Did you know that Japanese society embraces a practice known as “forest bathing,” with at least 200 trails in Japan devoted to the concept? Essentially, forest bathing (otherwise known as shinrin-yoku) is mindfully walking in wooded spaces, breathing the essential oils naturally emitted by trees. They offer a slew of scientifically proven botany-based health benefits as well as major stress reduction –– so strap on some hiking boots and hit these Stamford trails for a dose of nature’s medicine.
Treetops is a bit of an anomaly in Stamford, as a former estate of the actress and torch singer Libby Holman. It’s now miraculously transformed into a 389-acre deciduous forest operated as Mianus River Sate Park, accessible from Merribrook Lane in Stamford. This is where you’ll find some of the best cycling and hiking trails in Connecticut, including gentle ones for beginners and more rugged tromps for the well-seasoned trekkie. You’ll share the trails with mountain bikers, joggers and dog walkers, and can even reel in a trout dinner from the well-stocked Mianus River.
For a quick jaunt just off Elmcroft Road, head over to the waterfront Kosciuszko Park, a 7-acre urban space ringed by wide lanes and narrow loop trails for hiking and jogging. Your company on this hike will likely be friendly wildlife and lots of chippering birds nesting in tall trees. Add picnic tables, grills and playgrounds to the mix, and it turns into a fun place to meet up with friends and family after your hike.
Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens
An arboretum may not sound like the place for a hearty nature hike, but don’t discount Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens. Miles of hiking and walking trails criss-cross the gardens, wetlands and native habitats tucked in the shadow of towering champion trees, indicating some of the largest tree species in North America. You can definitely do some shinrin-yoku “forest bathing” in this natural eco-therapy trove of trees.
As city dwellers, it’s easy to get caught up in daily urban life and all its intricate inner workings. But as Henry David Thoreau wrote in “Walden,” his classic nature-journal: “Our village life would stagnate if it were not for the unexplored forests and meadows which surround it. We need the tonic of wildness — to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground.”
Stamford offers both an urban and nature-filled lifestyle, so make your home in one of our Stamford apartment communities. Stop by for a free tour today!