CHESHIRE — One of the most common questions asked on the Cheshire Community Forum Facebook page centers around one of the town’s largest recreation areas, and whether it has been fully reopened to the public.
Mixville Park, located on Notch Road, is usually a hub of summer activity, offering ample opportunities for summer camps, fishing, and boating. When the pandemic arrived, however, many outdoor recreation areas were forced to close.
As the town has begun to slowly reopen, many residents expressed an eagerness to return to Mixville, but certain restrictions have made opening Mixville much more difficult than the other parks in town.
“Mixville is tricky,” said Parks and Recreation Director John Gawlak. “The waterfront poses a larger set of issues, and Mixville itself has needed some upgrades for some time now.”
For a majority of the summer, Mixville Park had been “open for passive recreation only,” which includes hiking, walking, and fishing. Many Cheshire residents remained frustrated that other parks in town had opened, yet Mixville remained half-closed.
Due to state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) guidelines released during the pandemic, Mixville was not able to be open for waterfront activities or pavilion rentals.
However, the park officially reopened at full capacity on Aug. 1 with some restrictions.
The plan states that two Mixville rangers have been hired to monitor the park from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The rangers will check people in when they arrive at the park and provide them with a sheet of paper that lists the rules and regulations about social distancing and proper sanitizing techniques.
There will still be no parking fee for Cheshire residents at Mixville, but a reservation must be made with the Parks Department prior to visiting, according to the plan. The parking lot will be limited to 55 cars per day and only one car per household.
The plan also says there will be no lifeguard on duty.
The pavilions at Mixville will not be offered for use until at least Aug. 31.
Access to the full 2020 Mixville Park Summer reopening plan is here: https://www.cheshirect.org/media/174301/mixville-reopen-proposal-for-summer-2020.pdf.