Changing up a routine can yield new opportunities for adventure. The Union Village Dam Recreation Area is currently still cleaning up from our storm a few weeks ago. With time on our hands yesterday, and a restless dog, we decided to combine a shopping trip with a walk to a park we pass each day on our way to work, but have never explored.
Dan and Whit’s is our go-to store on a fairly regular basis. We can get hardware, gardening supplies, terrific pizza, groceries and basically everything we could use, and if “they don’t have it, we don’t need it.” A short drive from our home in Thetford, this Norwich institution allows us to continue to work on our weekend projects without a more distant trip to West Lebanon.
After making our purchases, we took Cody for a stroll through town and headed for Foley Park, our local destination. Walking through a town that you drive through regularly, gives you a different feel and appreciation for the houses and familiar landmarks. And for all the years I have sat in traffic waiting to cross Ledyard Bridge into Hanover, I confess I have never made the time to visit this lovely oasis on the Connecticut River.
Staying on the left hand side of the road, walking towards Hanover, you will find plenty of people out walking, jogging, or in some cases hiking the Appalachian Trail. This is a very easy walk, and the rewards once you get to the bridge are worth it. Cross the street at the bridge, and walk just a little to your left. You will find the path that will take you under the bridge and give you your first close-up with the river. Looking across you will see the activity at the Ledyard Canoe house at Dartmouth, which is always popular with students on a warm summer day. And you will also be treated to some graffiti.
Walking under the bridge and up, and you will be find picnic tables, Adirondack chairs and peaceful views of the river. There is plenty of grass to lie on too, if that is your preference. Yesterday afternoon there were several students studying in the quiet spot. It is a wonderful way to show visitors the Connecticut River if you don’t have the time or the means to get out on the water. It is also a very nice walk to do anytime, you don't have to save it for the weekend. And, if you take the walk during the summer months, you can reward yourself for your good behavior with a cold treat at the end of your journey. With an ice cream stand at Dan and Whit's, and the Norwich Inn's patio right next door, you even have choices!