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 and ski-able. Biking is good on the campground section. The peninsula is still rough although mountain bikers have found it to their liking and asked us not to finish it. Bird watching is excellent.
Trail Access: The trail in Hammonasset can be accessed by parking in the Hammonasset campground parking lot during the off season and walking north along the entrance road until you come to the walkway across the marsh on the west side of the entrance road. Ramps on either side are now being built, and so it is not bike-able yet. When the campground is open for the summer season or for XC skiing in winter, the trail can be accessed from the Post Road between Webster Point Road and the park entrance. Parking is allowed on the grassy strip on the south side of the Post Road as long as the car is fully off the pavement.
Work in Madison is concentrated on the trail that crosses Hammonasset Beach State Park. Plans call for an eastern trailhead parking lot in the meadow near the Friends of Hammonasset plant and Christmas tree sales. From there a trail will parallel the park maintenance road and cross the park entrance road near the tollbooths. From there it will lead north to the walkway that is now being built across the marsh. Until the ramps to the walkway are built, there are temporary stairs at both ends. Walkers are welcome. The view from the walkway is spectacular.
On the west side of the walkway the trail is finished for about 1/3 of a mile parallel to the park campground. Work will begin soon on the short stretch of trail close to the Post Road on the Dept. of Transportation right-of-way. That piece will connect the finished trail with the partially finished trail on the peninsula to the west of the main park property. This is a very beautiful section of trail with excellent bird-watching opportunities and a whole 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 preparing the trail for topping and 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.
Many Words of Thanks
The Madison Team was thrilled to receive word recently that 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. The second and third years of the grant are in the form of a challenge requiring that we raise funds to be matched by the Foundation.
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 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 are also grateful to 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 STRATEGIZE TO RAISE CHALLENGE FUNDS for our generous challenge grant from the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.
JOIN THE VOLUNTEER TRAIL MAINTENANCE TEAM to prepare the trail for final topping, remove invasive vines, even eradicate phragmites
Help to PLAN OUR FIRST 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
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.