Escaping to the shore is something I do quite often, especially in winter, a reminder, if you will, of better days to come. And with a burst of spring-like temps on the horizon, it *was* the perfect time to make my break.
Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven is where I landed. And, as its name indicates – the park’s lighthouse serves as a welcome beacon to visitors from all over.
The New Haven Harbor lighthouse – or Five Mile Point Light as it is called – stands stoically by the rocky shore. Its lens no longer beams light for wayward sailors, but the sandstone structure continues to call the curious to its door.
And how can you not be drawn to its beauty? It has all the hallmarks of a shoreline postcard with its unwavering stance just feet away from the waves lapping on the beach’s craggy rocks.
Gravel and paved paths allow visitors to explore all parts of the park: from the boat launch to the beach. And, although quiet and serene now, at the height of summer, this place draws thousands of people to its shores.
The highlights are plentiful with families coming here to picnic, swim and boat. A heavily-adorned carousel also beckons both small children and adults to its doors. Built in 1916, it is a shining example of American folk art and is one of only 100 such carousels in operation.
There are times off-season when visitors flock to this spot as well. In fall and spring, the park is awash with people who turn to the sky for a way to pass the time. According to the city’s website, it’s one of the most popular places for bird-watching along the East Coast. And, research is conducted annually here to trace migration habits.
It’s easy to see why people are drawn to this place. But, a seasonal visit (April 1 – November 1) doesn’t come cheap. Parking is $25 for vehicles not registered in New Haven. So, consider coming in the off-season for a free visit. For a place where you can recharge and reflect……that’s a pretty good deal any way you look at it.
Directions: Take I-91 S. Use the left lane to merge onto I-95 N toward New London. Take the Port area exit. Continue onto Main St. Annex. Turn right onto Townsend Ave. Turn right onto Lighthouse Rd. Turn left onto Park Ave. Slight right to stay on Park Ave. Turn left onto Lighthouse Rd. Parking is on the left.
Trail Distance: @ 1 mile
Trail Difficulty: Easy