During the pandemic, many people in Connecticut have discovered new nature pathways and state parks as a chance to get outside. And with that embracing of nature, state park officials want to remind residents that Connecticut Trails Day starts today.
This weekend, over 180 events are being held at multiple parks across the state. Officials said the goal is to celebrate and introduce park goers to well known and hidden gems in Connecticut.
Those events include educational walks, hikes, horseback riding and paddling.
The Connecticut Forest & Park Association said this year will be different with safety protocols in place including needing to have a face mask on hand to limiting the maximum group sizes to 15.
"We also wanna make sure people are bringing water or something to drink, bringing bug spray, bringing a phone...all the types of things to make sure you’re safe," said Executive Director of Connecticut Forest & Park Association Eric Hammerling.
"I got my socks on for the ticks. I got my hiking sneakers on, got my book bag with my water and bug spray for the mosquitoes, but yeah I’m ready and excited about it," said Kimberly Walker, of Bloomfield.
NBC Connecticut spoke to an avid park goer who said she's excited to learn about Connecticut Trail Days and that being in nature has been one of the best aspects to come out of the pandemic.
"For the time, it was just scary for people and I’m happy we had this and not just me but everybody," said Antonette Molson, of Avon.
"I think people started talking again like I started walking with my neighbor and we were talking all the time. I started walking with my children who are adults now and actually not having the phones go off, but just talking for the loop that takes you a little over the hour," Molson added.
"It’s also a learning experience now for a city person like myself, coming from New York and it’s peaceful. There’s no bills, no kids harassing you. It’s something you can take in and enjoy on your own," Walker added.