Parks, local and state, reach capacity on busy Fourth of July - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Parks, local and state, reach capacity on busy Fourth of July

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Rocky Neck State Park reached capacity on Wednesday. (WFSB) Rocky Neck State Park reached capacity on Wednesday. (WFSB)
Several state and local parks, including Wadsworth Falls in Middletown, filled to capacity on the Fourth of July. (WFSB) Several state and local parks, including Wadsworth Falls in Middletown, filled to capacity on the Fourth of July. (WFSB)
Wadsworth Falls in Middletown reached capacity around 8:40 a.m. on Wednesday. (WFSB) Wadsworth Falls in Middletown reached capacity around 8:40 a.m. on Wednesday. (WFSB)
(WFSB) -

Local and state parks reached parking capacity on a busy Fourth of July holiday.

According to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, more than a dozen state parks had to turn away additional visitors before noon on Wednesday. Some reached capacity before 8 a.m.

Here's the list:

  • Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison at 2:30 p.m.
  • Bluff Point State Park in Groton at 2:15 p.m.
  • Green Falls Recreation Area in Pachaug State forest at 2:10 p.m.
  • Kettletown State Park in Southbury at 1:40 p.m.
  • Hopeville Pond State Park in Griswold at 1 p.m.
  • Kent Falls State Park in Kent at 12:45 p.m.
  • Gardner Lake State Park in Salem at 11:20 a.m.
  • Scantic River State Park in Enfield at 11:15 a.m.
  • Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme at 11:15 a.m.
  • Indian Well State Park in Shelton at 11 a.m.
  • Black Rock State Park in Watertown at 11 a.m.
  • Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union at 9:55 a.m.
  • Mt. Tom State Park in Litchfield at 9:50 a.m.
  • Quaddick State Park in Thompson at 9:35 a.m.
  • Burr Pond State Park in Torrington at 9:30 a.m.
  • Wadsworth Falls State Park in Middletown at 8:40 a.m.
  • Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield at 7:55 a.m.
  • Miller's Pond State Park in Durham at 7:55 a.m.
  • Pattaconk Lake Recreation Area in the Cockaponset State Forest at 7:30 a.m.

Several people at the parks told Channel 3 that they planned to be there for as long as they could because they might not get an opportunity to return later in the day.

"We got here about 7:30 and we set up here because I got to work tomorrow," said Nesto Valentin of Hartford.

"I was actually camping in my car since 6:30 this morning," said Marissa Gomez of New Britain. "This is actually my second year here. I'll be here until 5 because and then I'll go home. I've got work tomorrow."

On the local side, New Haven city officials reported that Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven closed to additional visitors just after 10:15 a.m. However, it said the rest of its beaches were open for business.

DEEP expected additional state parks to reach capacity as the day continues.

"I came here when I was a kid and I haven't been here in a long time, and I wanted to get here early but when we got here the parking was full so we had park, like down the block on the grass somewhere. But it was fine because you know it wasn't too long of a walk and it's nice out," said Joanne Cretella from New Haven. 

"This is not unusual to see this on a busy holiday week," said Chris Collibee, DEEP's communications director. "If you are headed out please stay safe, drink plenty of water, and watch your children near the water. We want everyone to get home safely!"

The parking lots were filled to capacity, which meant some holiday beachgoer's parked a mile away outside the gated and walked to the beach. 

"I'm just glad I'm here, enjoying my day. That's all I'm worried about," said Sierra Hurt from Willimantic. 

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