I am truly ready for summer to be over. Besides berry picking, the lush greenery, and summer flowers, I really don’t love summer. The heat makes my legs stop working–really. But I need to get out. And so we set out on one of the most humid, warm mornings recently to take a bike ride. Close to home was the plan. Lucky for us, the Blackstone River Bikeway in Woonsocket, RI is a mere ten minutes from where we live.
Usually a crowded place on weekends, when we started off in Woonsocket there were few people around. As we pedaled along we spotted a few people on bikes, a few very sweaty people walking, and some joggers who were drenched in sweat. For the most part we had the bike trail to ourselves.
We went as far as Ashton Mills, next to the Kelly House along the bikeway. We enjoy heading out to the spit of land underneath the soaring bridge that crosses the bikeway.
As we pedaled down the dirt path, I finally realized we were traveling on a preserved portion of the canal tow path.
The river was on one side of us, the canal immediately next to us on the other side of the path.
The water is lower now than earlier this summer. We had plenty of rain this spring and early summer, but less recently, and the river level reflects the lack of precipitation.
The rocks just below the dams along the river are more exposed,
and offered some lovely opportunities to capture water spraying off of the rocks.
The purple loosestrife is quite invasive, but this time of year it adds an impressive color backdrop to many waterside portraits. This picture of mute swans hanging out along the Blackstone is prettier because of the purple reflections in the water.
Fall will return soon. Believe me, I’m counting the days…
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, and editor of Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed. Just out is her latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress. She is a co-author of the recent community history, Bellingham Now and Then.