Multiple state parks have reached capacity and are now closed for the day as temperatures reached near 80 degrees in some parts of the state.
Nearly a dozen parks closed on Saturday while temperatures were in the 70s and the same thing happened on Sunday.
The following parks have reached capacity and are now closed:
- Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union
- C.P. Huntington State Park in Bethel/Newtown/Redding
- Devil's Hopyard State Park in East Haddam
- Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison
- Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford
- Mansfield Hollow State Park in Mansfield
- Penwood State Park in Bloomfield
- Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme
- Sherwood Island State Park in Westport
- Silver Sands State Park in Milford
- Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden
- Southford Falls State Park in Southbury
- Talcott Mountain State Park in Simsbury
- Topsmead State Forest in Litchfield
- Wadsworth Falls State Park in Middletown
If a park closes, DEEP said residents can expect the park to reopen the following day.
DEEP is encouraging residents to explore new parts of the state while maintaining social distancing. Masks and cloth face coverings must also be worn where social distancing cannot be maintained, DEEP added.
"We have so many people coming out and enjoying the parks, which is on one hand fantastic and on another hand it is causing some difficulties,” explained Tom Tyler, the Director of State Parks. “And folks are in close proximity to one another if we didn't reduce capacities at some locations and people weren't really really diligent about social distancing."
If you get to a park and find out it is closed, DEEP recommends finding a different park or coming back another day.
"I kind of joke if you've heard of a state park before don't go there, go someplace else. Find a new one," said Tyler.
"It's not an opportunity to meet up with people for the day or to congregate with friends at a location, but really to come out and get that exercise. Enjoy the outdoors, but to do it in a safe way," Tyler added.
Picnics are not allowed in the parks at this time.
"We encourage residents to stay the course and continue these good practices, particularly as beautiful weather arrives and the urge to spend more time outdoors increases. We're all in this together," DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said in part.
Kent Falls State Park and Seaside State Park, the boardwalk connector that runs from the parking lot at Silver Sands State Park and the tower at Sleeping Giant are all closed during the coronavirus pandemic.