Shoreline Greenway Trail boardwalk at Hammonasset Beach State Park

The eastern trailhead of the Shoreline Greenway Trail is in Madison at Hammonasset Beach State Park, Connecticut’s largest and most visited state park.  Once completed, the 25-mile trail will extend from here west all the way to Lighthouse Point on New Haven Harbor.

With the completion of the final leg between the park property and Webster Point Road, a gently sloping trail more than one mile long winds around a peninsula overlooking beautiful marsh and distant views of Long Island Sound.  This section is perfect for walking, biking and even cross-country skiing, and is wheel-chair accessible.

Access the Trail in Madison: 

Parking:  To access the trail, park in the Shoreline Greenway Trail eastern trailhead parking lot east of the park entrance road off Boston Post Road/Route One.  Please note, parking is not allowed along the park entrance road near the walkway nor along Route One near the trail. You are at risk of receiving tickets at both locations.]  Google Map directions to parking lot.

If you’re coming by foot or bike from local roads, you may enter from Webster Point Road and make your way to the park.

The trail:  Two and one-half miles roundtrip.  From the parking lot, follow the trail to the crossing of the park’s entrance, road turn right and follow the path to the boardwalk over the salt marsh. The view of the marsh from the boardwalk is spectacular.  On the west side of the boardwalk the trail parallels the park campground then covers a short stretch of trail close to Boston Post Road before curving back into park property along the peninsula to the west of the main park property. This is a very beautiful part of the trail with excellent bird watching and a completely different ecological system from the rest of the park. You may also observe dramatic evidence of the rising water level where the stone fences that once were used to fence cattle now extend many feet into the marsh on what used to be dry land. Google map SGT Madison section


Next Steps in Madison 

The park is in the process of replacing its underground utilities. Now in the final phase of that project, they have graded a pathway parallel to the service road and will pave it as soon as weather permits.

Our focus now is on wending our way through the rest of the town and meeting up with the Guilford trail at the East River. The town has appointed a bike/pedestrian advisory committee to aid in that effort.

Join us!    We completely depend on volunteers to build and maintain the trail.   We need you!  Volunteer opportunities in Madision include:

  • Join our trail building and maintenance crew.  No experience necessary!  We hold trail work sessions frequently. 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.
  • Raise funds.  We have a lot of trail to build in Madison and we will need a lot of funding.
  • Spread the word.   We are looking for volunteers to help plan a Bike Safety Rodeo, give talks to local groups, and help with other outreach activities.
  • Attend a SGT Town Meeting.   Anyone wishing to promote the trail in Madison is 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. Contact Us to put your name on the meeting info list.

Click here to get more information about getting involved in Madison.


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. 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 and a second grant of $30,000 to help finish the trail down to Webster Point Road. 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, the Madison Foundation, Madison Newcomers Club, 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.

And Thanks to the Eagle Scouts!

There are four Eagle Scout projects along the Hammonasset section of the trail. The first you will encounter is the rain garden in the middle of the parking lot designed to catch the runoff from cars and protect the nearby salt marsh. Eric Weidman and his team planted the rain garden. The second you will encounter is the bike rack and bench south of the parking lot installed by Tom O’Sullivan. Just to the south of the walkway there is a delightful rest area where you can relax and enjoy the marsh view installed by Eagle Scout Eric Marsh as our first Eagle Scout project. Finally at the Webster Point Road entrance to the trail, Caleb Isacson built and landscaped a kiosk to provide information to hikers and bikers.

Click on any of the images below for a clickable slide show of the trail in Madison!