While most of my time is spent at home and walking near home during the COVID-19 stay at home order in MA, I felt a strong need for a mental reset yesterday.
The stay at home order includes:
You can still go outside to get fresh air, but make sure you practice social distancing and avoid touching surfaces frequently touched by others.
I interpret that as an OK to visit some of the still open parks in the area for my exercise walks.
Yesterday I headed to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge (on Plum Island). While the refuge remains open, the entire beach - about 6 miles long - closed last week for the piping plover nesting season. That's normal, the beach closes on April 1st every year and stays closed until the birds are done with it. Last year it reopened in late August.
There is a single road that runs down the center of the island. It's paved to the Hellcat Wildlife Observation Area (4 on the map) and dirt from there to the end of the island. Right now only the paved section is open to motor vehicles. Walkers and bicyclists are welcome to use the dirt road.
I took advantage of the closure to walk in quiet down the dirt road. I stopped at an overlook to the beach, then continued walking to the Stage Island trail opposite parking lot 6.
There were other people in the refuge, usually 1 or 2 people with occasional family groups of 3 or 4. Everyone was social distancing and everyone seemed happy to be there.