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Discover West Hartford’s Charm by Foot or Bike – We-Ha

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Uncover West Hartford’s Allure by Foot or Bike – We-Ha

West Hartford resident Jeff Shaw created this ‘out of doors problem’ after spending numerous hours working, strolling, and biking round city.

Keg mailbox on Westmont. Photograph courtesy of Jeff Shaw

By Jeff Shaw

A silver lining or two from the COVID-19 pandemic for many individuals has been the power to spend extra time with family members – and spend that point outdoors. Personally, the day by day household stroll across the neighborhood, fast run by means of quiet residential streets and parks, or longer bike journey throughout city, helped preserve my bodily and psychological, even emotional, well-being.

Not that way back, driving linked nearly all actions; these days it’s our ft, pedals, and naturally Zoom. Whereas getting outdoors has been part of our collective DNAs properly earlier than any pandemic, our potential to proceed to take pleasure in our favourite parks, trails or seashores relies upon upon everybody doing their half to gradual the unfold: put on masks, socially distance, repeatedly wash palms and keep dwelling if sick.

We’re doing higher, however should stay vigilant.

Whereas the advantages of bodily exercise want no clarification, a secondary advantage of strolling, working, or biking are the sudden sights, sounds, even smells you might come across (pun supposed!).

Within the fall, these sights are largely the altering colours of the leaves; in spring, the sounds of individuals waking up from their winter slumbers enjoying yards video games; having tag gross sales, tending gardens/lawns; and naturally in summer season, the unmistakable scent of meals scorching on the grill wafting by means of the air. Even in winter, the smells from bakeries appear to journey farther within the dry air.

Thank You Important Staff Signage 

It began with hearts in home windows; grew to garden indicators and chalk artwork in driveways. It has bloomed to inventive shows of flowers in yards, even heart-shaped grass patterns mowed in lawns. Every day I appear to note a brand new show, which brings a smile to my face.

Six months after the indicators first appeared, many nonetheless stay, and new ones have appeared.

Thanks to all of the important staff!

Hearts stay on home windows and in yards of homes all through West Hartford, together with these hearts on a storage door. Photograph courtesy of Sherry Feinglass

Historic Touring

I’ll defer all native historical past to city historian Tracey Wilson and Jennifer Matos, govt director, Noah Webster Home & West Hartford Historic Society and their colleagues. That stated, there are a number of lesser recognized landmarks scattered round city which might be value strolling by:

  • Headstone of a horse named Thomas Jefferson, within the Sundown Farm neighborhood;
  • Plaque recognizing the previous streetcar line on raised divider on Boulevard between Raymond Highway and South Primary Road;
  • Previous West College, the one-room schoolhouse located on the curve of Sedgwick and Mountain Roads;
  • Loads of historic houses all through city which were featured in latest West Hartford Historic Houses Excursions and even Armchair Historical past (18 Brightwood Lane is an effective begin).

The Seashore Mansion nonetheless stands at 18 Brightwood Lane. ({Photograph} ca. 1900. Assortment of the Noah Webster Home & West Hartford Historic Society, we-ha.com file picture)

Enjoyable Finds Photograph Scavenger Hunt

There are many random sights to find throughout city. We’re a inventive bunch:

  • Tree seat on Sunfield Lane
  • Little free libraries (a number of places on the town)
  • Fernleigh Garden Bowling Membership on Lancaster Highway
  • Keg mailbox on Westmont
  • Purple lights and nonetheless coyotes on Stoner Drive
  • Tree faces on Ellsworth Road
  • Golf flagstick on Visgrove Lane
  • Big Wall Mural in Elmwood off New Britain Avenue
  • Golf ball in curb on Mountain Terrace

Faerie tents at a house close to West Hartford Heart. Photograph credit score: Ronni Newton

Trout Brook Path

I’m considered one of many who would like to see the completion of the three.6-mile paved path that seeks to attach Elmwood to the previous UConn West Hartford campus. Whereas three of the 5 segments are full, the remaining two are the most complicated, together with getting across the I-84/Troutbook intersection in addition to setting up the path to comply with the precise Trout Brook from Farmington Avenue/Trout Brook intersection, all the way in which to Asylum Avenue/Trout Brook (former UConn campus). Though completion is much off, strolling, working or biking by means of these sections is a protected approach to cross city.

A number of items of the Trout Brook Path should not but accomplished by the parts which might be performed present a terrific place for individuals to stroll, run, or bike. Photograph credit score: Ronni Newton

A number of items of the Trout Brook Path should not but accomplished by the parts which might be performed present a terrific place for individuals to stroll, run, or bike. Photograph courtesy of Jeff Shaw

Trout Brook Path. Photograph courtesy of Jeff Shaw

Westmoor Farm

The animals are a pleasant sight, however when you get past the fences, the well-worn, filth paths take you into the encircling woods. The paths go deeper within the woods than you’d assume, however even a fast loop will seemingly be an satisfying change of tempo at this native gem.

Trails run by means of Westmoor Park. Photograph courtesy of Jeff Shaw

Canal Highway & Path

One other gem hidden in plain sight is Canal Highway, a former service highway that connects entry into the Reservoir 2 from Hunter Drive all the way in which to Albany Avenue. Beware, the trail morphs from just lately paved, to crumbling pavement, to filth. There aren’t many “escape routes” if a narrowing path makes you nervous (bears, strangers), although many of the scattered houses alongside the trail have a gap to their backyards if you must bail.

Canal Highway/path. Courtesy of Jeff Shaw

Elizabeth Park

Strolling by means of Elizabeth Park on a “full bloom June afternoon” is a must-do, as are the summer season live performance sequence once they subsequent resume. There are many trails across the gardens in addition to the precise automobile loop and paved leisure path by means of the park.

The blooming roses in June are only one cause to walk by means of Elizabeth Park. Photograph credit score: Ronni Newton

Golf programs (when closed)

When the programs have been closed to golf because of the shutdown, they have been open for strolling/working, and the paths are nonetheless accessible previous to 7 a.m. for the early birds. Simply one other inexperienced house to remember when circumstances are proper.

Rockledge Golf Course, at sundown. Photograph credit score: Ronni Newton

I hope you uncover one thing new about West Hartford in your subsequent stroll, run or bike!

Editor’s Be aware: A model of this text was initially revealed within the August 2020 problem of West Hartford LIFE.

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