New Milford and New Fairfield Parks Saw Full Capacity All Weekend
With a sunny holiday weekend, area state parks were over capacity by early in the day all weekend long, forcing traffic and parking snarls, especially in New Fairfield.
Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield has long been a favorite destination for sun-seekers from out of town, and in recent years, the state has reduced the number of available parking spots in the park. You will often see "Squantz Pond CLOSED" signs along I-84 by early in the day on weekends. The News Times reports that for Monday, the state further reduced automotive capacity from 250 to 200 cars. As a result, people were parking all over New Fairfield and walking in, creating traffic problems as well as the obvious hazard of walking along the busy and winding Route 37.
A smaller park in New Milford, Dike's Point, had its capacity drastically reduced last week. Dike's Point was designed as a quiet little place with a hiking trail and no lifeguards. As Squantz has reduced capacity, Dike's Point has become more and more popular, with hundreds of people in the park on weekends, according to a recent News Times article.
After incidents of vandalism and burning garbage, First Light Power Resources, the park's owner, reduced the park's capacity to 10 cars and 60 people. New Milford police had posted "No Parking" signs in all of the neighborhoods around Dike's Point, as well as at Hill & Plain School. By late morning, people who couldn't get into the park seemed to have moved on, frustrated with the lack of parking.
Granted, Dike's Point is smaller, privately owned, and on a quieter road than Squantz Pond. But, they seemed to wrap their arms around the problem pretty quickly.