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From historic industrial landscape into adventure park

quarry1-for-webSometimes it’s fun to look some distance away for an example of a cool new use for an old landscape.

Today we travel to Portland, Conn., the location of some historic quarries, from which brownstone was mined in the late 1800s for construction purposes in cities in the eastern United States. (When you hear of a New York City “brownstone,” chances are the stone for that structure came from Portland.)

The quarry fell into disuse over time, and filled with water as deep as 120 feet. The town of Portland bought the site in 1999, and in 2000, the quarry became listed as a National Historic Landmark.

Today the quarry has a new use, as an adventure park.  Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park leases and operates the recreation area, which offers swimming, snorkeling, rock climbing, cliff jumps, scuba diving, wakeboarding, bouncy floats to jump around on, kayaking and biking/hiking. Water temperatures rise in the summer as the sun heats the brownstone walls, and the walls heat the water. But as of today, it’s an invigorating 65 degrees. So if that cliff jump doesn’t put a chill down your spine, maybe the water will.

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