Connecticut February 10, 2018
Few People Know You Can Now Visit Connecticut’s Stunning State Parks For Free
We have some stunning state parks here in the Nutmeg state, but many of us would forgo the beauty they have to offer, just because of the parking fees that were charged. As of now, access to every one of Connecticut’s state parks is free to residents. Let’s look at how the launch of the Passport to Parks Program is changing the way Nutmeggers can utilize all that our magnificent state parks have to offer.
Passport to Parks is a new system that allows all Connecticut residents who have a valid state license plate to have access to all state parks for free.
The program is supported through a $10 fee that will be assessed by the DMV. All non-commercial vehicles that have new registrations, renewals, and plate transfers will have this fee. This includes passenger cars, vehicles with combination plates, motorcycles, campers, and vehicles with antique plates.
Passport to Parks will also restore a number of services throughout the park system. The eight guarded state park beaches will once again be fully staffed for the summer season.
The guarded state beaches include Hammonasset, Rocky Neck, Sherwood Island, Silver Sands, Black Rock, Burr Pond, Indian Well, and Squantz Pond. Staffing does depend on adequate numbers of lifeguards being available for each season.
Passport to Parks will also restore the hours of operation at the Nutmeg state's museums and nature centers from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Attractions like Gillette Castle, Dinosaur State Park, Meigs Point Nature Center, and Fort Trumbell will all be available to the public.
With the new program in place, four state campgrounds will reopen this year.
Devil's Hopyard in East Haddam, Green Falls in Voluntown, Macedonia Brook in Kent and Salt Rock in Sprague will be welcoming campers this year.
Spring camping will be restored at American Legion and Peoples State Forests in Barkhamsted and Mount Misery in Voluntown.
These campgrounds will be available from opening day of fishing season (Saturday, April 14, 2018) through Labor Day.
The program will reinstate fall camping at Hammonasett Beach, Rocky Neck, Housatonic Meadows, and Hopeville Pond this year.
Hammonasset and Housatonic Meadows will be open from the weekend before Memorial Day through Columbus Day. Rocky Neck and Hopeville Pond will be open the weekend before Memorial Day through the end of September.
There will still be fees to reserve overnight campgrounds in Connecticut's state parks both for residents and out-of-state visitors.
You can currently make camping reservations for the state campgrounds
on this website
Take a look at the plethora of amazing state parks and forests that you can now visit without spending a dime on parking.
You can view the interactive version of this map
What are you waiting for? It's time to take advantage of this new perk and start visiting Connecticut's state parks.
Out-of-state vehicles will still be charged parking fees ranging from $7 to $22 depending on the park since they will not have paid the registration fee at the DMV.
Are you excited about these changes to Connecticut’s state parks? Do you plan on visiting many more of them now that parking is free? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Take a closer look at Connecticut’s very first state park in
this previous article.