The area of the park lands (including adjacent Shady Beach Park and Taylor Farm Park) is approximately 35 acres. Access is by road or public transport: East Avenue intersects I 95 at exit 16 and travels past the East Norwalk (Metro-North station) and the East Norwalk Cemetery down Gregory Boulevard, past the Roger Ludlowe memorial at the rotary to Calf Pasture Beach Road. Bus service directly to the park entrance is provided by the Norwalk Transit District.
The area now known as Calf Pasture was used by Connecticut colony settlers in the 1600s as grazing land for cows. This activity gave rise to the name of the beach.
The beach was used for disembarkation and encampment during the Tryon raid of the American Revolutionary War in 1779. After having conducted retribution raids at New Haven and Fairfield William Tryon led 2,600 British troops by boat to Norwalk at approximately 5:00 p.m. on July 10, 1779. They landed near the Round Beach island at the Calf Pasture peninsula where they spent the night. The next day they set off on the burning of Norwalk that left only 6 houses standing after the raid.
In 1917 the Norwalk City legislature authorized the city to acquire and create a park at Calf Pasture Beach. Property condemnation to acquire the land was started in 1919. In 1922 the descendents of the Betts, Marvin, and Taylor families who owned much of the adjoining property donated their lands to the city. The park opened formally in 1924 while work on buildings and nearby roads was still underway.
Some additional buildings and sidewalks were constructed at Calf Pasture in 1935 with funding provided by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Many of the buildings and sidewalks at Calf Pasture were washed away during the hurricane of September 1938. They were then replaced by Works Progress Administration workers.
Shady Beach was acquired in the 1960s. From its start in 2000 through 2006 the Kayak for a Cause charitable fundraising event was held at Calf Pasture Beach. In 2007 that event was held at Veterans Park (also in East Norwalk) on the Connecticut shore. In 2008 it returned to Calf Pasture Beach.
All of the park facilities (Calf Pasture Beach, Shady Beach, and Taylor Farm) are still owned and maintained by the City of Norwalk.
The Calf Pasture Beach area has a large guarded beach, a fishing pier, a tree shaded playground, a small unpaved boatramp (suited to cartop boat launches not trailers), sand volleyball courts, bocce courts, a skateboard park, baseball diamonds (with lighting for nighttime games), accessible restrooms, and a restaurant maintained by Stew Leonard's. Adjacent Shady Beach Park offers an unmonitored beach, shaded picnic tables, grills, and additional rest room facilities. Adjacent to Shady Beach is Taylor Farm Park which has a tidal pool and grassy and wooded areas for dogwalking. Taylor Farm Park is the site of an annual Greenwich Kennel club dog show. During the spring and autumn seasons the parking lot at Calf Pasture Beach is used for kart racing.
Sailboats and kayaks can be rented within the Park at the Norwalk Sailing School which also offers a small craft safety training program. Calf Pasture Beach is a major landmark along the Norwalk Islands Canoe/Kayak Trail.
Boater safety courses are offered at the Dominick Lametta training center at U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 72 at Calf Pasture.
The annual 4th of July fireworks show in Norwalk is held at Calf Pasture Beach.