State Park and Forest Recreation Areas are open to the public year
round, as conditions permit, from 8:00 A.M. until sunset. Parking fees are
charged at major developed areas. Site maps are available for many of the
Pets are not permitted at Sherwood Island, Dinosaur or Squantz Pond
State Parks, or State Park Campgrounds. Dogs must be on a leash at all
times in parks where dogs are permitted.
Groups wishing to visit by bus must secure a bus permit by contacting
the Office of State Parks by mail or telephone (860) 424-3200 at least fourteen
days prior to the visit.
Connecticut offers it's visitors a wide variety of swimming areas from
the "old swimming hole" to the shoreline of Long Island Sound.
Whether you enjoy splashing in cool clear water or sunbathing on warm
sparkling sand, our State beaches offer the perfect way to spend a hot
Connecticut's abundance of both fresh and salt water has made boating
and fishing popular pastimes. Providing the public with access to the water
has been an important part of the State's recreational program. The State
operates 106 public boat launch areas which give boaters access to lakes,
streams, and Long Island Sound.
A complete listing of boat launch locations may be obtained by writing
to DEP Boating Division at P.O. Box 280, 333 Ferry Road, Old Lyme, CT
06371-0280 or calling (860) 434-8638 and requesting the booklet entitled
"Connecticut Boater's Guide".
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Set Your Sites On
Camping . . .
Connecticut has over 1,400 campsites available for your camping
enjoyment. Camping areas can be found in a variety of settings including
shadowy woodlands, sandy shoreline beaches, inland lakes, and secluded
islands. For a great outdoor adventure, spend your vacation with us.
The camping season begins on the third weekend in April and ends the
last weekend in September. Off season camping is available in designated
areas from October 1st through December 31. Pack your woollies!
Showers, toilets and drinking water are provided in most areas. Sewer
connections and electrical hookups are not available at any of the areas.
Reservations are available.
Backpack camping sites have been established in locations associated with
the Connecticut Blue Trail System and the Appalachian Trail. The sites are
primitive with few, if any, facilities. Small, adirondack-type shelters can
be found at several locations. The stay at each site is limited to one
night. Location maps may be obtained by contacting the State Parks
Three public canoe camp areas have been established along the Connecticut
River. These are located at Hurd, Gillette, and Selden Neck State Parks.
The sites are primitive and may be used for overnight stops by those
traveling on the River.
Complete information concerning the river camping program is available
in a brochure entitled "River Camping".
Youth Group Camping
Certain park and forest areas have been established for youth group tent
camping. The youth group areas are available free of charge provided that
the group sponsor is a recognized non-profit, youth organization.
Information about the locations and guidelines for Youth Group Camping
is available by writing or calling the State Parks Division.
Horse Camp Areas
Two campgrounds have been set up for equestrian use in Natchaug and Pachaug
Camping Program Information
For more information describing the entire camping program, please call or
write: State Parks Division, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, DEP, 79 Elm
Street, Hartford, CT 06106-5127. TEL: (860) 424-3200. FAX: (860) 424-4070.
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What better way to learn about nature than to be surrounded by it?
Visitors become involved in the outdoor experience through self-guided
nature trails and programs sponsored by our seasonal and year-round
nature-environmental centers. Join us for the fun of learning.
Year Round Centers:
Dinosaur State Park Exhibit Center
Rocky Hill, Connecticut
Questions concerning programs and services, and group reservations call:
James L. Goodwin Conservation Center
Group reservations and information call: (860)455-9534.
Kellogg Environmental Center
Group reservations and information call: (203)734-2513
Seasonal Nature Centers:
Meig's Point Nature Center
Hammonassett Beach: (203)245-8743
Rocky Neck Nature Center
Rocky Neck Campground: no phone - Park phone (860)739-5471
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Surround yourself in the heritage of our State: experience Revolutionary
War Battles, tour mansions of great philanthropists, view 200 million year
old dinosaur tracks, see archaeological sites, or learn about our
industrial past. We invite you to visit our Historic Parks and share with
us a bit of yesterday.
Access for People with Disabilities
The Department of Environmental Protection is working to improve
accessibility to its recreational areas so that individuals with
disabilities may enjoy the outdoor experience. Most of Connecticut's State
Parks have facilities which are accessible to individuals with
disabilities. In addition, beach wheelchairs are available at the shore
parks and fishing platforms are available at the public water bodies which
have outstanding fishing potential.
Those facilities which are accessible to individuals with disabilities are
indicated by (H) in the listings.
There's no need to stay home when the weather turns cold-the fun
continues all winter long!
Many of our parks and forests offer excellent terrain and miles of trails
for cross-country skiers.
Contact the Office of State Parks for the "Ski Touring" brochure.
Mohawk Mountain, a facility leased from the DEP, is one of the State's most
popular ski areas. Information concerning ski operations and conditions may
be obtained by contacting Mohawk Ski Area, Cornwall, Connecticut 06753,
(860)672-6100 and (860)672-6464.
There are 11 designated areas within Connecticut State Forests where the
use of snowmobiles on established trails and forest roads is authorized.
Over 85 miles of trails are open to snowmobiles. A brochure entitled
"Snowmobiling in Connecticut" describes the program in detail.
More Winter Fun!
Other popular activities include skating, snowshoeing, cross country
skiing, ice boating, winter camping, and dog sled racing. Locations of
these activities are indicated in the park and forest directory of this
For the frequent park visitor, Connecticut offers a special Season Pass
at a nominal fee. The pass permits annual vehicle access to any Connecticut
State recreation day use area without an additional fee.
Charter Oak Passes are available to Connecticut Senior Citizens (age 65
and over) free of charge. These passes permit access at sites where there
is an admission charge.
Both passes are available to Connecticut residents only. Contact the
State Parks Division for information on obtaining a pass.
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