$10 fee added to Passport to Parks Program; allows free parking with valid CT license plates

Conn. Parks Turn 100: Silver Sands State Park

 HARTFORD —  Governor Dannel Malloy announced the launch of the state’s Passport to Parks program Tuesday.

Malloy said this new program, that comes into effect today, supports services at the state parks system while allowing Connecticut residents to have access to all state parks for free with a valid state license plate.

Malloy said the Passport to Parks is supported through a $10 fee that is being applied through the Connecticut DMV to non-commercial vehicles that have new registrations, renewals, and plate transfers registered.

“Our state parks are one of our most valuable resources, providing recreation and enjoyment to families across our state and serving as an important economic engine,” Governor Malloy said. “Adopting the Passport to Parks system will help ensure that our state parks remain an attractive destination and continue adding to the quality of life and natural beauty we enjoy in our state.”

Malloy added that out-of-state vehicles will still be charged parking fees ranging from $7 to $22 depending on the park and time of day. Fees to reserve overnight campgrounds for both in-state and out-of-state visitors will still apply.

Malloy said all of the state’s eight lifeguarded state park beaches are anticipated to be fully staffed for the summer, including at Hammonasset, Rocky Neck, Sherwood Island, Silver Sands, Black Rock, Burr Pond, Indian Well, and Squantz Pond.

Hours of operation at the state’s museums and nature centers will be restored from Memorial Day to Labor Day, including at Dinosaur, Gillette Castle, Meigs Point Nature Center, and Fort Trumbull.

Also, four campgrounds will reopen:

  • Devil’s Hopyard (East Haddam) – Opening day of fishing season through Labor Day
  • Green Falls (Voluntown) – Opening day of fishing season through Labor Day
  • Macedonia Brook (Kent) – Opening day of fishing season through Labor Day
  • Salt Rock (Sprague) – Weekend before Memorial Day through Labor Day

Spring camping will be restored at the American Legion and Peoples State Forests  and Mount Misery. Fall camping will be restored at Hammonasset Beach, Rocky Neck, Housatonic Meadows and Hopeville Pond.

The opening day of the fishing season is on Saturday, April 14, 2018.

Reservations at all state campgrounds for the 2018 season can be made beginning at noon on Thursday, February 8, 2018. Camping reservations can be made online through the Reserve America service or by calling 1-877-668-CAMP (2267).