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Seeking Solace In Outdoor Recreation



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Open spaces were overrun with an influx of residents getting away from Cabin Fever on the weekend of March 21 and 22. As businesses close or offer limited services, town schools and playgrounds close, and a growing number of companies shut down as the wave of coronavirus consequences surges, families seek activities outdoors — including visits to Fairfield Hills and local state forest trails.

With cars spilling out of the cul-de-sac at the end of Great Quarter Road and parallel parking along the narrow residential street, a steady flow of hikers and dog walkers stepped out on the Paugussett State Forest trails bordering Lake Zoar over the weekend. Neighbors on that road dealt with a high volume of traffic, speeding, loose dogs, and litter, however.

Despite instructions from both First Selectman Dan Rosenthal and Governor Ned Lamont to avoid gathering in groups, parking areas were full at Fairfield Hills as clusters of residents hiked, jogged, walked dogs, and biked the trails and streets there. With so many town-owned facilities closed, and additional closures of restaurants, gyms, movie-theaters, and more, residents were left with few options for family activities outside their own homes.

Taking the time to leave a bright spot amid the virus pandemic, were several kind souls with chalk. Written on the sidewalk on or near the High Meadow were the messages “We’re In This Together” and “Stay Calm.”

Close to the curb at the end of one Great Quarter Road residence was the chalk-drawn message “Have a Nice Day!”

Hiking along a portion of trail at Fairfield Hills leading from the ball fields to the High Meadow were droves of residents seeking activity as businesses, school, restaurants, theaters, and more closed due to the novel coronavirus.—Bee Photo, Bobowick
The pastel message at the end of a Great Quarter Road residence offers an uplifting thought during a time of uncertainty: “Have a nice day!” —photo courtesy Kim Whittmore
Bike riders, walkers, joggers, and more flocked to the Fairfield Hills trails on March 21 and 22. —Bee Photo, Bobowick
A couple pauses while walking through Fairfield Hills to listen to sounds in a wooded area. —Bee Photo, Bobowick
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