Train image Essex Steam train (Essex CT)
Getting Here

Getting to the Parks

Planes, trains, automobiles – even a ferry! Getting to the parks is easier than ever, even if you don’t have access to a car. 

Bus tour into the sunset (CTvisit)


Looking for safe and reliable transportation within a 10-minute walk to some of your favorite Connecticut State Parks? Introducing ParkConneCT, a collaboration between the Connecticut Departments of Transportation and Energy and Environmental Protection. A relatively recent service, ParkConneCT combines public and private transportation to make it easier to visit Hammonasset Beach, Silver Sands, Bluff Point, Fort Trumbull and Sleeping Giant State Parks. Connections are available from nearby train stations, providing access to the parks on a regional basis.

ParkConneCT runs through Labor Day weekend, except for holidays observed on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. 

On-Demand Ridesharing


The Valley Transit District (VTD) provides on-demand public transportation services. On weekends and holidays from Memorial Day to Labor Day, VTD will provide fare-free transportation, within its service area boundaries, from Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, and Shelton, to Indian Well and Osbornedale State Parks. 

  • Non-Valley residents can utilize VTD park transit service with same-day pick-up and drop-off at the Derby/Shelton train station. 
  • The hours of operation are from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. 
  • VTD buses are wheelchair accessible and air conditioned. 
  • Riders are to contact VTD’s reservation/dispatch department at (203) 735-6408 for same-day service to Osbornedale and Indian Well parks.


Norwalk Transit District, Wheels2U

  • Wheels 2U Westport and Norwalk Transit District are operating free ride-sharing shuttles. 
  • Download the app, request a ride, and the shuttle will pick you up from anywhere in the Westport service area and take you to Sherwood Island State Park and back.  
  • To use the Weekend Wheels 2U service for free, the pick up or drop off location must be Sherwood Island State Park

Public Transportation

We recommend using Google Transit to determine the best route—just enter your trip starting point and go from there! Or please visit each transit operator's website below for assistance on planning transit to the park.




School and Charter Buses

Buses (seating capacity for 30 or more passengers):

  • Allowed only at selected State Park and Recreation areas.
  • Permit required prior to entry (A separate permit is required for each bus).
  • $150 fee per bus with out-of-state license plates (at times and locations when an entry fee is charged to the general public).
  • Mini-buses (seating capacity between 12 and 30 passengers).
  • Allowed entry at all State Park and Recreation Areas.
  • No permit required.
  • $60 per mini-bus with out-of state license plates (at times and locations when an entry fee is charged to the general public).

Request a Bus Permit

  • To request a bus permit, call our reservation center at (877) 668-2267 (CAMP)
  • Bus permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. A limited number of permits are available for each parks or recreation area. 
  • 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:
    • Name of the park or recreation area 
    • Name and address of organization
    • Date of arrival
    • Name, address, and phone number of person responsible for, and accompanying bus(es)
    • Number of buses
  • Payment may be made by credit card, money order, or traveler's check. 
  • A $9.00 transaction fee applies to each reservation, change, or cancellation. Up to 10 reservations can be made per call.
  • The permit must be brought to the recreation area with the bus it was assigned to. A separate permit is required for each bus.

State Parks/Rec Areas That Require Bus Permits

General Bus Guidelines

  • Bus permits are typically required during the holidays and peak recreation season, between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, though some parks have earlier and/or later running permit dates. 
  • Permits aren’t required outside of the permit/"peak" season". Please contact the park at least two days in advance of your visit so that the park is aware that a bus or buses are coming to the park.
  • For school groups visiting parks that historically have lifeguards during the swim season, please confirm with the park that lifeguards will be on duty during your visit.
  • Buses MUST remain at the recreation area at all times in case of inclement weather or an emergency evacuation.