WESTPORT, Conn. -- State parks, especially those with swimming areas, may reach parking capacity early in the day as we head toward the three-day Fourth of July holiday weekend, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection reminds residents of Fairfield County and all of Connecticut.
"With the 4th falling on a Friday, signaling the beginning of a long weekend, we expect our parks to be very busy," DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said in a statement. "As you plan your holiday weekend and visits to state parks, plan ahead and anticipate some traffic and crowds especially if you plan to visit Connecticut’s shoreline parks with swimming areas.”
Connecticut has 107 state parks and 32 state forests, including Sherwood Island State Park in Westport and Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield offering popular summer swimming spots.
“Go early, but before you head out the door check Twitter for parking news and learn about other nearby parks you may want to visit,” added Klee. “Be prepared to choose another park if your first choice park is full, so that you won’t be disappointed. ... As we continue Connecticut State Parks Centennial, parks are increasingly popular and sometimes parking areas fill to capacity – a testament to what a great value our parks provide for us all.”
State parks that often close due to full parking capacity during summer weekends and holidays include Squantz Pond in New Fairfield; Rocky Neck in East Lyme; Pattaconk in Chester; Wadsworth Falls in Middlefield; Sleeping Giant in Hamden; Millers Pond in Durham; and Kent Falls in Kent, DEEP said in a statement.
Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison has a large parking area and rarely closes.
Announcements of parks that are filled to capacity are made on Twitter and Facebook:
- Twitter.com/CTDEPoutdoorrec – general information about the park system and outdoor recreation in Connecticut, including closures
- Twitter.com/CTrockyneck – specific to Rocky Neck –Updates posted about activities at the park as well as parking conditions
- Twitter.com/CThammonasset – specific to Hammonasset and activities for campers, Meigs and general park conditions
- Twitter.com/CTsherwoodislnd – specific to Sherwood Island and activities at the park, including parking
- www.facebook.com/CTStateParks -- Information about Connecticut State Parks, including events and activities.
A full list of state parks, their location and directions to them is available on CT DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/stateparks.