In 1914, only one year after the establishment of a State Park Commission, the state purchased 150 acres of the present Hurd Park as part of an initiative to obtain land for public use along the Connecticut River. Situated in the town of East Hampton on the east bank of the river, the park has grown to almost 1000 acres and is especially popular with small boat owners. Many of these boaters recognize the park by its landmark "split rock" towering above the trees.
In the granite ledges of the split rock are veins of feldspar which was once mined extensively in Connecticut. Shortly after its acquisition, Hurd became the focus of legal action to determine the ownership of mining privileges at the park. The resulting court decision fortunately favored the State and averted the possible desolation of some 130 acres of land.
The park is named after the Hurd family, which came to the Middle Haddam region from Massachusetts in 1710 and settled on the level bench of land high above the river.