Author Archives: Marjorie

The importance of maintenance-Upper Charles Trail Holliston

Our newly poweder coated adaptive tandem, ready to ride at the Upper charles Trail Holliston

Maintenance is a fact of life. As much as we’d like to simply have things work, there are times we have to spend time (and money) and effort to maintain things we depend on. We had put off getting our adaptive tandem repainted, but rust is a serious concern on a steel bike, so off it went last month to Pike Powdercoating of Allston, in an effort to protect the bike from rust. It was wonderful to get it back and take it for its first test ride, out on the Upper Charles Trail in Holliston.

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Meeting outdoors Bellingham town common

Bellingham Writer’s group met in person at the Bellingham Town Common

Many of us have been meeting virtually the past year through the pandemic, and are inching our ways toward meeting in person. The outdoors still feels like a better option, so when my local writer’s group talked about meeting outdoors, we looked to our town common as a great central meeting spot. Last month the rain kept us meeting virtually, and this month, despite lots of storms through the week, we finally managed to meet in person for the first time since March 2020.

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Sachuest in summer, Middletown, RI

Fisherman hoping for a catch even as the waves grew higher

We have visted Sachuest National Wildlife Refuge a number of times, but typically in the winter, and often because we have been nearly certain we will spot snowy owls at some point during our visit. Because of impending rain, we hoped this popular spot would be less crowded, even though it was a holiday weekend in mid-summer. We were surprised, however, at the number of others who had the same idea we did, even as storm clouds threatened.

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Along the Pemigewasset River, Bristol, Franklin NH

Great views of the Pemigewasset River for miles along this path in Franklin Falls Dam Recreation area

We visited the Franklin Falls Dam recreation area and found a great six mile long trail (basically a fire road) alongside the Pemigewasset River. The trail is in good condition, offering views of the river along almost the entire length of the path. Besides a great spot to enjoy the natural history of the area, we realized we had stumbled into some fascinating cultural history as well.

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Carver’s Pond Bridgewater, MA

Carver Pond, Bridgewater, MA

Years ago I lived about three blocks from Carver’s Pond when I was a student at Bridgewater (then College, now University) and I had no idea the pond and trails were even there. Thanks to the Facebook Group I created, Easy Walks, Massachusetts, RI and nearby, I learned about Carver’s Pond from a participant in the group and used the information shared to meet a friend there recently.

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Walking through history-Blackstone Canal Tow Path, Uxbridge, MA

Along the historic tow path of the Blackstone Canal

We recently visited River Bend Farm in Uxbridge, MA, a state park and in the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park. We planned to walk along the one-mile section of restored tow path that follows the route of the historic Blackstone Canal, built to transport goods from Worcester, MA through the canal to Pawtucket, RI. I describe this walk as “handicapped friendly” since there are no steps to navigate in crossing the bridge from the parking area and visitor center over to the tow path. The path itself is packed gravel, which offers safe footing.

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Trestle Trail–an undeveloped part in Coventry, RI

Lady slippers along the trail

We could have chosen an easier path to take our bike, but we wanted to explore and find out how much had gotten done on the Trestle Trail portion of the path that crosses over into Connecticut. A bridge was recnetly opened over the Quinebaug River, right at the RI-CT line, taking travelers into the Mooseup Valley State Park trail in Connecticut. The rail trail right of way is clear, and we had no risk of getting lost. The raised rail bed is quite high above the surrounding land in places.

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A Walk through History Silver Lake Beach, Bellingham, MA

Bridge to Island, Silver Lake Bellingham, MA

Working with our community Cable Station, ABMI Cable 8 here in Bellingham is such fun. We get outside, explore places that offer Easy Walks, and get the perspective of the great views offered, when cameraman Tyler McMinnaman brings along the drone, part of the great equipment the cable station has on hand to create great video.

Buildings filled the area that is now Silver Lake Beach

We met recently at Silver Lake Beach to wander the area, and talk about a little of the history of the area. This was a “go-to” destination in the days before cars were common. Over the years the area offered a carousel, a dance hall, a skating rink, and even diving horses! It is often difficult to imagine all this activity when strolling the area on a spring morning, when we were about the only people there.

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Peddling along the Blackstone river

Along the Blackstone Bikeway, Lincoln, RI

During the height of the pandemic we avoided our local rail trails because this is where everyone else was. As the rates of infection have eased and more have gotten vaccinated, we have felt safer returning to our nearby rail trails, and they are less crowded. We recently headed to Lincoln, RI to peddle along the banks of the Blackstone River on the Blackstone Bikeway. To find all the parking areas along the Blackstone Bikeway, plus so much more int he valley, be sure to check out this new on line intereactive map. The Blackstone Heritage Corridor has done an amazing job helping make us aware of all that is going on in the valley. I am lucky to be a volunteer with this great organization.

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Using hiking poles

Navigating the rocky shoreline of Gooseberry Island, Westport, MA

I get so many questions about using hiking poles, and was thrilled when the Birdability website invited me to write about how I make best use of them. I keep sharing this article on social media, and finally figured I should simply share it here as well.

“On uneven surfaces, hiking poles provide great stability, since you have not just two but four points of contact with the trail. While using hiking poles is pretty straightforward, (right foot forward with left hiking pole reaching ahead, then left foot forward with right hiking pole planted ahead of you), it may take some practice to learn how to best use them when navigating slopes. (Up is easier than down.) To read more–https://www.birdability.org/blog/birding-while-using-hiking-poles

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. Teaching you how to find Easy Walks for yourself, be sure to pick up her newest 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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