Several Connecticut state parks have closed Sunday morning as their parking lots filled to capacity.

Before noon, five state parks had closed for the day due to full parking lots, with more closures coming later in the day. As of about Sunday afternoon, the closures included:

Scantic River State Park in Enfield

Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme

Huntington State Park on the borders of Newtown, Bethel and Redding

Southford Falls State Park in Southbury

Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union

Millers Pond State Park in Haddam

Wadsworth Falls State Park in Middletown

Sherwood Island State Park in Westport

Harkness Memorial State Park, Waterford

Gardner Lake State Park in Salem

Temporary day closures of state parks have been common since the COVID-19 pandemic struck Connecticut, as social-distancing restrictions drove people outdoors.

Forecasters predicted sunny skies and temperatures hovering in the high 70’s throughout Sunday, Father’s Day, acccording to the national weather service.

As nice weather has drawn droves of visitors to some of the more popular state parks, the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has repeatedly urged hikers and other outdoors-seekers to explore some of the state’s less popular areas and trails in an effort to space out crowds.

The agency has also put lower caps on parking lots to keep visitor levels down.

“We’re encouraging people, especially when the weather’s nice and we’re going to see a lot of turnout... to choose parks that are maybe less popular,” said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. “This is a great time to discover new parks— maybe some that you haven’t been to.”

Connecticut Media Group