State parks to close for the season after Labor Day

MADISON - Fall camping at Connecticut state parks will be a thing of the past.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said fall camping has been cut at state parks due to the budget.

According to a DEEP Spokesperson, state park summer season has always been Memorial Day through Labor Day, fall camping existed for few parks, but now Labor day is when camping season will end at all parks.

According to the Department's website, of the 14 state parks and forests that offer camping, four are already closed for the year.

A DEEP spokesperson said Silver Sands and Hammonasset Beach State Park were the two parks slated to be open until Columbus Day, but both will close after September 4th.

Campers were disappointed to hear the news, especially North Haven resident Michael Thibault who said a trip to Hammonasset has been a family tradition for 20 years.

"I’m surprised they’re closing because there’s still a lot of people who come, its not that there aren’t people here." he said. "This is a great family place, it's hard to find stuff like this anymore."

Thibault said he is disappointed to hear this is the result of the budget.

"What bothers me about it is that this problem didn’t happen overnight," he said. "It just feels like our business and private business have to manage their money, I have to manage my money and I feel the state should be able to manage their budget and things better where we don’t get into these crisis all the time."

A DEEP spokesperson claims this will not impact staff.

Last summer, due to the budget, DEEP decided to close three campgrounds early, after the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Only two state parks were open for fall camping.

Other cutbacks included less up-keep at less popular state parks, and having lifeguards on duty less often at state beaches and lakes.