Outdoor Education Center

The Outdoor Education Center opens June 16 for 2023. 

Closed Mondays except Labor Day

 Located on 1,500 wooded acres, the Yale Outdoor Education Center (OEC) is nestled on the south shore of a pristine mile-long lake. There are cabins and campsites to rent, plenty of spots to picnic, a new hiking trail, and a clean lake in which to rowboat, kayak, paddleboard, fish or swim. The OEC is located in East Lyme, Connecticut, just northwest of the quaint, seaside town of Niantic and only 42 miles from New Haven. The OEC is available to all members of the Yale community via membership, day-use fee or rental. Nine rustic lakeside cabins and eight secluded campsites are available for summer rental. Campsites include a grill and picnic table; cabins have a picnic table, grill, and small deck. 

A large, H-shaped aluminum dock provides ideal swimming conditions in the lake. Nearby, a wooden dock houses 6 rowboats, and is also available for fishing. Our extended beach offers 8 single- and two-person kayaks and 12 standup-paddleboards. All paddlecraft may be used (only) during supervised waterfront hours. Lifeguards and boat attendant are on duty from 10:00 am-12:00 pm and 1:00 pm-5:00 pm (weekends and holidays 5:30 pm).  Closed Mondays except July 4 and September 5. Lifejackets must be worn on all watercraft.

The lakeside Pavilion, a big, open-air structure with large picnic tables, is available for group rentals. A grill & serving area connect by breezeway. A new 20’ x 24’ deck with seating fronts the pavilion. For a private atmosphere, the rustic Dining Hall*, situated on a hill, offers a panorama of the lake from its oversize deck and indoor seating. *(Dining Hall not available summer 2022.)  Small groups to 25 may prefer the lakeside Gazebo with large grill and tables nearby.

Additionally, the OEC offers a small dressing room, shower house (for overnight guests only), picnic grove with tables and grills, grass and sand beaches, campfire ring, clay volleyball court, and small basketball court. A spring water dispenser is located in the Pavilion.

Anyone with a valid Yale University or Yale New Haven Hospital (not Yale New Haven Health) ID may pay the day-use fee, we now accept on-site credit/debit cards at the OEC’s field office. Seasonal memberships may be purchased by mailing in application with check. Membership includes unlimited use of the OEC on a daily basis and facility rental privileges. The OEC is open from the 2nd or 3rd weekend in June through Labor Day.  For more information call the OEC Office at (203) 432-2492.