While summer may be unofficially over, it is not too late to enjoy the shoreline’s state parks whose prices have recently declined for the off-season.
Hammonasset Beach State Beach in Madison, Rocky Neck State Park in Niantic, and Sherwood Island State Park in Westport offer swimming, fishing, hiking, picnicking, a nature center, and many scenic views.
Sherwood Island is home to Connecticut’s 9-11 Living Memorial along with the Impressionist Art Trail while Hammonasset and Rocky Nature feature a beautiful boardwalk and camping for a fee.
All three now feature free parking on weekdays until late April.
From Sept. 4 until Sept. 16, the weekend charge is $9 for residents and $15 for non-residents until 4 p.m. In the evenings, there will be a $6 charge for residents and $7 charge for non-residents.
The new weekend fee schedule is identical to the summer weekday charges.
It is quite a reduction when you consider that this past summer, all three parks charged $13 for residents and $22 for non-residents on weekends until 4 p.m. with the same evening rate.
For Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, swimming is not permitted but visitors can fish, hike, picnic, and enjoy the sights of a mansion and accompanying buildings and gardens.
Harkness also will not have parking fees on weekdays and weekend fees will match the summer weekday charge.
The new weekend rate from Sept. 4 until Sept. 16 is $6 for residents and $10 for non-residents with a $6 resident and $7 non-resident fee after 4 p.m.
This past summer, Harkness charged $9 for residents and $15 for non-residents until 4 p.m. with the same evening rate.
All parks are open 8 a.m. to sunset.