Bigelow Hollow SP has a $15 per car per day parking fee for out-of-state vehicles. It is only payable online, and there is a $2 reservation fee, so it's really $17. The QR code takes you to the Reserve America website for Bigelow Hollow Day Passes.
It is a day-use fee, so it must be purchased separately each day, but not before 8AM. The cellular connection in the park is hit-or-miss. You'll get a confirmation code that you can write on a slip of green paper (available at park kiosks, if they don't run out). Leave a note on your windshield in the event of issues (no connection, website not working, no green slips left, etc)--park staff is typically lenient and asks you (on the honor system) to pay later in the day after leaving the park.
Yes, we know this is a horrible hassle. It is state-directed so don't abuse the park staff. Try as we might, we have been unable to find an alternative solution (pay as part of meet fees or registration, drop-box payment, manning the park toll booth, etc). Complain to your local CT state representative and tourism board.
If you are renting a car and can snag one with a CT license plate, you'll save $34 at the park, hint, hint.
There is plenty of parking behind the Union Town Hall (1043 Buckley Hwy, Union, CT 06076), which is 2 miles / 3 minutes from the entrance to the park, if you want to carpool in with other competitors and save a few dollars.
- From the direction of Hartford, CT, take Exit 73 (Union, CT) from I-84E. Turn right onto CT-190, and in 2-miles turn right onto CT-171E. Travel 1.5 miles to the park entrance.
- From the Massachusetts Turnpike, take I-84W to Exit 74 (Holland, MA / Union CT). At the top of the ramp, turn left onto CT-171. In 150m, turn left to crossover the highway. In 150m, turn right at the T/stop sign and travel 2 miles south along Buckley Highway, turning left again just past the Union town hall. Technically this has been CT-171 the whole time since you left I-84, even though it has made four turns. Travel 1.5 miles to the park entrance.
- There is only one entrance to Bigelow Hollow State Park (298 Bigelow Hollow Rd, Union, CT). After turning off of CT-171, you will shortly pass an unmanned park toll booth.
- If you are coming from some other direction (ie not on I-84), please use a navigation app.
Model Event, Fri, Oct 7
- For Friday's model, find parking in the park. See model map for the most convenient parking.
Competition Days 1 & 2, Oct 8-9
- On Sat & Sun, follow the directions of the parking attendants. Parking is spread along the ~1 mile park road. All vehicles must be parked off the road.