General Camping Information  

  Two tents under starry night sky

The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection provides 1400 campsites throughout the state including 38 rustic cabins for your outdoor enjoyment. Camping areas can be found in a variety of settings including shadowy woodlands, sandy shoreline beaches, inland lakes, and secluded islands. For a great outdoor adventure, spend your vacation with us. The following information applies to most Park and Forest Campgrounds. Exceptions are noted on the Camping Areas Page, where you can also find current season dates, camping fees and additional information.  

Alcoholic Beverages
Beer in containers larger than one (1) liter is prohibited. State law limits the possession of alcoholic beverages to individuals 21 years or older. The following campgrounds are alcohol free: Black Rock, Hopeville Pond, Housatonic Meadows, Kettletown, Macedonia Brook and Pachaug State Forest. Please do not bring alcoholic beverages to these facilities. 
Campers may launch car-top boats at Hopeville Pond, Hammonasset Beach, Kettletown, Pachaug State Forest (Green Falls), and Lake Waramaug camping areas.


Cabin Rentals


Camping Party
The campsite fee covers six (6) persons, including children.
However, a camp registrant may occupy a campsite with all his/her children under 18 years old for the basic campsite fee regardless of the total number of family members. 
Upon check-in, all campers must be registered to the campsite.  Changes and additions to the list of registered campers will not be permitted during the stay. 
Camp Visitors
Visitors are allowed to enter state campgrounds from 8:00 a.m. to sunset and may stay until 10:00 p.m. Daily parking rates apply for visitors arriving in out-of-state registered vehicles. Designated parking areas must be used.
Camping equipment, including properly curtained station wagons and vans, is subject to the approval of the campground supervisor on duty. Trailers and RV's exceeding 35' in length are not permitted at any of our campsites.  Some campsites are designated for tents only, or for equipment of a shorter length.  Please read through site details carefully when making your reservation.  All equipment must be removed from the campsite at the end of each stay.

Hammocks may be used only with hammock stands provided by the camper.  Hammocks may not be tied to any trees or structures within our campgrounds.  
Fires are permitted in designated fireplaces. Ground fires are strictly prohibited at all State campgrounds. The use of camp stoves is encouraged. Grills are not provided at Hammonasset Beach Campground.  The possession or use of all classes of fireworks (including sparklers) is prohibited in all state parks and forests.  Firewood is available for sale at most campgrounds with the exception of Devil's Hopyard State Park and Pachaug State Forest (Green Falls and Mount Misery). 
Grounds & Buildings

Campsites are to be kept in a neat, clean, and sanitary condition. Showers, toilets and drinking water are provided in most areas. Dishwashing is prohibited at water taps, in lavatories and showers. Camp areas do not provide laundry units, shelters, or lodges. However, rustic cabins are available to rent at several campgrounds.

The injuring, removal or destruction of any animal or plant material is prohibited. Nails, knives, or other foreign objects may not be driven into trees or park structures, nor may wire, rope or straps be fastened to trees for any purpose including any type of hammock or clothesline. Sites, including firepits, must be cleaned before departure and picnic tables should be in their original location.

Length of Stay
At our shoreline state parks, Hammonasset Beach and Rocky Neck State Parks, the maximum length of stay is twenty-one consecutive days.  At any inland state park campground the maximum length of stay is fourteen consecutive days. Following each stay at any campground, regardless of duration, a five day interim period is mandatory for all members of the camping party.  All camping equipment must also be removed from the park during the interim five day period, and may not be used for other sites or other campers. Campers may not move to another camping area within the same park or forest during the interim. The camp areas within Pachaug State Forest and Hopeville Pond State Park shall be considered one campground. All equipment must be removed from the campsite at the end of each stay.
The camp day is defined as being from the time of arrival until 12:00 noon the following day. Check-in time is 1:00 p.m.  For cabin rentals, the check-in time is 2:00 p.m. and the check-out time is 11:00 a.m.   
Minors (under 18) must be accompanied by an adult in attendance who accepts responsibility for the camping party. A camping permit cannot be issued to anyone under the age of 18 years.
Motor Vehicles
No more than two motor vehicles (with proper passes) are permitted on a single campsite, unless otherwise noted. The speed limit within campgrounds is ten miles per hour.
Occupancy of the camp lot is required within the first 24 hours. A campsite unoccupied during this initial period is declared an open site and will be reassigned with all payment forfeited. If you are unable to arrive the first night, please telephone the campground. Campers arriving after 10:00 p.m. will be required to set up in a temporary stopover area until the following morning. Transferring or subleasing campsites is strictly forbidden.
Period of Closure
All Department operated campgrounds are closed from January 1 through early/mid April to prevent damage during periods of freezing and thawing and to relieve soil compaction.
Pets are prohibited in State Park camping areas. Pets are permitted only at State Forest campgrounds within American Legion State Forest and Pachaug State Forest and at Salt Rock Campground.  When and where permitted, animals are limited to two per campsite and must be held on a leash not to exceed seven feet in length. Dogs must have rabies vaccination and owners may be required to show proof.  Pets must not be left unattended.  For more information, please view our pet policy.  
Quiet Hours
Quiet hours shall be observed between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Reasonable levels of sound may not be exceeded at any time.
Place your trash and recyclables in the appropriate receptacles provided.
Unreserved Lots
All lots that are not reserved may be available on a first-come, first-served basis, except for the following campgrounds, where walk-ins are not permitted: Black Rock, Devil's Hopyard, Pachaug State Forest (Mount Misery and Green Falls), Mashamoquet Brook, Wolf Den and Macedonia Brook.
Except as specifically authorized, no firearms, archery equipment or other weapons may be possessed in any campground or recreation area.


Youth Group Camping Areas

Qualifying youth organizations are able to utilize designated youth group camping areas, generally away from the main public use areas and designed for youth to experience nature in an outdoor setting.  These designated youth group camping areas are located in 19 areas across the state. 
In order to qualify and apply for this program, groups must be:

  • Youth-Oriented:  the group must have a demonstrated interest in social, educational or religious work with youths ages 18 and under; and
  • Non-Profit:  the group must be sponsored by or affiliated with a school, church or recognized youth organization. Written proof of IRS non-profit tax-exempt status is required when applying for a camping permit.

Please visit Youth Group Camping for more information.  


Content last updated August 2023