DEEP: Swimming - CT State Parks and Forests

  {Beachgoers at Rocky Neck State Park}


Our State Parks offer many beautiful places to go swimming, from lakes and rivers to the shoreline. Whether you enjoy splashing in cool clear water or sunbathing on warm sparkling sand, our State beaches offer the perfect way to spend a hot summer day.
June 2017: For 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.
Swim in Guarded Areas.  There are lifeguard squads at eight State Park beaches across the state. Our lifeguards are trained in effective surveillance and lifesaving techniques. They continually monitor activities in swimming areas to prevent accidents, maintain safety, and provide emergency assistance to those in need. 
Guards are typically on duty weekends and holidays from 10 am through 6 pm during the summer (Memorial Day through Labor Day).  Lifeguards may also be scheduled on weekdays.  Look for our signs and green flags at each park to determine when lifeguards are on duty.


(++ denotes a guarded beach)

How's the water? The water quality at the 23 designated swimming areas is tested weekly from Memorial Day through Labor Day. View Current Information on Swimming Water Quality.

If the water looks murky, it might be a blue-green algae bloom. View information on algae blooms and what to do if you see one.

Water-related activities are some of the most enjoyable ways for adults and children to spend time together, especially in the summer.

Each year millions of people enjoy our state waters without incident. Unfortunately, a number of swimming incidents and boating accidents occur every summer. In fact, nine people drown in the U.S. every day and drowning is the leading cause of injury-related deaths for American  children.  When recreating outdoors it is critical to remember that open water swimming has more risks associated with it than swimming in pools or at water parks- such as underwater hazards, low visibility, and potentially changing conditions.

{Symbol of a beer bottle with slash through it} Precautions You Can Take When Swimming Outdoors

Drink Responsibly.  Excessive alcohol consumption impairs judgment and reaction ability. Even prescription drugs may impair  judgment. This can result in serious or fatal  accidents during boating or swimming.  Alcohol was involved in 37% of the fatal boating accidents over the last 5 years, and has been a factor in a majority of swimming fatalities at our parks. Water and Alcohol DO NOT mix!

{Parent within arm} Parents Watch your Children.  It only takes seconds for a child to drown, and this can occur silently once theyíve gone underwater. Please ALWAYS watch your children when you are in or around water. If you are more than an armís length away, youíve gone too far!

{Warning symbol of a sudden drop off underwater} Be Aware of Underwater Hazards.  Natural swimming areas can have sudden drop-offs, inshore holes, large rocks or tree roots that canít be easily seen from the surface. Diving and jumping into these waters can be hazardous. Please be careful of these unseen dangers. {Symbol of a diver with slash through it}

{Swim lesson with instructor and Floatie mascot} Take a Swimming Lesson.  Increasing your water safety knowledge and swimming skills can help save your life. People of all ages should consider signing up for a swimming class offered at your local YMCA branch, American Red Cross Chapter, or municipal parks & recreation department.

{Lifeguard on foot patrol watching swimmers} {Lifeguard watching swim area from chair}

Swim only in the designated areas, and stay where the lifeguards can see you!

Follow the Rules.  The Beach Rules have been developed for the safety of all park patrons.  When you visit our parks, please adhere to these rules for everyone's enjoyment.

 Beach Rules
  • No alcoholic beverages, glass, pets, or nudity.
  • No floation devices, only approved lifejackets.
  • No snorkels.
  • No rough play.
  • No sand or rock throwing.
  • No "throw-catch" activities.
  • No soap or shampoo.
  • No fishing.
  • Keep the beach area around the lifeguard chair clear.
  • Swimmers must stay off buoys and lines.
  • Water and the beach will be cleared when lightning is visible or thunder is heard.

Special Access.  One service we provide at certain locations is Beach Wheelchairs.  These specially designed wheel chairs allow for access over the sand, and can be borrowed for the day.  Just be careful- they are NOT designed to be taken into the water.


  • Water and Alcohol DONíT mix!
  • Parents-watch your children!
  • Be careful of underwater hazards, and donít dive in.
  • Always swim in designated areas.
Please Be Safe In the Water!