Passive Recreational Activities

Passive Recreational Opportunities abound year round at Harkness State Park.

Stroll through our 6 beautiful historic gardens.  Enjoy the East, West, Alpine, Boxwood and cutting gardens with their delightful colors and fragrances as well as exquisite landscape designs.

Picnic on the vast lawns and behold views of Long Island Sound punctuated by passing vessels en route to Fishers Island, Great Gull, Little Gull, Plum Island and the North Fork of Long Island.  Tables and grilling stands are provided. (Be sure to carry out everything you bring in.)

Birding can be enjoyed in almost every area of the park throughout the year.  Bring your binoculars to see many uncommon species along the shoreline, in the marshes of the nature preserve,  on Verkades meadowland trails, and throughout the wooded or open areas.  (Do Not Disturb the Plovers.)

Many visitors head straight for the lovely beach south of Eolia, used for fishing, beach-combing, and sunbathing No swimming is permitted in Harkness’s waters.

Strolling(with or without leashed dogs), flying kites, and taking photographs are among the most popular activities at the park, but thousands of visitors also enjoy tours of the Eolia Mansion. The Mansion is open for tours 10 – 2pm on weekends,  Memorial to Labor Day ,and by appointment for group tours.