Parks and beaches reach capacity on Fourth of July - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Parks and beaches reach capacity on Fourth of July

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Several state parks reached capacity ahead of the Fourth of July holiday. (WFSB photo) Several state parks reached capacity ahead of the Fourth of July holiday. (WFSB photo)
NIANTIC, CT (WFSB) -

State officials urged beach and state park goers on Monday to get to their destinations early.

Parks began reaching capacity as early starting with Squantz Pond in New Fairfield at 8:30 a.m., according to state officials.

Here's what's been capped so far:

  • Squantz Pond in New Fairfield
  • Pattaconk Lake Recreation area in the Cockaponset State Forest in Haddam,Chester as of 9 a.m.
  • Quaddick Lake State Park in Thompson's parking area is closed to new vehicles as of 10 a.m.
  • Burr Pond State Park in Torrington is closed to new park goers as of 10:40 a.m.
  • Rocky Neck State Park in Niantic reached capacity as of 10:45 a.m.
  • Gardiner Lake State Park in Salem is full as of 10:50 a.m.
  • Mount Tom in Litchfield is closed to new vehicles as of 11 a.m.
  • Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven closed to new beach goers as of 12:45 p.m.
  • Black Rock State Park in Watertown is full and closed to new vehicles as of 12:45 p.m.
  • Cove Beach in Stamford as of 1:30 p.m.
  • Kent Falls State Park is closed to addition vehicles as of 1:45 p.m.
  • Silver Sands State Park in Milford as of 3:15 p.m. 

Hammonasset Beach State Park was quickly filling as well. Many families arrived early to stake out a spot in the sand.

A few told Eyewitness News that they planned ahead for the large crowds and got on the road early. They arrived just as the Madison park opened at 8 a.m.

"Just enjoying the sun and the breeze at the same time," said Diana Ramos of Massachusetts. "The water is perfect temperature, not too hot, not too cold, so it's just amazing."

Ramos came down from Springfield, MA.

"I thought we weren't going to get a good spot," said Diana Ramos of Massachusetts. "I thought it's going to be too crowded, especially having little ones. It's hard to keep track of them, but this is perfect."

Jan Corbin of Bristol said she planned ahead.

"We got here at 8 [a.m.]," Corbin said. "Right, when it opened. I actually listened this morning, and they said get on the road early, so that's why we did."

Campers said they enjoyed a relaxing morning. Many of them avoided the mad dash to the beach by arriving earlier in the weekend.

"[I'm here with] my wife, my granddaughter, Sedona, my son, Ryan, and we're just having a delightful time," said Bob Karp of Stamford.

"We didn't encounter any traffic, but I think if you plan ahead it probably [was] wise to think that any area that has a beach is gonna have some traffic," said Ryan Karp of Vermont.

Sunday, several state parks reached capacity with even more crowds expected for the Fourth of July.

Eight parks, including Rocky Neck State Park in Niantic and Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven, turned people away before the early afternoon hours on Sunday.

"It was pretty crowded when we got here," said Jason Gross, a beach goer. "[There were] a lot of people having cookouts and stuff."

Stay with Eyewitness News for updates as the parks continue to reach capacity.

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