One of the most common questions asked on the Cheshire Community Forum on Facebook centers around one of Cheshire’s largest recreation areas, and whether or not 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 shut down.
As the town has begun to slowly reopen, many Cheshire 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 Cheshire 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 Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) guidelines released during the pandemic, Mixville was not been able to be open for waterfront activities or pavilion rentals.
However, Gawlak and his team are ready to officially reopen Mixville to Cheshire residents who have been eagerly waiting to return to its beach.
On July 29, the Cheshire Parks Department released a reopening plan for Mixville and, as of Aug. 1, the Park is officially open for full capacity, 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.
The parking-lot will be limited to 55 cars per day and only one car per household in order to limit the number of guests at the park. The total number of cars the lot can hold is approximately 110.
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.
As of Aug. 3, the Town was reporting that no parking permits remained for Sunday, Aug. 9; Saturday, Aug. 15; and Saturday, Aug. 22.
The plan does indicate that swimming will be open, although there will be no lifeguard on duty.
While the pavilions at both Bartlem and Cheshire Parks are available for rental, the pavilions at Mixville will not be offered for such 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.
For more information on all COVID-19-related protocols and guidelines, visit https://www.cheshirect.org/recreation-and-leisure/.