Celebrate Connecticut State Parks System's Centennial with a Free Visit

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Amanda Raus, NBC Connecticut

    It's a free country, but state parks aren't free – except for this weekend.

    Parking and admission at all Connecticut state parks this weekend will cost you nothing in celebration of the centennial of the state parks system.

    So, you may want to arrive early if you plan to visit one of Connecticut's beaches on Long Island Sound or an inland lake, as parking lots at those locations can reach capacity quickly. You can also avoid crowds by visiting a park a little off the beaten path. At one of these parks you can enjoy a day of hiking, fishing, picnicking, or simply some quiet time in the great outdoors with your family.

    "We think that the best way to create the next generation of environmental stewards is to get kids out experiencing nature," Susan Whalen, deputy commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said.

    It's a great chance to unplug and unwind – just ask Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson, who grew up in the shadow of Sleeping Giant State Park.

    "You can sit at the computer all day and you can travel the world via the internet but sometimes you have put that stuff down. You have to go outside and get some fresh air," he said.