Harkness Memorial State Park

Quick Facts

Harkness Memorial State Park

Connecticut

(860) 443-5725

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Harkness Memorial State Park is a beautiful piece of property situated on Goshen Point in Waterford, jutting out into Long Island Sound. The centerpiece of the park is the former summer retreat of Edward and Mary Harkness, an extremely wealthy and philanthropic couple who bestowed over $200 million to a wide range of organizations and causes. They purchased the estate in 1907 and eventually donated the property to the State of Connecticut in 1950. Their 42-room Italianate mansion was named 'Eolia' for the island home of the Greek god of winds. With cool on-shore breezes from the Sound, visitors can take in all the 230-acre park has to offer from sweeping lawns to lush gardens. Over three acres of formal gardens were designed in the early twentieth century by famed landscape architect Beatrix Jones Farrand and have recently been restored . The property was also a working farm under the Harkness' ownership, and therefore has a variety of other buildings and structures on site from a large greenhouse at one end of the property to a support complex that not only housed stables, farm machinery and employee apartments, but also a two-lane bowling alley, billiards room and squash court. Visitors can enjoy docent-led tours of the mansion in-season (Memorial Day through Labor Day) on Saturdays and Sundays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The gift shop is also open in-season on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The park truly offers something for everyone with excellent saltwater fishing, picnicking opportunities amid the breathtaking scenery, and a variety of events and activities such as art shows, car shows and kite festivals. Pets on a leash are permitted in picnic and lawn areas. Pets are not allowed on the beach or in formal gardens.

Map of Harkness Memorial (CT)

Latitude, Longitude: 41.305090, -72.112289

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Activities

  • Fishing

    Enjoy a day of saltwater fishing at Harkness Memorial State Park.

  • Historic Sites

    The mansion is open for tours weekends and holidays from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day. The first tour of the day starts at 10 a.m. and the last at 2 p.m.

  • Hunting

    Information on hunting in Harkness Memorial State Park is unavailable. Call ahead of time before preparing for a day of hunting.

  • Picnicking

    The park offers picnic tables and bathrooms. What more could you ask for in a picnic area?

Park Partners

Friends of Harkness Memorial State Park

Friends of Harkness is dedicated to restoring and preserving the gardens, mansion, and other structures at the Park, bequeathed to the State of Connecticut by Edward and Mary Stillman Harkness, for enjoyment, recreation, and education of its visitors.

(860) 437-1523

Directions

Driving

Take Route 2 south to Colchester. Route 85 south to New London, take a right onto Boston Post Road (Route 1), and then take a left onto Ocean Ave. Right onto Niles Hill Road. Left onto Dimmock Road. From Hartford area: take Route 91 southbound onto Route 9 south. It will merge with Route 95, go northbound on Route 95, take Exit 75. Bear right at the end of the exit, you will be on Route 1. Proceed 3 miles to the light at Avery Lane (Route 213), turn right and follow to the park. Avery Lane will become Great Neck Road. The park will be on your right. From Boston and Providence areas: take Route 95 southbound to Exit 81. At the end of the exit ramp, turn left onto access road and proceed to stop light. At the light take a left onto Cross Road and continue to the intersection with Route 1. Turn left onto Route 1 and continue to the traffic light at Avery Lane (Route 213). Turn right onto Avery Lane and follow to the park. Avery Lane will become Great Neck Road. The park will be on your right. From New York and New Haven areas: take Route 95 northbound, Exit 75. Bear right at the end of the exit, you will be on Route 1. Proceed 3 miles to the light at Avery Lane (Route 213), turn right and follow to the park. Avery Lane will become Great Neck Road. The park will be on your right.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(860) 443-5725

Links