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COVID-19 Update on Outdoor Activities

Green Fall Pond, Pachaug State Forest.

There is no disputing that COVID-19 is having a major impact on Connecticut and our nation. At CFPA, we are encouraging people to get outdoors for the physical and mental health benefits of nature; however, we emphasize that outdoor activity should be done SAFELY by following these tips strictly:

Important Safety Tips to Stay Safe Outdoors

  • Use appropriate social distancing by staying at least 6 feet from others (when you are passing someone on a trail, make sure to yield and allow for plenty of space);
  • Go outdoors as a solitary activity or in a very small group (and if you get to a place that is already crowded, find another place to go);
  • Keep your germs to yourself (cough or sneeze into your sleeve, wear a mask for extra protection for yourself and others, and if you are not feeling well, stay at home);
  • Be careful about what you touch (and don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth);
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as often as possible (at least before and after you go outdoors);
  • "Go before you go" and limit the length of your trip (since restroom facilities are closed); and
  • Take out what you take in (this is always good to do, but especially important now since you put others in jeopardy if you leave infected trash behind).

The following links should give you the most up-to-date information on where you can go for safe outdoors recreation in Connecticut.

State Parks and Forests

Kent Falls State Park (Kent), Seaside State Park (Waterford), the boardwalk at Hammonasset Beach State Park, and the boardwalk connector from the parking lot at Silver Sands State Park are closed due to overcrowding and inability to assure social distancing. The most popular parks are open but are limiting capacity and closing when they reach it.

     Go here for the latest information from CT DEEP on State Park and Forest activities including the operational plan for State Parks and boat launches.

Statewide Covid-19 Updates

Governor Lamont and other state officials are giving frequent updates on COVID-19.

     Go here for the State’s COVID-19 webpage.

Municipal Parks, Forests, and Trails

Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a single source for this information and some municipalities have closed or limited outdoor activities. If you visit your local town website online, most local information on where you can go or not should be posted.

Land Trust Trails

The Connecticut Land Conservation Council (CLCC) offers a resource to help you Find a Land Trust by Town, a useful resource for finding additional outdoor recreation options.

CFPA and Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails

CFPA’s office and community meeting room remain closed, but CFPA’s dedicated staff continue working on advocacy, education, land conservation, and trails priorities remotely. The Blue-Blazed Hiking trails remain OPEN for safe recreation, and you can access the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails through CFPA’s online interactive Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails map. You can also access educational activities to do at home like CFPA’s Tree School.

For volunteers or contractors who may be doing work to maintain trails, please refer to these COVID-19 guidelines provided by the Professional Trail Builders Association.

Social Media Communications

Daily updates on outdoor activities at Parks can be found via Twitter at @CTStateParks or on social media using the hashtags of #CTTrailsLessTraveled, #StaySafeOutdoors, #RecreateResponsibly and more.

CDC Guidelines

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published Guidelines for Mass Gatherings that are important to keep in mind.

State and Municipal Swimming areas 

The Connecticut Recreation and Parks Association and DEEP have launched What's Open Outdoors with information on swimming areas that is being updated frequently but may not reflect daily closures for capacity.