As high school students in a small town, it is often hard to find something fun to do with friends. Most teenagers don’t have the means to go out to eat or go shopping every weekend, even though that’s probably ideal for the majority. As the weather gets warmer, going outside is an inexpensive, fun way to avoid sitting at home doing nothing. There are an array of trails in and around Monroe if you’re feeling active, as well as spots for sunrise watching or stargazing if chilling out and talking with some snacks is more appealing to you.
- Lake Zoar
Bodies of water are one of the best accompaniments to a setting sun. Lucky for Masuk students, Lake Zoar is right on the edge of Monroe! If you want to hop out of the car and experience the view from a cement platform right on the edge of the lake, here is how you get there: Drive down 111 towards the Stevenson Dam. After you drive over the dam, take a left around the well in the road that welcomes you to Oxford. You will quickly see a dirt parking area on the left side of the road. Park there, there is a trail towards the right end of the parking lot that leads to the overlook.
- Webb Mountain
Also near the Stevenson area is Webb Mountain. Webb Mountain has paths for novice level hikers, along with smaller steep trails that branch off of the larger ones. There are two main trails, one that brings you from the Webb Mountain parking lot to an overlook of the river, and another that is more like a dirt road. The trails are separated by a stream. Dogs are allowed at these trails, as long as they are kept on a leash.
- Penfield Beach
If you are looking for a less local, but still closeby spot, Penfield Beach is a great spot for stargazing. The beach is relatively vacant at night time, and the open sky above the water makes for a beautiful view. Bringing blankets, snacks, and friends makes for a great experience! The drive is about 30 minutes, making it a bit more lengthy for those who like a good car ride.
- Paugussett State Forest
Paugussett State Forest is a hiking spot that follows the Housatonic River. This state forest is a wonderful hike, and it offers many changes in scenery. The hike starts off flat and wide, and sooner becomes narrow along a steep hill that rolls right into the river. Hikers can hike down towards the water, or upwards to get a better view. The trail also features a waterfall that runs towards the river. The hike is lines with beautiful trees and is a great spot for autumn.