FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- As part of the ongoing celebration of the state parks centennial in Connecticut, all state parks, including Sherwood Island State Park and Squantz Pond in New Fairfield, will waive all parking and museum fees on Saturday, July 26, and Sunday, July 27.
“Thanks to a strong tradition of protecting our environment, investing in open space, and vigorously pursuing clean, safe, healthy waterways, Connecticut has a wide variety of natural resources to explore and enjoy,” Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said in a statement.
“Free parks weekend is a great opportunity to travel the state and see how these investments improve our quality of life — and a chance to better connect residents to a tremendous ecosystem.”
"We advise that you arrive early if you plan to visit one of our beaches on Long Island Sound or an inland lake, as parking lots at those locations can reach capacity quickly," the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protect said.
For more details about the state's Free State Parks Weekend, visit www.ct.gov/freestateparksweekend.
The web site offers a “Top 10” list for the best places for swimming, hiking, boating, fishing and picnicking in Connecticut’s State Parks.
At many park locations this weekend, visitors will be offered a free brochure on the history of the state parks, which will detail the steps that were taken to create the state parks system.
Sherwood Island in Westport was the state's first state park. A deal to buy a 5-acre landlocked parcel that was being foreclosed upon was finalized by late summer and the sale recorded on Dec. 22, 1914. The assembling of Connecticut’s State Park System was underway.
Although Sherwood Island was the first purchase of land for the new park system, it did not have public access until 17 years later.