Blackstone Greenway in Blackstone-winter walk

View of the Blackstone River from one of the many bridges along the Greenway

We have squeezed in as many walks as we can manage for our Cable TV show, “Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are”. We met in Blackstone at the Blackstone Greenway, an essential section of bike path that will some day link many of the towns in the Blackstone Heritage Corridor. View the episode we taped, including some amazing drone footage of the area along the greenway here.

We came to take in the views from several of the bridges along the trail. When driving, I have often seen signs warning, “Bridge freezes before road” but on this walk, we saw the truth of these warnings in action. The video shows how slippery the bridge were. The main walkways were bare on the day we visited, yet the bridges remained covered with ice, offering just a slim strip of bare pathway for us to traverse on our walk. We navigated the bridges successfully, but several times I though we were going to have to pick someone up from the pavement. Thankfully, all was well and we made it back in one piece.

Pam takes in the view of the river

Pam Johnson, publisher of the Bellingham Bulletin, joined me for this walk, along with Tyler, our cameraman from ABMI Cable8TV. We saw few others on our early afternoon walk. We have noticed that weekdays seem to be a much better bet to visit local rail trails to #avoidcrowds.

Tyler manning the camera to document our walk along the Greenway

A flock of geese soared over the trail just as we approached one of the bridges, providing some great audio and nice reminders of the wildlife that is thriving in this area, now that the river has been substantially cleaned up. In years past, this would not have been an attractive destination, and the wildlife was not abundant, from the stories I’ve heard from residents who grew up in this area. When we long for days gone by, we sometimes forget that “the good old days” were not that great for everyone, nor for every situation. Especially not for rivers, which tended to be dumping grounds for trash and toxins of many kinds.

These TV shows are mostly a fun opportunity for me to “walk and talk” with friends as we travel along the trail. Pam and I have been friends for many years. It was fun to think back on some of our shared experiences, and the part she and the Bellingham Bulletin played in providing the germ of the idea that became “Easy Walks in Massachusetts.”

A lot of work went into making the greenway a safe and enjoyable trail. Each of these bridges had to be rebuilt, using existing bridge footings, and constructing new supports where needed.

For this taping, and because of time constraints, we did not make it out to the Triad Bridge, so it really was a short walk. Regardless, it felt good to get outside, to introduce Pam to a place she had not visited before, and to take in the sights along the river. Ice will slow me down in getting out this winter, but I will keep my eyes open for opportunities to get outdoors when I can. Watch your step, and Happy Trails!

Marjorie

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionMore 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.

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