October 2016

Sunrise Park – A Hidden Gem

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White’s Pond at Sunrise Park was particularly placid on this late October afternoon last year.

Photo by Lester Smith

White’s Pond at Sunrise Park was particularly placid on this late October afternoon last year.

Sunrise Park is a 134 acre gem located in West Suffield, CT. This nature preserve was purchased in 1966 by the people of Suffield partially through fund raising in a town wide donation process.

Sunrise Park offers a variety of recreational activities which include swimming, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and hiking. The park also has a braille trail, fitness challenge course, disc golf course, bocce court, volleyball court and horseshoes. Winter sports include ice fishing, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

The lower field has an open pavilion with swing sets, and monkey bars and is the perfect place for a picnic. Just up the trail from the lower field is our beautiful sandy beach and swimming area. Lifeguards are on duty for 8 weeks of the summer from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. while our town day camp is in session. The Suffield Parks and Recreation Department is in charge of the lifeguards and the 20 acre swimming area, which is known as White’s Pond.

Sunrise Park also has a lovely covered picnic area amongst whispering pine trees just on the edge of White’s Pond. In the pine grove area, as we call it, are more wooden picnic tables and outdoor grills for your enjoyment. It is also a favorite spot to fish along the banks of the pond and where our Dog Swim Area is located for our furry friends on hot days.

Some of the favorite spots in Sunrise Park are the main pavilion, the fishing wall and the Chapel in the Woods.

The main pavilion is host to over 100 parties and picnics each year, including family reunions, bridal showers, baby showers, weddings and birthdays parties. Many great family memories have been made here. The main pavilion can be reserved by town residents by calling Sunrise Park after January 1 of each year and requires a $50 (refundable) deposit. The reservation forms can be found on line at www.suffieldtownhall.com. The reservation includes the covered deck, the five picnic tables, 11 banquet tables and 60 chairs. Though considered rustic, the pavilion has electricity and a fire place. However, it does not have heat for winter use.

Across from the pavilion is another play area equipped for young children. The fishing wall is to the left of the pavilion. Both avid and amateur fishermen of all ages have had the delight of catching several types of fish in our pond. White’s Pond, which is naturally spring feed and extremely healthy, is home to Bass, Brown Trout, Brook Trout, Pumpkin Seed and Sunfish. To the right of the pavilion is the Chapel in the Woods, which overlooks White’s Pond from a higher perch. It is location to many weddings, religious gatherings, and peaceful, reflective thinking.

In the front of the pavilion is our large park map where our hiking paths and trails can be mapped out. Our trails also link to the Metacomet trail providing wonderful views to the surrounding area and are enjoyed all four seasons of the year. Our camping areas have been fun for scouts of all ages. Currently the camping areas can only be reserved by Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts due to liability.

Sunrise Park is governed by the Conservation Commission and managed by the Town of Suffield and the part time Parks Superintendents.

It is located at 2075 Mountain Road in West Suffield, CT and is open to Suffield residents from 8 a.m. to dusk 7 days a week/365 day a year. Our phone number is 860-668-3846.


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