Key Information About Our State Parks

July 2, 2014

With summer in full swing, we are fortunate to have so many outdoor recreation opportunities in Connecticut. Our parks and forests are a treasured part of our state. For the frequent visitor, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection offers several park passes.

The Season Pass
This pass costs $67 per year for Connecticut residents and $112 for out-of-state residents. The pass allows for one vehicle admission to any state park that has a parking fee for the entire calendar year. You can purchase these passes in person at any park entrance station and use it immediately. In addition, the season pass may be purchased by mail or online at the DEEP store.

Heritage Passport
For those who are frequent visitors to Dinosaur, Fort Trumbull or Gillette Castle State Parks, the Heritage Passport allows unlimited visitation until the end of the calendar year. The Heritage Passport costs $67 and will allow a family of two adults and up to four children unlimited admittance. To purchase a Heritage Passport, visit any of the three sites.

The Charter Oak Pass
This pass is available free to Connecticut residents over age 65 for lifetime use. It allows one vehicle admission including all passengers. The Charter Oak pass holder is valid even when the pass holder is a passenger in the car. It allows free admission for the pass holder only to tour inside Gillette Castle, Dinosaur or Fort Trumbull State Parks.

The Disabled Veteran Pass
This pass is available to any veteran with a service connected disability. This pass allows free access for the vehicle and passenger. Free admission is also provided to the pass holder for Gillette Castle, Dinosaur and Fort Trumbull State Parks. Please submit a copy of your VA card or VA benefits letter indicating your service-connected disability.

Both the Charter Oak Pass and the Disabled Veteran Pass require a copy of your driver’s license or proof of residency. They are available by mail at 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106 or at most DEEP sites including the DEEP store in Hartford, and the DEEP offices in Marlborough, Old Lyme, at the Quinebaug Valley Hatchery, Fort Griswold, Fort Trumbull, Harkness Memorial State Park or Hammonassett Beach.

The DEEP website is full of information on our State Parks and Forests including maps, camping options, boat launches, canoe and kayak rentals, trails for horseback riding and letterboxing in State Forests. The website is

I hope you will take advantage of our state parks and forests. For more information on this or any matter, please call me at 1-800-842-1421. I wish you and your family an enjoyable summer!