Connect With Nature in Connecticut: Clear Your Head and Renew Your Spirit!

Updated on February 4, 2018
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Kerrie is an avid hiker and adventure lover of all things outdoors, plus a part time dog walker and hikes with her two Goldendoodles daily!

Dunkin enjoying the fresh air and views of water.
Dunkin enjoying the fresh air and views of water.

Hiking in Connecticut: Peace and Serenity Abound!

One of my favorite things to do all year long here in Connecticut is to take my two Goldendoodles, Lilly and Dunkin, out for a hike. When I say hike, I'm not talking about steep uphill climbs where a walking stick and backpack are needed. Nope, just a brisk hike on a dirt path with some moderate inclines. We're very blessed to live in an area where there's still an abundance of open space nearby, with multiple places our dogs can explore off leash only a short walk from our home or a five-minute drive. CT has many reservoirs, lakes, ponds, streams, rivers and waterfalls. Many of them are located in public parks and state forests.

I personally enjoy walking where there is a water source. The dogs enjoy stopping for a drink or to cool off in the warmer months with a quick swim. Me, I instantly feel the stress leave my body when I'm near the water and in the fresh air. It's also great fun when you find a new spot and see it all for the first time!

Buckingham Reservoir, Glastonbury CT

The pictures here show one of our favorite spots, a reservoir five minutes from our home. We can hike around the entire reservoir in about an hour and 15 minutes. Along the way there's streams and waterfalls to enjoy with a few wooden footbridges and beautiful pines overhead that always smell heavenly. It's not uncommon to come across a Blue Heron creeping along the banks in search of it's morning breakfast or a handful of Canadian Geese with their babies soaking up the sunshine. I've also had the pleasure of catching a glimpse of lone beaver or otter once or twice!

If I happen to come alone with just my dogs, I'll often take a more leisurely walk as I enjoy taking photographs along the way. It's funny how a place I frequent pretty much daily never gets old. I never tire of photographing the beauty that surrounds this place. In every season, there is more beauty and wonder to be seen. I've been known to go in the rain and just sit under the cover of the canopy of trees and watch the raindrops bounce off the water in the fog, or strap on my snowshoes and make a path through the freshly fallen snow before anyone else ventures out. It's on days like that where this place really shines.

Once we start to wrap up our hike, headed out of the woods, I feel completely renewed and ready to start my day. I can definitely tell the days I didn't make it out to the hiking trail, I'll feel lethargic and often grumpy or just plain blah. It's then that I will ask myself, "Did you get outside today?" and more often than not, that's the problem.

Winter on the Hiking Trail!

Getting outside in the fresh air creates a natural high and making time for it really should be a priority for everyone. Even if you're just going to walk the sidewalks in your neighborhood. Start there and work your way up to a park or nature area near you. Being away from the noise of cars and houses really does change your state of mind. Check out your home states' parks and state forests. All of them have marked trails and are quite easy to follow, whether you are planning to hike for just an hour or maybe three! Take it from me, you'll be glad you did!

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