Officials Issue Warnings, Some Closures after Busy Weekend Outdoors During Pandemic

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It was the perfect morning to get Milow outdoors.

The dog's owner, Christine Bellanceu, has loved exploring Ragged Mountain for years now.

She said it’s been really busy lately as people are looking to find an escape from working and learning from home.

Siobhan Jurczyk, an NBC Connecticut viewer, sent us these pictures of the parking on West Lane over the weekend:

Photo by Siobhan Jurczyk.

“We see a bunch of cars, even parked up on the road even during lunch, but on the weekend it’s nuts. It’s packed. There’s always people here until 7 at night,” she said.

But this Berlin resident said the good thing about this spot is that, despite the crowded parking, it’s easy to social distance on the mountain.

“If you know the mountain, there’s so many trails, so you don’t even need to go on a marked trail to get your exercise in," she said, "This is such a big spot, so you don’t have to go far and you don’t have to see too many people.”

That wasn’t the case at all outdoor attractions this weekend.

Starting Monday, Kent Falls State Park is closed indefinitely during the coronavirus pandemic because of the challenges of maintaining appropriate social distancing there.

A handful of other state parks had to shut down for the day this weekend once parking lots were filled.

EnCon police are urging people to not go to the parks in groups larger than five and adhere to social distance guidelines.

The Metropolitan District said their focus at the West Hartford Reservoir is to provide essential water and sewer services. Therefore, they say they have limited resources to deal with recreation safety issues during this pandemic. In a statement, their CEO sadf if people continue to ignore signs and park on Farmington Avenue, they’ll be forced to shut down completely.

The MDC said the same applies for Reservoir #6 in Bloomfield. If people keep parking on Route 44, they will be forced to close.

A warning for those who want to take advantage of this beautiful weather to make sure to listen to guidelines wherever you may be for the safety of all of us.

"It’s nice to see so many people out instead of cooped up inside," said Bellanceu.

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