DEEP Opening Eight Inland Swim Areas and Seaside State Park
Access to Recreation Areas Contingent on Social Distancing, Face Covering Practices
(HARTFORD, CT) – Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) will open inland swimming areas at eight state parks and will also re-open Seaside State Park and the marsh boardwalk at Silver Sands State Park tomorrow.
These re-openings are the result of the improved COVID-19 situation in Connecticut and based on an analysis of available space sufficient to allow recreational usage consistent with crucial social distancing practices and are contingent on visitors, “recreating responsibly,” by wearing masks, social distancing, and practicing good stewardship of state recreational areas.
“It is an encouraging step that we are able to provide more amenities and services at this time as a result of the state’s progress in reducing infection rates,” said Dykes. “Our continued progress toward re-opening at a safe, responsible pace relies on the public’s adherence to proven practices of wearing masks and social distancing for the well-being of everyone. Cooperation in this area will ensure we can continue to provide, and gradually increase, accessibility to our valuable outdoor recreation areas.”
The wearing of masks and face coverings remains an essential practice to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including while outdoors and at the beach. Visitors to state beaches shall maintain 15-ft between blankets and 6-ft from other visitors not in their household. Masks shall be worn anytime except when in the water or seated on your blanket and 6-ft from others not in your household. CDC guidance on safe outdoor recreation habits can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/visitors.html
DEEP will open inland swimming areas at eight state parks as well as Seaside State Park, and the marsh boardwalk at Silver Sands State Park tomorrow.
The eight swimming areas to re-open are: Stratton Brook State Park in Simsbury; Wharton Brook State Park in Wallingford; Day Pond State Park in Colchester; Gay City State Park in Hebron; Chatfield Hollow State Park in Killingworth; Black Rock State Park in Watertown; Hopeville Pond State Park in Griswold and Lake Waramaug State Park in Kent.
They will be open from 8 a.m. to sunset each day. Lifeguards will not be on duty at these locations so it is especially important for visitors and swimmers to follow these rules and guidelines for the safety of themselves and others.
The following rules apply at all state beaches:
- No alcoholic beverages, glass, pets, or nudity.
- No floatation devices, only USCG approved lifejackets.
- No snorkels.
- Swimmers must stay off buoys and lines.
Water safety is everyone’s responsibility:
- Parents - Watch your Children.It only takes seconds for a child to drown, and this can occur silently. Please ALWAYS watch your children; if you are more than an arm’s length away, you’re too far!
- Be Aware of underwater hazards - Natural swimming areas can have sudden drop-offs, inshore holes, large rocks or tree roots that can’t be easily seen from the surface. Diving and jumping into these waters can be hazardous. Please be careful of these unseen dangers.
- Swim only in the designated areas.
- Take a Swimming Lesson - Increasing your water safety knowledge and swimming skills can help save your life. People of all ages should consider signing up for a swimming class offered at your local YMCA branch, American Red Cross Chapter, or municipal parks & recreation department.
For the latest information on CT state parks and what’s open outdoors during the COVID-19 emergency visit https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/State-Parks/COVID-19-Updates-CT-State-Parks-and-Forests.