12 Parks in West Haven, Connecticut

Last Updated on March 3, 2024 by Emily Johnson

West Haven, Connecticut is home to several beautiful parks that offer residents and visitors ample opportunities for recreation and relaxation. From sprawling greenspaces to community gardens and playgrounds, West Haven’s parks are perfect for walking, hiking, picnicking, sports, and more.

This article will highlight 12 of the top parks in West Haven and provide details on the amenities and attractions offered at each one. Whether you’re looking for ballfields and courts, nature trails, or waterfront access, you’re sure to find a park in West Haven that meets your needs. The parks on this list cater to visitors of all ages and interests.

Bradley Point Park

Bradley Point Park is one of West Haven’s most popular waterfront parks. Spanning 39 acres along the Long Island Sound, Bradley Point is known for its peaceful setting, scenic views, fishing opportunities, and recreational facilities.

Visitors to Bradley Point Park will find plenty of green space for picnicking, sunbathing, flying kites, and playing catch or frisbee. There is also an attractive brick walkway perfect for leisurely strolls along the shoreline. Benches are scattered throughout the park so visitors can sit and take in views of the New Haven Harbor and Long Island Sound.

Fishing is allowed at Bradley Point Park, making it a popular spot for anglers hoping to reel in bluefish, fluke, scup, striped bass and other fish. A handicap-accessible fishing platform extends over the rocky breakwall, providing easier access to the deeper waters of the Sound.

For more active recreation, Bradley Point has basketball courts, tennis courts, baseball/softball fields, bocce courts, and a large playground. The playground features several climbing structures and slides, as well as swings and interactive musical equipment for toddlers. Parents will appreciate the ample shade and benches in this area.

Savin Rock Park

Savin Rock Park encompasses 17 acres along the Long Island Sound and preserves the history of Savin Rock, a beloved amusement park that once attracted visitors to West Haven’s shoreline. Today Savin Rock Park pays homage to its namesake with decorative signage and displays while also providing modern recreational facilities for the community.

At the heart of Savin Rock Park are the main baseball/softball fields, which host local Little League games and tournaments. Spectator stands allow viewers to watch the action on the diamonds. There is also a street hockey rink and two half basketball courts for pick-up games.

Savin Rock Park has playground equipment for both older and younger children. The cute nautical theme includes a ship-themed climbing structure and slides, interactive panels, and baby swings. Picnic tables and charcoal grills are available for family gatherings.

Perhaps the best feature of Savin Rock Park is its long wooden boardwalk and piers that extend over the sandy beach. Visitors can walk out over the tranquil tidewaters of the Sound while enjoying refreshing ocean breezes. Informational signs describe the history and ecology of Savin Rock’s shoreline throughout a self-guided Nature Walk.

Oak Street Park

Tucked into a residential neighborhood, Oak Street Park provides a convenient spot for locals to enjoy the outdoors without traveling far. Its proximity to West Haven High School also makes it a popular hangout for students and young adults.

Oak Street Park centers around a large multi-use field perfect for soccer, football, frisbee, or just running around. Those looking for a pick-up game are likely to find willing participants here. Surrounding the field is a compact .3 mile walking track—great for joggers or an easy afternoon stroll.

One unique aspect of Oak Street Park is its outdoor fitness section aimed at teens and adults. The area includes stations for pull-ups, leg raises, sit ups, push-ups and more. The equipment provides a fun way to squeeze in strength and cardio while enjoying the fresh air.

For younger kids, Oak Street Park has a good-sized playground with standard equipment like slides, ladders, and swings. Parents can supervise easily from the nearby benches. A few picnic tables also invite families to bring snacks or meals to the park.

Surfside Park

It may be landlocked, but Surfside Park brings a taste of the beach right to West Haven’s Allingtown neighborhood. Nautically-themed equipment like a submarine climbing structure and ship-inspired swings get kids’ imaginations flowing. Interactive musical elements add to the playground’s appeal for little ones.

Adjacent to the playground, Surfside Park contains tennis and basketball courts available on a first come, first served basis. Visitors are welcome to bring their own equipment for casual games and practice. Pick-up volleyball is also popular in the open grassy areas.

For special events, Surfside Park has an outdoor amphitheater that can accommodate concerts, theater productions, or even graduation ceremonies. The covered stage has lighting and electrical access for amplifying sound. The sloped lawn provides seating for performances.

Surfside Park hosts a weekly farmers market during summer months where locals can purchase fresh produce, breads, flowers, and other homemade or homegrown goods. The large parking area fills up quickly for this popular event.

One special landmark at the park is the Surfside Anchor, a huge navy anchor displayed atop a stone monument. The visually striking memorial honors West Haven citizens who have served in the armed forces.

Painter Park

Painter Park combines vibrant gardens, unusual sculpture art, and facilities for sport and play into one picturesque package along Campbell Avenue. Developed through strong community involvement, Painter Park reflects the diverse interests and creativity of Allingtown neighbors.

The sculptural showpieces dotting Painter Park make it unlike any other green space in West Haven. Brilliantly painted steel birds in theuleiro perch around the vegetation, while 20-foot tall steel flowers known as “Fire and Ice Tulips” inject color into the landscape. These eye-catching sculptures foster appreciation for public art.

For garden enthusiasts, the manicured flower beds, vines, and shrubs invite close inspection. Signs identify the wide variety of plants cultivated in the park by local green thumbs. During peak bloom, visitors flock to Painter Park to admire the horticultural beauty on display.

Athletic facilities at Painter Park include basketball courts, tennis courts, and ballfields for baseball, softball, soccer, and football. Those seeking a more casual area for games and sports can utilize the open green spaces as well.

Parents appreciate the creative playground with bouncing disc swings, traditional slides, and imaginative climbing structures. Picnic tables dot the landscape for snacking or just taking a quiet break. Whether you come to play, relax, or admire the gardens and sculpture, Painter Park offers something for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

Cove River Park

Cove Park provides a scenic riverside landscape for walking, fishing, picnicking, and appreciating wildlife along the Cove River. Flowing for nearly 2 miles from its origin at Lake Phipps to Long Island Sound, the Cove River shapes the terrain and natural environments near its banks. Cove Park allows easy access to this defining waterway of West Haven’s geography.

A splendid brick walkway lined with decorative lampposts guides visitors along 1⁄4 mile of Cove River frontage. Park goers can stroll uninterrupted along the calm waters, perhaps catching glimpses of ducks, geese, herons, swallows, or other birds frequenting the area. Informational signs describe the river’s history, ecology, and common wildlife.

In addition to birdwatching, Cove Park has shore fishing access for those hoping to catch sunfish, trout, or bass from its tranquil eddies. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection stocks the river several times per year to bolster fish populations.

Elsewhere in Cove Park are tennis courts, baseball diamonds, open playing fields, and a playground for more active recreation. Picnic tables positioned under shade trees create inviting spots for snacking and conversation as well. With its diversity of amenities, Cove River Park appeals to nature lovers, athletes, families, and anyone seeking beautiful scenery.

West Walk Park

Tucked between Oyster River and Forest Road, West Walk Park provides a quiet, almost hidden retreat near the heart of West Haven’s commercial district. Its proximity to the West Walk bike path makes it easily accessible by foot or bicycle. Visitors on wheels can take advantage of the park’s water fountain and bike rack.

At just .8 acres, West Walk Park offers a grassy refuge for relaxing, reading, and admiring seasonal flowers. Two benches ensure you can take weight off your feet and soak up the peaceful vibes. Mature shade trees buffer the landscape from the neighboring roads.

Parents find West Walk Park suitable for allowing young children run around freely, as it sees little vehicle traffic compared with other parks. The small playground also gives kids some simple equipment like slides and ladders on which to burn energy.

The most picturesque spot in West Walk Park is along its wood-chipped nature path bordering the Oyster River marshland. An elevated overlook platform and informational signage let visitors observe waterfowl and other wetland wildlife often unseen from roadsides. During migration seasons, birdwatchers may spot egrets, herons, swallows, Hawks, ducks, and more winging through the Oyster River ecosystem.

While admittedly small, West Walk Park’s tranquility, floral beauty, and waterside wildlife viewing area make it well worth a visit. It provides a perfect pocket of nature amidst the surrounding commerce and traffic.

Beach Street Park

Sandwiched between Sandy Point Beach and the commercial waterfront, Beach Street Park offers (number of acres?) acres of prime recreation space steps from Long Island Sound waves and walking distance to dining and shops. Its blend of scenic beauty, shore access, and modern amenities check all the boxes for an enjoyable outdoor experience.

The hub of activity at Beach Street Park clusters around the contemporary playground and spray park. Kids can climb aboard whimsical nautical-themed equipment before cooling off in the sprinkler fountain. Shaded seating gives parents a comfortable vantage point and close proximity.

Adjacent to the busy playground are six Har-Tru tennis courts available to the public on a drop-in basis. Volleyball standards allow groups to string up temporary nets for pick-up games as well. After working up an appetite, visitors can use one of the park’s charcoal grills for cooking lunch or dinner.

When you’re ready for fun in the sand, Beach Street Park sits just across the street from Sandy Point Beach. Visitors can easily walk back and forth between the park and the golden shoreline.

Whether you come for the conveniently located facilities or use Beach Street Park as your home base while exploring the surrounding beaches and businesses, it undoubtedly enhances time spent around the vibrant waterfront district.

West Shore Park

Boasting a sprawling 148 acres, West Shore Park provides plenty of room to roam through woodland, meadows, and wetlands with Long Island Sound just on the horizon. The park’s vastness creates an immersive nature experience without leaving West Haven.

Hiking trails at West Shore Park let outdoor enthusiasts explore diverse ecosystems and terrain at their own pace. The main 1 1⁄4 mile loop passes through evergreen and deciduous forest, crosses over small streams, and skirts around Marsh Pond before circling back. Interpretive signs describe the native vegetation, wild inhabitants, and ecology to enrich your forest walk.

In the northern section, another trail stretches 1⁄2 mile out to an overlook showcasing panoramic views across New Haven Harbor. Peregrine falcons sometimes nest on this high bluff, while forktail deer inhabit the woods. Birders also flock here hoping to spot migratory raptors in spring and fall.

West Shore Park has many secluded spots perfect for picnicking, birdwatching, kite flying, frisbee, or other mellow activities. As a largely undeveloped greenspace, it provides a nice contrast to the bustling downtown parks filled with athletic fields and playgrounds.

Leashed dogs are permitted at West Shore Park provided they don’t disturb the native wildlife. But do beware of ticks during summer months when traversing brush and tall grass.

Sea Bluff Beach

Sea Bluff Beach slots nicely between Bradley Point Park and Sandy Point Beach to form a trio of public shoreline access points along West Haven’s coast. Its sandy beach, long fishing pier, and stunning views make Sea Bluff a popular place to spend a summer afternoon.

The long pier extending far out into the Sound gives visitors rare views back across West Haven’s beaches and historic Savin Rock area. Informational plaques describe the various military fortifications constructed to defend New Haven Harbor since the Revolutionary War period.

At the base of the pier, families spread out towels and umbrellas to claim their spot on the sand. The gradual slope and absence of rocks make Sea Bluff excellent for swimming. Parents can watch their kids splash around while keeping cool beneath shade trees lining the rear of the beach.

Anglers flock to the pier at Sea Bluff hoping to reel in croakers, fluke, scup, bluefish, striped bass and other species swimming the Long Island Sound waters. Fishing is permitted 24 hours a day at designated areas. Night owls will enjoy soaking in the sunset and stargazing.

The small parking lot fills up quickly on hot summer days. Visitors may need to park along adjacent streets or the waterfront if arriving later in the afternoon. But the ability to walk between Sandy Point, Sea Bluff Beach, and Bradley Point Park keeps options open once you’re in the area.

Alling Memorial Golf Course

For golf enthusiasts, the Alling Memorial Golf Course packs scenic views, challenging holes, and classic links terrain into an attractive municipal course open to players of all skill levels. Its location adjacent to Painter Park also provides a nice area for non-golfers to relax while companions play a round.

Alling Memorial Golf Course measures 6,545 yards with par 72 over 18 holes. Golfers face altitude changes, tricky doglegs, sand bunkers, and large contoured greens. Four sets of tees allow players to select yardage fitting their driving distances. Juniors under 17 can play for reduced rates as well.

Hazards come into play on several holes, requiring accurate shots across inlets or around brush and marshy areas. The back nine in particular provide scenic views across West River thanks to their positioning atop a high bluff. Seasoned players will appreciate the need for creative course management and finesse shots here.

In addition to greens fees, Alling Memorial Golf Course offers annual membership plans with discounted rates, early sign-up privileges, and other benefits. Members also have access to the clubhouse, pro shop, and driving range. Visitors looking to sharpen their skills might consider lessons from the resident golf pro, also available.

Settled into a picturesque landscape neighboring Painter Park and Ocean Avenue, Alling Memorial Golf Course adds diversity to West Haven’s recreational options. After your round, stop to admire Painter Park’s unusual sculpture art and vibrant gardens just steps away.

Cove Island Park & Beach

As a 12-acre barrier spit, Cove Island Park boasts sandy beaches on both northern and southern shores. Visitors can spread out blankets and beach chairs where Long Island Sound surf meets the tranquil cove formed by the island’s protective curvature. Swimming, sunbathing, beachcombing and fishing are all popular activities.

A paved walkway lined by ornamental grass and flowers spans the island, perfect for leisurely strolls between the two beaches. Wrought iron benches provide places for pausing to take in views across the beaches, cobalt sound waters, and West Haven’s shoreline in the distance.

Cove Island sees significantly fewer crowds than the city beaches, making it ideal for those seeking more solitude. Designated areas allow campfires, a nice amenity for evenings roasting marshmallows and socializing after the sun goes down.

The calmer southern cove appeals especially to families with young children. Toddlers can safely splash in the inches-deep water warmed by the sun. A small playground and grassy area gives kids space to run around too.

In contrast, the Long Island Sound side features stronger currents, waves, deeper water, and a long pier—all built to withstand ocean storms. Anglers flock here hoping to catch fluke, porgies, bluefish and striped bass teeming around the pilings.

With best-of-both-world amenities mirroring each other across the island, Cove Island Park offers visitors a choice between Sound surf or cove calm.

Conclusion


West Haven’s diverse parks reveal the many ways green spaces enrich a community. Beyond simple recreation, they provide outlets for exercise, relaxation, artistic expression, environmental awareness, and social connection. They reflect culture and history. They offer refuge and inspire joy.

The parks profiled here give just a taste of experiences visitors may discover across West Haven. More urban oases undoubtedly wait around other corners for passersby willing to follow a trail or stroll down a tree-lined path leading who knows where. The opportunities for delight and wonderment are endless.

So whether traveling across town or just across the neighborhood, I encourage you to explore West Haven’s parks system and uncover what new adventures await there. Grab a fishing pole, lace up your sneakers, pack a picnic or just lay back and watch clouds drift by. Immerse yourself in the sights, smells, textures and energy unique to these vibrant community hubs. Let West Haven’s parks awaken your spirit as they have done for so many before you and will continue doing for generations to come.

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