Do you like to multitask? I think all woman do. It just makes you feel good when you can get so much done at once.
Well, this past week, it was a beautiful day and I desperately wanted to get outside and enjoy it. I decided to check a few items off my list by heading out to the West Hartford Reservoir.
Did I mention it was pretty outside . . .
So, what was on my list this gorgeous day?
- Exercise for me 🙂
- Entertainment for the bambinos
- Energy release for our dog (my first “baby”)
Speaking of our dog, I feel so bad for him sometimes. For 4 years of this sweet puppy’s life he was king of our house. His days were filled with visits to the dog park, walks to the town center, and night-time foot rubs. Well, maybe his days weren’t FILLED with these events, but this dog was spoiled for sure. These days, however, I’m lucky if I remember to feed him. Poor thing.
So, I think my dog was in shock when I gave him the signal to hop in the car.
Isn’t he cute?
So, with the babies loaded up and the dog hanging his head out the car window, we headed to the Reservoir (located off Route 4 in West Hartford).
When you enter the Reservoir grounds, make your first left and head towards the main parking area (which is fairly new). Park here, get your stroller loaded up and head across the bridge towards the trails.
Now, a couple of things to know before you go.
- The main trail (which is ~3.4 miles) is paved, so you can use any type of stroller. If you want to go on a shorter trail, I would strongly suggest a jogging stroller, because they didn’t seem to be completely paved.
- You should bring baby supplies with you (food, diapers, toys, sun hats, snacks, drinks, etc.) because you will be a long way away from your car if something comes up.
- You should bring dog supplies with you (leash, waste bags, and water)
All right, we are loaded up and ready to go.
Checking out the rules before we enter the park. For a direct link, click here.
Here is a link to the trail map.
There are two main loops, the red loop and the yellow loop. The paths are marked by painted markings on the trees. There is also a bike path that runs through the red loop and has an assigned direction.
For our walk, we followed the red loop in the same direction as the bike path. It is a beautiful walk through the woods and past several tranquil bodies of water.
Not that you can really use a restroom when you have two kids in a stroller and a dog, but there were port-a-potties near the entrance. This might be helpful if you have a toddler that needs to go and times it right, but there were no restrooms on the rest of the walk.
There were also dog waste bags near the front entrance and trash cans spread throughout the pathway. I was disappointed to see a sign for picking up after your dog, and tons of waste bags on the ground underneath the sign. I’m guessing people were trying to make a point. Looks like they should add a trash can in that area.
Bruiser and Sparkles slept for most of the walk, which was great for me. We stopped about half-way through our trip at this picnic area and I fed them and got some water for the pupster.
Now, there are a lot of alternate paths you can take for a variation on your walk. The problem is that I didn’t always know where the paths lead and I wasn’t sure if they were paved. If you want to stick to the main route, just keep following the red markings on the trees and the bike path markings.
I did try to find the yellow path (the 2 mile route) and think I found it, but was not 100% sure. Here was the signage in the direction I was traveling . . .
The signage was much clearer if you followed the path in the opposite direction of the bike route (see below). I do not know, however, if the yellow path is paved the entire way. I will have to check that out on the next trip!
It took us about 2 hours to follow the red loop but that included the fact that we stopped to eat and I stopped to take a lot of pictures.
The only negative items from the trip were unleashed dogs and the distance from my car.
Even though it is against the rules to have your dogs off-leash, I saw a few people walking without one. Their dogs seemed to be calm and under voice control, but with two small children and a dog with me, it was very frustrating to find people letting their dogs run free. I didn’t run into any problems, but this was definitely something I paid attention to, because it could cause problems. I wish people would just follow the rules and I wish the MDC monitored this more closely.
The issue with being at a distance from your car is just that if I forgot anything, I had a ways to go before I could get it from my car. For example, I only brought 6 ounces of food for the kiddos. Bruiser and Sparkles both ate their bottles, but were still hungry. This caused Sparkles to cry loudly for the remaining 1/2 mile of our walk. No fun. Next time I will bring extra food!
Overall, however, this is one of my favorite places to go with the kids. It is just beautiful and relaxing and everyone leaves happy (especially me 🙂
West Hartford Reservoir:
1420 Farmington Avenue, Route 4, West Hartford
Get directions here:
Sunrise to Sunset Daily
Stroller, sun protection, food, drinks, waste bags, leashes for dogs, bike helmets if you are biking, toys, and comfortable walking shoes.
I can’t think of anything. I guess don’t bring anything that is heavy and you have to carry.
What is your best multi-tasking outing?