fun! Paddling west was more difficult than paddling east, as the return current was more powerful at our stern.

All in all, most of our Hammonasset paddling was easily at a moderate level, except for this one area, which could prove difficult. Paddlers in this area should know a wide variety of wet escapes, re-entries, and self rescues.

Arrive early for the best parking and beach access. Summer weekdays are not overly crowded unless a high heat wave is in place. Bring a camera for bird watching! Bring inspect repellant, as the horse flies can be a nuisance and the mosquitoes near the parking lot have their own landing lights and tail numbers!

As always, wear your Coast Guard Approved PFD, file a float plan, and paddle with a partner. And enjoy!

Accommodations:

Bathrooms, Boardwalk, Car Top Boat Launch, Concessions, Nature Center, Picnic Shelters, Picnic Tables, Showers.

Fees:

Weekends...
$13.00 Resident
$22.00 Non Resident
$6.00 Resident after 4pm
$7.00 Non Resident after 4pm

Weekdays...
$9.00 Resident
$15.00 Non Resident
$6.00 Resident after 4pm
$7.00 Non Resident after 4pm

Directions:

From the north/Hartford area: take I-91 south to Route 9 south. Off Route 9, take Exit 9. Turn right (south) onto Route 81; continue down Route 81 until you run into I-95. Turn right onto I-95 south entrance ramp and go approximately 1 mile to Exit 62, then turn left off the exit. Head south 1 mile down Hammonasset connector, go straight through the light crossing Route 1 (Boston Post Road) into the park.

> From the south area: take I-95 north, Exit 62. Take a right off the exit ramp onto Hammonasset I-95 connector. Park entrance will be 1 mile ahead.

> From the east/Rhode Island area: take I-395 south onto I-95 south, Exit 62. Take a left off the exit and go approximately 1 mile. Go straight through the traffic light crossing Route 1 (Boston Post Road).

> From the west/New York area: take I-95 north, Exit 62. Take a right off the exit and go approximately 1 mile. Go straight through the traffic light crossing Route 1 (Boston Post Road) into the park.

Launches:

Hammonasset Beach

Resources:

D.E.E.P. Information Website:
http://www.ct.gov/deep/


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