WANTAGH PARK

GPS: 40.654725, -73.511859

Currently we are practicing social distancing and today we stayed super local. I’m talking a three minute drive from home as per google maps. We chose to go at 5pm because we assumed there would be less people in the park. As we pulled into the entrance there were about 20 cars leaving the park. I have an opinion on the matter and I’ll post that at the bottom if you’re so inclined to read it. Otherwise, here’s what an afternoon at Wantagh Park was like…

We parked in the first parking lot to the right before the mini golf course. We wanted to walk the full length of the park and this was the first place available to leave the car. We’ve been in the park many times, but never actually did a round of mini golf. It looks like your basic course with 18 holes with different levels of difficulty.

From this area you can also start the fitness trail at station 1. The different stations make up a full body exercise routine and even includes stretching. You’ll also be able to hear the southbound cars speeding past on the wantagh parkway. Ignore them as best as you can!

The stations were easy to follow at first because the trail heads south.

By the baseball field you’ll want to make a right at the fork. We didn’t see any signs for the trail and made the error of going left. It was a dead end. So we backtracked and went right. So just to be clear: STAY RIGHT AT THE FORK. Okay, I’m done yelling lol.

Near the home plate of the baseball field you’ll want to cross the street. There’s a fitness station there. Then make a left.

After the following station the trail got a little tricky to follow. By the water there were too many people for my liking. They were practicing social distancing but I didn’t want to risk it. So we walked on the grass to ensure we maintained a minimum of 10ft from them. We’ll come back another day to do all the fitness stations and update this blog 🙂

There’s a ton of shells on the ground as you get closer to the water. We snapped some pictures and headed back to our car. We walked a total of 3 miles. More importantly we got some much needed fresh air.

In terms of wildlife we saw geese, rabbits, red-winged black birds, parakeets, American robins, downy woodpeckers and an awesome osprey flying off it’s platform.

For anyone interested in doing all 20 fitness stations, here is a picture of the park map and where each one is located.

MY HUMBLE OPINION

There are many opinions out there about whether or not people should be outdoors unless absolutely necessary. My opinion is this: follow your state officials recommendations. Your opinion may differ or be the same as mine, either way safety is the priority.

I have been very fortunate to work for a company that is willing to pay me to work from home. My last day in the field was March 13th. I’m a pharmaceutical representative so walking into approximately ten doctors’ offices and a couple of pharmacies a day was leaving me very exposed. I’m unsure of how long this arrangement will last, but for the time being they are prioritizing employee safety.

That being said, I have left my house now on multiple occasions. I have gone to 4 different grocery stores to continue supplementing meals and necessary home essentials. I have gone to a park twice now to walk with my husband. And I have this to say: The supermarket is WAY more scarier.

In the parks we’ve encountered people who will walk off the trail to maintain a distance of at least 10 ft. from us, and we do the same. Some people will even stand off the trail to let you pass. And if someone doesn’t seem to be adhering to the social distancing, you can always walk away from them.

In the supermarket you have people walking past you in a rush not keeping their distance. You have people breathing down your neck as you stand in line to pay. I’m not about that life and it gives me anxiety to be in those environments. So for me, in my recent encounters, the park has been much safer. We make sure not to touch the benches, exercise stations, railings, etc.

I think the important thing to remember is that currently according to the law, you can go outdoors to walk your dog, exercise, or just simply get some fresh air. But you should only do so if you are not sick and definitely maintain safe distances from other humans at all costs. Don’t touch things or sit anywhere you don’t need to. Take your clothes off as soon as you get home and shower, or at least wash your hands immediately. Again, that’s my opinion. Hopefully this will be a distant memory soon enough.

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