The cooler weather is finally allowing me to venture out more easily, and I was grateful for walking buddies, Keith and Sue, who met me at the trailhead. Thousands pass quite near this lovely spot, especially near Christmas, but I suspect very few realize what a wonderful, accessible Easy Walk awaits just beyond the Christmas lights of LaSalette Shrine, 947 Park Street in Attleboro.
This will be only one of a number of trails we will include in the upcoming Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed trail guide, slated for publication next spring. But for now, there is a lot of field work that the Ten Mile River Watershed council and I still have to do. Keith is the former president of the Council and was an excellent guide to this outdoor spot.
Between the main parking lot and the overflow lot just off Rt. 118, there is a long driveway between the two lots. This is the access road to Attleboro Springs Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, 117 acres, with three miles of trails, that visit a meadow, an esker, a pond and wetland areas. A small parking area is at the end of this road, at the trailhead.
An Easy Walk awaits that is universally accessible, with a smooth, hard-packed gravel trail that has roping to guide those with limited vision, complete with Braille signs. My long-time friend Sue, always curious, quickly began deciphering the Braille, and soon was figuring out the Braille alphabet. (Hey, you’ve got to close your eyes to do that!) Keith teased her.
The small pond this trail encircles provided us with some nice water views.
The meadow nearby had paths mowed along the edge, reducing the risk of ticks. I found the Oak Forest loop to be pretty rooty, not such an easy walk,
but the Esker loop and the Piggery Path, while having some roots and some rocks, offered enough flat walking between them that I felt pretty safe exploring all of these paths.
Find lots more information about this hidden gem here, including a downloadable trail map, which we used, and which I would encourage you to print out before you go.
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.