State Parks in Winter

By Eric Bouchard, Brighton State Park Ranger 

Doug and his dogs Finn & Loki during one of 
their frequent walks through Brighton State Park.
Although the regular camping currently remains in-limbo until next season, it doesn’t mean that parks remain vacant and unused. It is not until one lives within the park boundaries in the off-season that one sees just how vibrant a park can be, even when it is closed.
Despite a quiet fall, since the hunting season has ended and the snow has made its way to the ground, visitors have been coming in daily to take advantage of our park (Brighton), in particular, though I am sure it is similar at other state parks. People come in by foot, by snowshoe, by skis, etc, just to take advantage of all this wonderful place has to offer.

The Donnelan family visit Brighton State Park.  
The local communities hold onto and care for the state parks like they are a part of their own lives and heritage. The roads are groomed through community support for recreational enthusiasts and daily park users hang Christmas ornaments on trees along park roads and trails.

Visitors hung holiday ornaments 
from trees around the park.
I remember on a cool, crisp, and clean New Years Day, nearly 20 visitors passed through the park. It is a true delight to see people taking advantage of these cold days and not hibernating in the warmth and comfort of their homes. There are many regulars who come to walk their dogs and whom we have come to know by name. State Parks are activity centers year round, no doubt. So, like these winter enthusiasts, get out and enjoy your local state park – it offers more than you may realize.   

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