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Harness Memorial State Park shines through summer

Parks have closed at full capacity more than 500 times this year compared to fewer than 200 times last year.

Along the shores of Harkness Memorial State Park is the only place you’ll find West Hartford fisherman Steve Lim casting his line.

“From 1 to 10, I would say it is 100,” says Lim.

Lim is one of many who turned out to explore the waterfront and surrounding gardens on the roughly 200 acre property Tuesday.

“They are picture perfect, there is nothing like it anywhere, I have traveled the world, this is one of the prettiest places that I’ve been to,” says Randy Waesche, a tourist visiting from New Orleans.

The visits come as Connecticut’s state parks see record attendance.

“All of the years I left I wanted to come back here because the water, the smell, you taste it, you feel it,” says John Olivia of New London.

Parks have closed at full capacity more than 500 times this year compared to fewer than 200 times last year.

“Really we are seeing people turn to the outdoors as a reprieve to this pandemic and we believe the outdoors is a healthy place for people to go outdoors and find some relief there,” says Mason Trumble with DEEP.

“I think it is beautiful and I think it is a nice property that Mr. Harkness donated to the state and Waterford, I think it is very peaceful, and I am very thankful to him,” says Lim.

If you want to explore Harkness for yourself that opens up at eight each morning.