Here’s the routine on sunny summer afternoons: I pack up a water bottle, a camera, a basketball and a few field guides and amble in my out-of-date auto down Route 9 to the Field of Dreams in Unity.
The main attraction for me is a 1-mile walking-jogging track that rings the grounds, but there’s a lot more to do on these acres with a bit of shorefront on Unity Pond. What used to be a hayfield was developed in the early 1990s by the Bert and Coral Clifford Foundation into a complex with baseball, softball and Little League fields, a span of well-kept grass where soccer and field hockey are played in the fall, a tennis court where whole families sometimes congregate, and a basketball court where I’ve shot thousands of hoops over the years. I’m phasing myself out of the pickup games with the local teenagers, who seem to be jumping a lot higher than me lately.
The park, now maintained by Unity College, has a nook of shoreline where you can carry a canoe or kayak down to the water, and even swim if you’re not too fussy about bottom conditions. Near the lake is a covered picnic table area and a children’s playground with swings and slides — a source of fond memories whenever I jog by, remembering my son clambering around the equipment 15 years or so ago.
I also do a good deal of bird, flower and insect watching along the walking trail. Bald eagles and ospreys sometimes patrol above the lake, and purple martins set up domestic activities every summer in the house just off left field of the baseball diamond.
The Field of Dreams is located on Route 9 just outside Unity village near the junction with Route 220. Plenty of parking. Take a walk!