The Largest Beach

Hammona Hammona Hammona!
Hammonasset Beach, Madison

July 12, 2008

hba.jpgI love my title. While there is certainly no “correct” spelling of the phrase, there is a correct usage. The Urban Dictionary defines it as, “a sensual way to say hottie.” (They happen to spell it “humana humana” which is an insurance company that competes with my employer, so that’s just a stupid way to spell it. Regardless, when I’m at the beach and watch my wife prancing around, I’m always moved to say it.)

And yet, with respect to her, you won’t be seeing the bikini pictures I took of her – even if Damian was the focus. While I didn’t bother asking if she was cool with beach pictures of herself on CMTQ, I know what the answer would be; something along the lines of, “I can’t believe you’re even asking me.” Seeing as though you won’t be seeing any pictures of me here in my skivvies, I guess it’s only fair. Damian? Enjoy his fat belly to your heart’s content.

Hammonasset Beach in Madison (on the Long Island Sound) has become our preferred beach since Damian was born. It’s the closest Sound beach (pretty much) and it’s family friendly. It’s also HUGE – with over two miles of beach. Divided in several sections, the Meigs Point section is apparently the family friendliest; so that’s where we go.

hbb.jpgThe sand is fairly rocky and just into the water, forget about it. You better know how to swim because walking is painful. So are the jellyfish that swarmed the shore on this particular visit (we go a few times per summer). But, there’s so much more to do here than lie around and get sunburned. There’s plenty of hiking, birding, camping, and bike riding. There’s Meigs Point Nature Center too, which is a very impressive little building. (CTMQ Visit Here!)

hbc1.jpgAnd there’s also some history! “Hammonasset” means, “where we dig holes in the ground” and refers to the place where a settlement of eastern woodland Indians farmed along the Hammonasset River. They subsisted on corn, beans, and squash, and by fishing and hunting. The first colonists arrived in 1639. Property changed hands frequently between Native Americans and the first colonists.

In 1898 the Winchester Repeating Arms Company bought Hammonasset and used it as a testing site for their new rifle. Their Lee Straight Pull rifle was mounted on a horse drawn stone boat, from which it was fired into targets on the beach.

On July 18, 1920, Hammonasset Beach State Park was opened to the public. The first season attracted over 75,000 visitors. The park’s reputation drew tourists from across the continent as well as the state.

During World War II the park was closed to the public and loaned to the federal government as an army reservation. Meigs Point functioned as an aircraft range. Planes flew over Clinton Harbor, fired at the range and then flew out over Long Island Sound.

Seriously, I burn very easily and the beach has never been my favorite place to spend the day. But I like it fine and I’ve adapted with spf 50 and an umbrella. So I ask you, why are these people at the beach? It’s not like it was a cool day either, the temperature was in the upper 80′s with nary a breeze.

Today, over one million people come annually to enjoy Hammonasset Beach State Park.

And we are, but three.


Main CTMQ Geography Page


For the Curious:

Hammonasset Beach State Park
The Geology of Hammonasset Beach – Good stuff!
Friends of Hammonasset
Dang cool picture of Hammonasset

2 responses to “The Largest Beach”

  1. Catherine says:

    definitely my favorite beach-tons of wildlife-they’ve renovated all the boardwalks and once in a while you will see these weird little plane things-looks like a person riding one of those bikes where you are almost horizontal except they’re way up in the air with a motor and a very small canopy atop that-looks absolutely terrifying!

  2. Terri says:

    You should take your boys camping there in summer. They will love it! Go mid-week if you want to avoid crowds. Its so enjoyable at sunset and early morning.

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