Connecticut: Highlights

Madison & Guilford: Beaches, Waterfont, Homes

Creative Commons 4.0:Léo Schmitt

Madison is a historic seaside town in southeastern Connecticut, with some terrific running options. Two recommended routes are Hammonasset Beach State Park, and a tour of Madison historic district and waterfront.

Hammonasset SP. Author photo

Hammonasset Beach State Park. A worth-it spot for a destination run. Hammonasset Beach State Park has the longest publicly accessible beach in Connecticut. There are 3-4 miles of great trails, boardwalk, footpaths, and gravel paths. This includes a 2-mile paved bike path (pretty, but no water views), and some nature paths passing by some scenic marshes.  The 2-mile beach is OK but not great for running (soft-ish sand). Fee required in season. TRAIL MAP

Madison Tour. This is a lovely 5-mile loop incorporating Madison’s historic district, with a jaunt down to the waterfront. The highlight is the section along Middle Beach Rd., with its gorgeous homes and water views. Start at the Historic Green off Rt. 1. Use Academy St. to do a quick tour of the boarwalk along Tuxis Pond, then run east on Rt. 1 (decent shoulder) for 0.8 miles. RIGHT on Liberty St., then RIGHT on Waterbury Ave. and continue to the spectacular Seaview Ave. This 2-mile section, which turns into Middle Beach Rd. is gorgeous, featuring ocean views and lovely historic homes. Continue onto Surf Club Rd., with nice marsh views, turning around a the gate. LEFT on W. Wharf Rd., back into Madison, then using Rt. 1 briefly to Britton Ln.

Guilford Tour. We’ve put together a 4.2 mile tour of the historic town of Guilford, located 5 miles south of Madison. Start with a 1/2-mile loop around the gorgeous town green. Then head toward the water along Whitfield St. for 1 mile. Turn RIGHT on Seaside Ave. for an 0.8 mile out and back to Jacobs Beach (nice marsh views and classic beach homes), then take another short spur to the wharf at end of Whitfield St. for some beautiful water views! Return on Whitfield, taking a short spur onto Old Whitfield. Cross back over the train tracks, RIGHT on Summer, and then take a lovely section along Stone House Lane (Whitfield Museum, 17th century house), LEFT on Lovers Ln. pass the historic fairgrounds, then LEFT on Boston St,. (Rt,. 146) to complete the loop.


  • Hammonasset SP: 3-4 miles of trails; Madison Tour is 5 miles (8 km); Guilford Tour is 4.2 miles (6.7 miles)
  • These routesa are generally flat
  • Large parking lot in Hammonasset Beach SP; Parking in Madison & Guilford (which both have train stations)