A Healing Easy Walk at Hopkinton State Park


Along the lakeshore at Hopkinton State Park in winter

When I learned that my grandgirl might have sustained a concussion, I wanted to help. Turns out, getting her outside for an Easy Walk was what was helpful. Hopkinton State Park was near where I picked her up, and I figured a walk alongside the lake at this state park would offer some variety and mostly level footpaths, off pavement.


A great day to be out in the sunshine

The sun was shining and sparkled on the water, but turns out what this grandgirl was noticing was all the friendly dogs out taking their owners for walks. By the end of our outing she had counted ten different dogs enjoying the park as we were.


Not much success digging at the beach without a shovel

The sandy beach area offered opportunity for digging, but she quickly realized we should have brought a shovel. I reminded her that this was supposed to be an easy walk. I sensed that she was recovering and her natural energy levels were  getting back to normal.


Nearing the dam, a girl’s energy was bubbling up

The lake at Hopkinton State Park was created by a large earthen dam, which offered a broad, flat place to walk next to the water.


From the top of the dam, overlooking the spillway and additional swimming area, which was not very swimmable when we visited

It also provided views to the large swimming area on the far side of the dam. Well, a swimming area when there is water on that side of the lake. And when the weather is MUCH warmer!


Wide easy path along the top of the dam at the end of the lake

The wind picked up as we crossed the dam, kicking up white caps on the water’s surface. We chose to walk down below the dam on our way back, staying out of the wind. We met even more dogs as we returned along the shoreline. The dogs seemed to have as much energy as my grandgirl.

We spent the rest of the afternoon quietly reading, and I hear she’s gotten back to school. Concussions are no laughing matter, and we’ll keep a close eye on her, but for now, it appears that her youth and natural energy are working together to help her heal. That, and perhaps a somewhat vigorous Easy Walk!


She’s a girl who loves to be out on the ice. She’s eager to get back out when she can. Not today, but when the doc says so. And we’ll be watching….

Marjorie Turner Hollman

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a writer who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionMore Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionEasy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed, and Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. Her memoir, the backstory of Easy Walks, is My Liturgy of Easy Walks: Reclaiming hope in a world turned upside down.

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