Published May 22. 2013 6:00PM Updated May 22. 2013 6:59PM
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection today announced that all state parks and forests will be open for the traditional Memorial Day weekend’s start to the summer season.
DEEP encourages all state residents and visitors to enjoy the recreational opportunities available at the state’s parks and forests. Highlights this year include:
• State park centennial banners in recognition of the 100th anniversary celebration of the state park system. The celebration will continue for 18 months.
• Twenty-two new rustic camping cabins are open and ready for reservations at Black Rock in Watertown; Hammonasset Beach in Madison; Housatonic Meadows in Sharon; Kettletown in Southbury; and Lake Waramaug in Washington. For information, visit: www.ct.gov/deep/camping. Reservations for cabins and campsites can be made at: www.Reserveamerica.com.
• Redesigned entrance and parking area at Kent Falls State Park in Kent.
• Redesigned discovery room at Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill.
• State park Smart Phone App, with information about parks, GPS mapping and other features. For information, visit: http://www.pocketrangerexchange.com/apps/ct/apps.php.
DEEP has designated swimming areas at 23 state parks, and provides lifeguards from Memorial Day through Labor Day at 11 of those facilities. For a listing of those facilities, visit: www.ct.gov/deep/lifeguards. Lifeguards at state parks are on duty from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Lifeguards are still being recruited for the 2013 season in some locations. For information call (860) 424-3200 or visit: https://www.facebook.com/CTStateParkLifeguards.
DEEP offers 14 campgrounds with more than 1,400 campsites in 13 different state parks and forests. To reserve campsites, call (877) 668-2267 or visit: www.Reserveamerica.com.
There has been no increase in park pass fees this year. State residents are encouraged to purchase a state parks season pass, which sell for $67 for residents and $112 for out-of-state residents. The pass covers the cost of parking at major state parks where daily parking fees are charged. Park passes can be purchased at most park locations and the DEEP Bookstore. Visit: www.ct.gov/deep or call (860) 424-3200.
DEEP State Parks can be found on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/CTStateParks. DEEP also hosts a boating page: (http://www.facebook.com/BoatingInConnecticut) and a page for lifeguards: www.facebook.com/CtStateParkLifeguards. State Parks can also be found on Twitter at: Twitter.com/CThammonasset /@CThammonasset; Twitter.com/CTrockyneck /@CTrockyneck; Twitter.com/CTsherwoodislnd / @CTsherwoodislnd.
DEEP expects to fill between 500 and 600 seasonal positions during the recreation season including up to 100 lifeguard positions. Seasonal positions are still available in certain areas. Visit: www.ct.gov/deep for information.
DEEP owns or operates 115 boat launches statewide on ponds, lakes, rivers and Long Island Sound. To find a launch, visit: www.ct.gov/deep/boating and select “Locate a Launch” in the featured links, to find a launch.