Avoid parking problems at state parks this weekend

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) reminds park-goers that state parks, especially those with swimming areas, may reach parking capacity, approaching the three-day July 4 holiday weekend.

“Connecticut’s park system is spectacular with 107 state parks and 32 state forests waiting for you to explore and enjoy,” DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said. “With the fourth falling on a Friday, signaling the beginning of a long weekend, we expect our parks to be very busy. 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.”

State parks that often close due to full parking capacity during summer weekends and holidays include Squantz Pond, New Fairfield; Rocky Neck, East Lyme; Pattaconk, Chester; Wadsworth Falls, Middlefield; Sleeping Giant, Hamden; Millers Pond, Durham; and Kent Falls, Kent.

Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison has a large parking area and rarely closes.

“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,” Klee said. “Be prepared to choose another park if your first choice park is full, so that you won’t be disappointed on this important July 4 holiday. 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.”

Announcements of parks that are filled to capacity are made on Twitter and Facebook at the following addresses: Twitter.com/CTDEPoutdoorrec, Twitter.com/CTrockyneck, Twitter.com/CThammonasset and Twitter.com/CTsherwoodislnd.

On Facebook, check facebook.com/CTStateParks for information about Connecticut State Parks including upcoming events and activities.

A full list of state parks, their location and directions to them is available on the DEEP website at ct.gov/deep/stateparks.