Coastal Access in Connecticut

Welcome to the Connecticut Coastal Access Guide
Shoreline Public Access Sign

This interactive map, along with brown and white public access signs posted at or near many of these locations, can help you find your way to over 350 diverse shoreline sites in Connecticut that provide a variety of opportunities for coastal enjoyment.

While all the sites included are open to the public, please note that DEEP does not manage all of them. Users should review the interactive map’s Site Contact Information for each site to determine the appropriate party to contact with questions or concerns, or for current conditions before visiting.

Connecticut's Shore - The People's Resource

Connecticut's shore belongs to the people under the common law public trust doctrine. As such, all coastal states, as sovereigns, hold the submerged lands and waters waterward of the mean highwater line in trust for the public. In Connecticut, a line of state Supreme Court cases confirm that private ownership ends at the mean high water line, and that the state holds title to the lands waterward of mean high water for the use and benefit of the public. (In general, if an area is regularly wet by the tides, you are probably safe to assume that it is in the public trust.) The public may freely use these lands and waters, whether they are beach, rocky shore, or open water, for uses such as fishing, shellfishing, boating, sunbathing, or simply walking along the beach.

For more information, please see our Public Trust Fact Sheet.

Responsibly Enjoy Your Public Trust Right

Public trust areas and the coastal resources within them are important and deserve our respect. Visitors should exercise their public rights responsibly, without disturbing neighboring property owners or others using the public shore. Don’t litter, trample dune or tidal wetland vegetation, or trespass on private property. Do obey fishing, shellfishing, and other restrictions. Sites listed are generally open from dawn to dusk unless otherwise specified.

Contact Us

For questions, comments, or additional information about the Connecticut Coastal Access Guide, please contact the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Land and Water Resources Division, 79 Elm Street, Hartford Connecticut, 06106-5127. Telephone: (860) 424-3019. Email: coastal.access@ct.gov.

Please Note: The coastal access guide includes many CT DEEP beaches and swim areas. For the most up-to-date information on closure status these facilities, please visit Connecticut Waterfront Updates.


Content Last Updated June 8, 2022