It's mid February. How are you holding up? I can't say this time of year brings the same level of euphoria that we all feel in the summer. What I can say, quite confidently, is that being outside is the answer to staying happy in the dark, cold months.
Due to the combination of researching trails, running an outdoor program, and having a puppy, I've spent more time outside this winter than ever before. The result has been increased energy, no real mood dips (unless I've just read the news), more time connecting with others, and better sleep...which leads to a more positive outlook on life. Am I right?
Now, I'm not suggesting you spend your entire day outdoors. According to an article in Psychology Today, "For the first time, researchers have established a threshold at which spending time in nature starts to be associated with good self-reported health and high self-reported well-being: 120 minutes per week."
Two hours a week, that's it. You can accomplish that easily, by doing one of these trails. Or you could break it up into 15 minute, daily outings. According to this article, it doesn't matter if your outdoor time is broken up into shorter visits, or one long adventure. Do what works best for you. We are all currently multi-tasking between the homeschooling, home-working, general home maintenance...I get it, believe me. Most days I'm certain I have adult onset ADD. I am well know for doing things like setting off the smoke alarm while cooking, or leaving the room to grab something upstairs, but getting distracted by the pile of 10 year old clothing on the floor and never making it there. They disrobe near the pellet stove and just drop their clothes there, you ask? Yes, yes they do. All. The. Time.
So, I'll get on with it and tell you about this week's trail. I just wanted to reinforce the fact that you are improving your quality of life this winter by getting outdoors and I am proud of you for sticking with me all this time! I hope you are having fun with it.
The .5 mile Capisic Park Trail runs from one end of Capisic Park to the other, following the length of Capisic Pond, Portland's largest freshwater pond. The wide, easy dirt path passes through woods and fields from Macy Street (off Capisic Street) to Lucas Street (off Brighton Avenue).
In previous winters, I offered Baxter Skate Club through KMP. We would gather families for pond hockey, rotating through the 5 Portland skating ponds. Capisic certainly topped the list for me. It's just such a beautiful place to skate. Here is a picture from that time when we didn't have soaking wet masks inhibiting our oxygen intake. And..we will get back to that.
If you round the corner of the main entrance to the pond and follow the water to the end, you will find a narrow, winding path through the pond grass that seems to go on and on. In good conditions, you can actually skate through this winding path. Such an adventure! When Henry and I were here on Sunday, the ice was uneven and bumpy, but we still enjoyed walking through this path among the tall grass. Seriously, it's a wonderland.
Capisic Pond Park is one of the City of Portland's designated "off-leash" areas for dogs. It is managed by the City of Portland, with assistance from Portland Trails and the Friends of Capisic Pond. You are welcome to visit from dawn to dusk.
Enjoy the skating and walking here!