MADISON, CT (WFSB) -- For many, Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer.
While most campers at Hammonasset Beach State Park were headed home following the long weekend, some are not ready to put summer in their rear-view mirror, just yet.
Throughout the morning and afternoon on Monday, there was a caravan of trucks and campers lined up to leave the park after a summer of fun.
“It’s like my second home, truthfully. I love it here, we’ve got the best of both worlds,” said Eileen Dallas, of Old Saybrook.
However, cleaning up and breaking down is a different story.
“It’s a big job and it’s not very fun. It’s kind of depressing,” she said.
While out for a walk with their grandson, Donald and Mary Kay Fontaine said between Hammonasset and Rocky Neck, they spend about a month at the state parks, and they’re not alone.
While the campsites still cost you, thanks to the passport to parks program now in its second year, the parks and beaches are free for Connecticut residents.
This year, state park attendance was up 10 percent.
“It’s wonderful, the bike trails are great, the pavilions, there’s been a lot of upgrades, it really is beautiful. We’ve been coming here for 35 years,” said Mary Kay Fontaine, of Mansfield.
While the campgrounds were emptying out, the beaches at Hammonasset were pretty clear too.
The forecast might have kept many away, but there were some who just weren’t about to say goodbye to summer just yet.
“I wanted to get to the beach one last time before summer was over and even though storms are rolling in, we felt we could get the most of it this morning,” said Sabrina Lombardi, of Hamden.