Sherwood Island is sometimes known as Connecticut's first state park, but that is not entirely accurate. As early as 1914, the state began acquiring the first 48 acres of shoreline property here, but opposition and a lack of access prevented the park from opening until 1937. Hammonasset State Park meanwhile, opened in the summer of 1920.
The combination of ponds, salt marsh, and creeks that surround Sherwood Island had been altered as early as the 17th century. The Sherwood Millpond attempted to control the flow of water with a series of ditches and dams. By the early 20th century, the New Creek along Sherwood's eastern border was dry much of the year. Access to the proposed park was possible by crossing over from Burial Hill Beach. In 1929, Westport officials (opposed to the park) altered the flow of water once again, in an attempt to sabotage access by dredging and widening the creek.. It took another eight years for the state to purchase additional land and provide access to the 234 acre state park we know today.
Friends Of Sherwood Island: History
CT Coastal Access Guide: Sherwood Island State Park
Friends of Sherwood Island: Map of original 48 acres
SOUNDBOUNDER: Old Mill Beach In Westport