Locals Take to the Outdoors During New Canaan Summer

With the peak of a brutally hot summer upon us, many New Canaan residents in town during these “dog days” are taking advantage of the sunny skies and extended daylight by enjoying the town’s many parks and outside spaces.

Chelsea Warner and Sara Driscoll at the Mead Park Lodge. Credit: Catherine Gorey

In addition to Waveny, with its vast lawn and wooded trails, Grace Farms and Kiwanis Park, residents say outdoor dining, downtown New Canaan strolls and visits to other open spaces keep them in touch with each other and Mother Nature.

“I love taking walks in town with friends and other babies,” new mom Chelsea Warner on a recent afternoon as she sat with Sara Driscoll at the Mead Park Lodge.

Driscoll, a brand new resident, said she also has enjoyed Irwin Park.

“It’s really easy to push a stroller in there and it’s a good way to get together with other friends in town, too,” she said.

For others, the town-owned and -operated Waveny Pool offers a unique way to be social while enjoying the summer weather.

“I’ve been coming here for eight years, because my oldest is eight,” New Canaan resident Claire Doneit said. “I love it because both of us can always finds friends here.”

Those who love the outdoors also said they enjoy spending time at the New Canaan Nature Center, which offers trails—including part of the new ‘Greenway’—as well as guided walks, outdoor activities and wildlife exhibits.

An entrance to New Canaan Nature Center’s popular trails. Credit: Catherine Gorey

Chelsey Hobby, the Nature Center’s director of finance and human resources whose children use the park, said that it remains busy during the summer.

“We have a lot of community events, the ‘Night of 1,000 Fireflies,’ the ‘Owl Moon Night Hike,’ ” she said. “Our trails are always open and our Visitors Center stays open six days a week.”

According to Hobby, the trails and pond are the most popular areas during these months, “The ponds are very active with frogs, tadpoles, and turtles,” she said. “There’s a lot to see in the summer, a lot of animals are active and the weather is great for hiking.”

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