Incorporated 1826/Population 18,000+

The eastern trailhead of the 25-mile Shoreline Greenway Trail is in Madison at Hammonasset Beach State Park, Connecticut’s largest and most visited state park. (The Trail’s western trailhead is at Lighthouse Point on New Haven Harbor).


Madison Trail Information

Even though the whole length of trail in Hammonasset Park is not finished, it is very walk-able, bike-able, and ski-able. The peninsula has been completed and it is the most beautiful section of trail yet.

The new peninsula trail in Hammonasset

Bird watching is excellent on the new peninsula trail in Hammonasset.

Trail Access: The trail in Hammonasset can be accessed by parking in the Shoreline Greenway Trail eastern trailhead parking lot east of the park entrance road off Route One. Parking is not allowed along the park entrance road near the walkway. You are at risk of receiving a $75 ticket from the Enconn Police.

Trail Development

Work in Madison is concentrated on the trail that crosses Hammonasset Beach State Park. The eastern trailhead parking lot was installed over the winter and spring in the meadow near the Friends of Hammonasset plant and Christmas tree sales. From there a trail will parallel the park maintenance road, cross the park entrance road near the tollbooths, andl lead north to the  walkway across the marsh. The section of trail from the crossing of the entrance road to the walkway is being constructed currently. The view of the marsh from the walkway is spectacular. Just to the south of the walkway Eagle Scout Eric Marsh installed a delightful rest area where you can relax and enjoy the marsh view. On the west side of the walkway the trail is finished for about .8 mile parallel to the park campground, along the short stretch of trail close to the Post Road on the Dept. of Transportation right-of-way, and out along the peninsula to the west of the main park property. This is a very beautiful section of trail with excellent bird-watching and a completely different ecological system from the rest of the park. We have a very active trail building and maintenance program run by dedicated volunteers. We hold trail work sessions frequently.  In coming weeks we will be clearing invasive vines to liberate the trees and shrubbery along the trail. If you would like to be notified of work schedules and join us, please  Click here. We also welcome groups such as youth organizations who want to organize a time when they can work together on the trail.

Another view of the peninsula section

Another view of the peninsula section


Part of the great volunteer team  building the boardwalk in Hammonasset. r. Ted Raff, John Paulson, Dave Kelley, and Trailmeister Perry Rianhard. Not pictured but just as valuable, George Haines, Ken Punzelt, Yasu Ueda, David Dwyer, and Jack Wood.

Part of the great volunteer team who built the boardwalk in Hammonasset. r. Ted Raff, John Paulson, Dave Kelley, and Trailmeister Perry Rianhard. Not pictured but just as valuable, George Haines, Ken Punzelt, Yasu Ueda, David Dwyer, and Jack Woo

Many Words of Thanks

The Madison Team has been blessed with support from many corners. The Recreational Trails Program of the U. S. Department of Transportation has awarded a grant of $168,500 for work on the Hammonasset section of the trail. The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven has made a grant of $60,000 over three years to help build the trail in Hammonasset. We also received a generous grant of $50,000 from the Dorr Foundation in honor of Shirley Punzelt upon her retirement from their board of trustees. The first major grant to the Hammonasset section was $100,000 from Anthem Blue Cross.  The Long Island Sound License Plate Fund has given $25,000. The Guilford Savings Bank, Madison Newcomers Club, the Madison Jaycees, The Garden Club of Madison, and many individuals have also contributed generously to this section. We are deeply grateful to all for the support. We also thank the staffs of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and Hammonasset Beach State Park for their abundant assistance and advice as we work our way through the permitting process and across the Park property.

Volunteer Opportunities in Madison

HELP TO RAISE FUNDS to finish the Hammonasset section.

The walkway across the marsh

The walkway across the marsh

JOIN THE VOLUNTEER TRAIL MAINTENANCE TEAM to maintain the trail, remove invasive vines, eradicate phragmites. Help to PLAN A BIKE SAFETY RODEO. TALK TO LOCAL GROUPS about Madison’s spectacular Trail at Hammonasset Beach State Park. Orientation & Power Point provided. Flexible time. MANAGE the MADISON PAGE of the Web Site HANDLE OUTREACH ACTIVITIES FOR MADISON. Also, please check the VOLUNTEER page for opportunities to serve the whole 4-town trail.

Madison Team Meetings

All those who wish to promote the trail in Madison are welcome to join us on the second Thursday of most months (but not all). We meet at 10:00 AM in Room B at Town Campus. Since we sometimes do not meet or the town changes our venue, please Contact Us to request that your name be added to our meeting information list or to volunteer to help build and maintain the Trail.