No decision on when Kettletown State Park will open

SOUTHBURY - There is still no decision on whether one of the state’s most popular parks will be open for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

Kettletown State Park, where all 61 campsites are booked for the weekend, was still having storm debris cleared away throughout Tuesday. But, the reason the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection chose to hold off on its decision is because they were awaiting water test results.

Kettletown is one of three state parks that remain closed as a result of storm damage. Sleeping Giant in Hamden and Wharton Brook, on the Wallingford/North Haven line, remain closed indefinitely.

There are multiple reasons why crews are working so hard to clean up Kettletown in time for Memorial Day weekend. But, there is a primary one.

“Kettletown State Park is the lone park that was damaged by the storm that has camping at it,” said Chris Colibee, spokesman for DEEP.

So, while the cleanup continues, DEEP is requesting people avoid coming to Kettletown.

“So that DEEP staff and others can go in and clear those branches, get the campground safe, get the trail area safe down to the waterfront,” said Colibee.

There’s no doubt they are making progress.

“Folks were out there working over the weekend really putting themselves out of the way trying to get these parks re-opened because they know how important these memories are for the people of Connecticut,” said Colibee.

And, an open park is also important for the state’s barren bottom line.

“We’re sort of in the final Memorial Day prep. Memorial Day to Labor Day is our busiest season,” Colibee added.

And DEEP emphasizes that for those missing out on Sleeping Giant and Wharton Brook, there are over 108 other state parks to enjoy.

“We get 9 million visitors every year to our parks and we expect more this year as a result of the Passport to Parks Program,” Colibee said.

Any vehicle with Connecticut license plates does not have to pay a parking fee.