DEEP: Bus Permits and Fees

Bus Permits and Fees
 
June 2017: For school groups bringing in buses to parks that historically have lifeguards during the swim season, we recommend that you check with the park before your visit to learn if lifeguards will be on duty at that park on the day of your visit.
 
March 2017:  Due to the current available resources and projections of future resources, bus permits and access to state parks has been significantly reduced.  (See more details.)
 
Buses with seating capacity for 30 or more passengers:
  • Are allowed only at selected State Park & Recreation areas.
  • Must obtain a permit prior to entry. (A separate permit is required for each bus.)
  • Are required to pay a bus fee (at times and locations when an entry fee is charged to the general public).
Mini-buses (seating capacity of more than 12 but less than 30 passengers):
  • Are allowed entry at all State Park & Recreation Areas.
  • Do not need to obtain a bus permit.
  • Are required to pay a bus fee (at times and locations when an entry fee is charged to the general public).
 
Requests for a bus permit must be made through a reservation call center at toll free 1-877-668-2267 (1-877-668-CAMP).  Calls will no longer be accepted at the State Parks Division office.
 
Call Center operating hours
May 1 September 1
Monday - Wednesday: 8 am - 2:30 pm
Thursday - Friday: 8 am - 6:30 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 9 am - 12 pm.
Off Peak Season
Monday - Friday: 9 am - 12 pm
 
Reservations can be made up to 11 months prior to the planned arrival date and up to fourteen (14) days before the visit. Information required to make a reservation must include:
  1. Name of the park or recreation area requested.
  2. Name and address of organization.
  3. Date of arrival.
  4. Name, address and phone number of person responsible for, and accompanying bus or buses.
  5. Number of buses.
Once a permit has been issued, it will be emailed or faxed to the organization that has submitted the request.  The permit must be brought to the recreation area with the bus it was assigned to.
 
Bus permits are issued on a first come/first served basis.  A limited number of permits are available for each Park or Recreation Area. 
 
A separate permit is required for each bus.
 
Buses MUST remain at the recreation area at all times in case of inclement weather or the need for an emergency evacuation.
 
Please be advised that if you are requesting a program, you must still contact the State Park directly to reserve group programs.  The reservation system does not handle program bookings.
 
 

Payment for a bus reservation may be made by credit card, money order or traveler's check.  A $9.00 transaction fee applies to each reservation.  Up to 10 reservations can be made per call.

A  mini-bus will be required to pay an entry fee upon arrival at those parks or recreation areas where an entry fee is being charged to the general public. Payment must be made by cash or company check.  Credit cards are not accepted at the entrance, except at Hammonasset Beach State Park.
 
Bus fee: 
  • $101 per bus with CT license plates 
  • $150 per bus for out-of-state license plates
  • $33 per mini-bus with CT license plates 
  • $60 per mini-bus with out-of state license plates
Fees are waived for buses carrying Connecticut senior citizens and Connecticut public school students on officially authorized trips between the beginning of the school year and June 30th.  However, these groups will still need a permit and will be required to pay the $9.00 transaction fee.
 
There will be a $9.00 fee to cancel or change a reservation.
 
 
Due to the current available resources and projections of future resources, bus access to state parks has been significantly reduced:
  • No buses will be permitted/allowed at Harkness Memorial State Park.
  • Weekend and holiday buses are only allowed at the following locations:  Bluff Point, Eagle Landing, and Hammonasset Beach State Parks; Gillette Castle will allow buses on weekends  but not on holidays.
  • Bus permits are required during the "peak" recreation season which generally runs during the period of Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. Some parks have earlier and/or later running permit dates (Bluff Point, Haddam Meadows, Pattaconk Recreation Area (Cockaponset SF), Rocky Neck and Sherwood Island.)
  • Buses are allowed without a permit in park and recreation areas outside of the permit/"peak" season". For those parks where buses are allowed access without a permit, we ask that the entity bringing in a bus contact the park at least two days in advance of their visit so that the park is aware that a bus or buses are coming to the park.
  • For school groups bringing in buses to parks that historically have lifeguards during the swim season, we recommend that you check with the park before your visit to learn if lifeguards will be on duty at that park on the day of your visit.
 
 Black Rock  Mashamoquet Brook
 Bluff Point (w)  Mount Tom
 Burr Pond  Pattaconk Rec. Area
 Chatfield Hollow  People's Forest
 Eagle Landing (w)  Putnam Memorial
 Gay City  Quaddick
 Gillette Castle (w)  Rocky Neck
 Haddam Meadows  Sherwood Island
 Hammonasset Beach (w)  Silver Sands
 Hopeville Pond  Sleeping Giant
 Housatonic Meadows  Southford Falls
 Indian Well  Squantz Pond
 Kent Falls  Stratton Brook
 Kettletown   Wadsworth Falls
 Lake Waramaug  Wharton Brook
 Mansfield Hollow   
 
The parks denoted in bold letters with (w) allow buses on weekends and holidays.  The rest of these parks allow buses only during the work week (Monday through Friday). Gillette Castle does not allow buses on holidays. 
 
For additional information on bus permits and fees, please contact the State Parks Division at 860-424-3200 Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm or at deep.stateparks@ct.gov.
 
Content Last Updated July 11, 2017