DEEP temporarily closes nearly 20 state parks due to overcrowding

Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — As people across Connecticut are being urged to practice social distancing in stores, your local state park is no exception.

As the spring weather rolls in, many people want to get outside and find ways to enjoy it.
State officials have one major concern and that is that you practice the proper precautions during the coronavirus crisis.

Sunday, April 19 DEEP temporarily closed several state parks due to full parking lots and over capacity:

  • C.P. Huntington State Park in Newtown, Bethel, and Redding,
  • Penwood State Park in Bloomfield,
  • Black Rock State Park in Watertown,
  • Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden,
  • Southford Falls State Park in Southbury,
  • George Waldo State Park in Southbury,
  • Paugusset State Park in Newtown,
  • Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield,
  • Lovers Leap State Park in New Milford,
  • Millers Pond State Park in Haddam,
  • Talcott Mountain State Park in Simsbury,
  • River Highlands State Park in Cromwell,
  • Wadsworth Falls State Park in Middletown,
  • James L. Goodwin State Forest in Hampton,
  • Devil’s Hopyard State Park in East Haddam,
  • Scantic River State Park in Enfield,
  • Sherwood Island State Park in Westport,

Easter weekend, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection closed several parks across the state including Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden (closed Saturday), Southford Falls State Park in Southbury (closed Sunday), C.P. Huntington State Park across Newtown, Bethel, and Redding (closed Sunday), and Penwood State Park in Bloomfield (closed Saturday).

For up-to-date notifications about park closings, follow CT DEEP on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CTStateParks

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State parks across Connecticut are still open. A lot of them filling up over the weekend, but there are some social distancing guidelines to be practiced. The main message — do not gather.

“Our parks are still open but we need the public’s help and cooperation keeping them open. We want them open for solitary recreation, come out with just members of your household, no groups larger than five,” Chris Lewis, Colonel, Environmental Conservation Police.

The Environmental Conservation Police say they aren’t allowing picnics during the pandemic.
Officials say if social distancing is still not observed, they will shut down the parks.

Effective Monday, Kent Falls State Park will close for that very reason.

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The Ansonia portion of the Naugatuck Valley Riverwalk will also be closed. It stretches through several cities and towns. There have been concerns about people not social distancing there. Some people want other towns to close their part of the trail too.

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