The “missing link” section of the Upper Charles Trail in Milford was for many years just that—missing. Not true anymore, but it still has the feel of being hidden in plain sight. Access to this section of the trail is from behind some grocery stores, down a sidewalk to an almost hidden sidewalk type of entrance, or, as my friend and I agreed, to meet at the IHOP in Milford on Rt 109, where the sign says, “Trail parking”. Parking at a restaurant, getting on your bike, or pulling on your walking shoes and heading out works just fine at this unexpected trail access point.Continue reading
Author Archives: Marjorie
My friend Marcy met me at the Blackstone Greenway in Blackstone, MA on a warm early spring day. The tree branches are turning lacy as their red buds fill out and promise greenery will be here soon. We strolled together on the clear path. The last time I was here, the bridges were covered in ice.Continue reading
One of the wonderful aspects of spring in New England is being able to spend time near woodland streams filled to the brim with melt water from winter’s snows. If any drop in elevation occurs, visitors to these streams are rewarded with the musical sounds of rushing water tumbling over rocks as the melted snow makes its way to the sea. We headed out to the “quiet corner” of Connecticut on a recent morning, to Mashamoquet Brook State Park just off Rt. 44 in Pomfret, CT, and thought we might take the loop trail through the woods. When we arrived, we saw that most other visitors crossed the bridge near the parking area that led to the woodland trail, while almost no one paid much attention to the stream running underneath the bridge. We quickly changed our plans.Continue reading
We visited family on a recent weekend and as we approached our family’s home we noticed that few others were at Edmands Park on Blake Street. We headed over there to do an afternoon explore and found wide, level trails that provided very Easy Walking. My husband grew up within walking distance of here, so he spent lots of time here as a kid. But his memories of the park are quite different from what we found on our recent visit.Continue reading
We have the best luck spotting birds when we visit shoreline spots we are familiar with. Again and again we find our way back to Gooseberry Island in Westport, MA and know we will see birds feeding just offshore on the rocky ocean bottom that offers great places for tasty creatures that diving birds are great at finding.
We visited Westport on a few outings in early spring and chose not to try Gooseberry Island, seeing a steady stream of cars crossing the causeway to the small spit of land jutting out into Long Island sound. But our most recent visit was on a day when rain was forecast. Perhaps it would be less crowded? Turns out, the answer was a resounding yes.Continue reading
The trees are still leafless, but I see hints of red on the swamp maples at the edge of our yard. A recent walk in the woods nearby offered my first glimpse of skunk cabbage, just poking up above the leaf litter.Continue reading
Whenever I meet someone new, perhaps meeting them to write an article about something they have done, I like to understand their backstory. How did they get to where they are today? What are the choices they have made, or the events, the influences that pushed, pulled or drew them in the direction they now find themselves in?
Over the years I have referred to various parts of my own backstory. There’s a reason I only take Easy Walks. This article, an interview with the “Brenda After Sixty” website, offers a clear summary of my backstory, including important events that influenced who I am, and choices I have made along the way.
Marjorie, how did you get the idea to publish your Easy Walks books?
I have written for local newspapers for the past 20+ years. Ten years ago I wrote a short series of articles on local places to walk, which my editor titled “Naturally New England.” After publication, I had a sense the information was of continuing value so I created a blog on my writing website, MarjorieTurner.com for “Local Walks.” Pretty soon people found their way to my blog, and the most common search term was “where is Joe’s Rock?” (It’s in Wrentham, MA and offers a nice view).
After about the 500th “hit” on my website, I recognized a need, researched available sources, (found none) and realized I could fill this void. This was 2013. What began as idea for a newspaper column has grown into the “Easy Walks” brand because of the multiple Easy Walks in Massachusetts books I have written. The first three are trail guides to over 130 trails in 37 contiguous towns in south central Massachusetts. The latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are, offers a broad overview of methods I used to find these (and other trails in our travels throughout the country), strategies that others can put to use, and basic “outdoor” tips for how to dress to keep warm, stay safe on the trail, find walking partners, and more.
Why Do You Focus on Easy Walks?
Well, I only take Easy Walks. Twenty-seven years ago I found myself unable to even walk across a room. Surgery to save my life left my right size paralyzed. To read more, here’s the entire article—Brenda after Sixty Easy Walks article
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.
We were scrolling through Google Earth, fantasizing about visiting the English Dales when travel is a “thing” again. We had enjoyed watching PBS’s All Creatures Great and Small, and have gotten a taste for the Yorkshire countryside. For now it’s a fantasy. Perhaps some day, but not yet.
As we scrolled across the landscape, we headed to Yorkshire Dales National Park—ohhh, looks like some stunning waterfalls, trails, stone walls and gorgeous scenery. But what are the trail surfaces like? I am all about trail surfaces when talking about walking, since lots of the muscles in my right foot and leg just do not work well.Continue reading
I have a confession–I am not walking outside much right now. The pandemic has worn me down, shredded my sense of connection with others, and made me reluctant to leave the supposed safety of the walls of my home. Getting outside alone has felt more difficult than in the past. How much easier to simply move back and forth from upstairs to back down, from the living room to the kitchen then back again (we have a very small house).Continue reading