Sen. Ed Meyer has introduced a bill in the state legislature that he says would imporove access to the extremely popular Hammonasset Campgrounds for families. He says the legislation will allow families to camp for three weeks, take five days off, then return for three more weeks. The bill has passed the Senate and is on its way to the House for consideration.
The proposed legislation also would apply to Rocky Neck State Park, the state's other campground on Long Island Sound.
Here is how it currently works, according to the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, which runs the state parks:
At Hammonasset Beach and Rocky Neck State Parks, the maximum length of stay is twenty-one consecutive days. Additionally, pursuant to state law (CGS 23-16a), in any single calendar year, the total length of all stays at each of these two parks cannot exceed twenty-one days. (For example, three visits of five days each for a total of 15 days is allowed; two visits of 14 days each for a total of 28 days exceeds the allowable limit.)
What do you think? Are you a Hammo camper? Good idea? Are you in favor? Let us know in our poll and in the comment section.
The full release from Sen. Meyer's Office is included below.
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Here is information on the camping season at Hammonasset from the state website:
The Hammonasset Beach Campground is open for the 2012 season from May 18 through October 9 (daily). Reservations are available for periods of stay from Memorial Day weekend May 24 through October 9. Walkins only from May 18-May 24.
- 1288 Boston Post Road (Route 1), Madison
- William F. Miller Campground. 558 open sites. Concession, dumping station, bathrooms, showers. Salt water swimming and fishing. Individual fireplaces not provided. No pets.
- $20/night/campsite for CT residents plus a Processing Fee
- $35/night/campsite w/electric & water hook-up for CT residents plus a Processing Fee
- $30/night/campsite for non-CT residents plus a Processing Fee
- $45/night/campsite w/electric & water hook-up for non-CT residents plus a Processing Fee
- $70/night/rustic cabins plus a Processing Fee
- Campsite Reservations
- Campground Office (203) 245-1817
- Park Office (203) 245-2785
- Campground Map (PDF)
Full press release from Sen. Ed Meyer on the proposed legislation:
Sen. Meyer Leads Passage of Bill That Will Improve Access to Hammonasset Campgrounds
Legislation would allow families to camp for three weeks, take five days off and return for three more weeks
HARTFORD – Responding to requests from outdoor enthusiasts around Connecticut, state Sen. Ed Meyer (D-Guilford) led passage in the Senate of a bill that will let families spend more time camping under the stars in state parks along the shoreline. The bill now goes for a final vote in the House.
Senate Bill 85 would allow families to camp for an extended period in two shoreline state parks if they leave the campground for five days after every three weeks and if the sites are vacant on a first come, first served basis. The bill would also allow for five percent of the available campsites to be leased continuously for the entire summer without limitations. The only parks affected are Hammonasset State Park and Rocky Neck State Park, the state’s only shoreline parks with camping.
“For families who make it a summer tradition to pack up and head for the beachside campgrounds at Hammonasset and Rocky Neck, this bill lets them maximize that experience,” Sen. Meyer said. “In the past, rules for camping at these state parks were not always followed and it caused confusion for campers looking to schedule their summer. Now anyone who wants to enjoy sleeping out under the stars with waves crashing in the distance can have more access to that lifestyle.”
The bill requires the commissioner of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to establish a pilot program for the 2013 camping season that allows five percent of shore park camping sites to be leased to the same family without a limit on the number of nights. Anyone wishing to lease a site for the entire summer would be charged a $30 nightly fee.
If the legislation passes in the House and is signed into law, the DEEP commissioner must report back to the Legislature by February 2014 on the program’s impact on camping site availability, reaction of families using camp sites and recommendations for changes.