Category Archives: Blog posts–Easy Walks

Blueberry Heaven

Ripening blueberries, joys of summer

I head outside to pick berries in the early morning light, or after dinner when the sun goes down and the air begins to cool. It has been hard for me to keep active with the summer heat, but as I stretch and twist around the knarled branches that have shared this yard with me for so many years, I laugh. Yes, Blueberry yoga, that’s what I’ve been doing. Bending, stretching, reaching, stepping, pulling the flexible limbs down to where I can pluck ripened fruit from the branches and drop them into the bowl waiting to be filled. Mindfully studying the fruit, searching for the deeply purple berries and allowing the nearly ripe to remain in the sunshine to sweeten some more.

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Charlestown, RI quiet roads

Historical cemetery alongside the road near the Burlingame Wildlife Management Area

We are continuing our quest to #avoidcrowds, and after looking at maps, focused on the area around the Burlingame Wildlife Management Area in Charlestown, RI as a place to explore, and perhaps return to visit trails when it is cooler. For now, we are getting me out on our adaptive tandem bike, with cooling gear making it possible for me to enjoy the outdoors, even on these days it has been 90+ degrees out. You who are able to sweat have no idea how much this body function helps in keeping your body temperature regulated. Those of us who cannot sweat either suffer, become terribly ill, or sometimes find ways to manage.

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Back to quiet country roads, Foster-Glocester, RI

Views of Ponaganset Reservoir

It was back to road-tripping for us, on an overcast, somewhat cooler week day, to enjoy time on our adaptive tandem bike. We have been putting into practice some of the tips to avoid crowds that we share in our upcoming book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. 1. Get out on weekdays when you can, rather than weekends; 2. Leave early in the morning; 3. Head out on overcast, rather than bright sunny days.

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Early morning ride on the Burrillville Bike Path

Pascoag Reservoir, near the Burrillville bike path

We continue to practice what we tell others they can do to #Avoidcrowds. We packed our bike the night before, including everything we’d need for the morning and got up early to head out first thing. It promised to be a hot, muggy day, and we wanted to avoid the worst of the heat. Our destination was Pascoag, RI, (a village in Burrillville) to a very short paved bike path. Our plan was to start at the Burrillville Bike path, and do some road biking from there.

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Blackstone Gorge on Chronicle WCVB TV

Such fun to share with viewers of the TV magazine show Chronicle (Channel 5 Boston) the wonders of the Blackstone Gorge. I have been visiting the Gorge for over 30 years, in all seasons, and each visit offers a different view of the Blackstone river and the gorge itself.

The head of the Blackstone Gorge, Blackstone, MA

Thanks to the Blackstone Heritage Corridor for their support during this visit. A great time all around. Here’s the 3 minute video clip if you missed it. Happy trails!

Marjorie

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. 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.

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Exploring in Groton, MA

Mountain views from the General Field in Groton

We are continuing our quest to #avoidcrowds in our outings, with mixed results. We found a trail access to the Nashua River Rail trail as it travels through Groton, MA but the grade crossing had no parking. So we set off to find a safe place to park and set up our adaptive tandem.

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After dinner ride, Upper Charles Trail, Holliston

Early evening on the Upper Charles Trail, Holliston

With the start of summer comes the longest days, the most sunlight (and the summer heat, of course). We had an early light dinner and headed out with our adaptive tandem bicycle to one of the closest local trails, the handicapped accessible, stone dust covered, Upper Charles Trail in Holliston, MA. A helpful strategy we have used for avoiding crowded trails is to get out early in the morning, or at supper time, when others are headed home.

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Progress on the SNETT Franklin

Looking down at the SNETT where the culvert/tunnel will be built, from Prospect Street

The SNETT as a proposed rail trail travels from Franklin, MA all the way to Douglas, and some progress has been made. An entire section in Blackstone, through Millville and on to Uxbridge, is complete. A portion in Bellingham is finished. But barriers remain. We stopped by Prospect Street in Franklin to see what is happening to build the tunnel (really a large culvert) underneath Prospect Street that will facilitate travel along the SNETT from Franklin to Bellingham.

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Dudley Quinebaug Rail Trail Where the crowds are not

Quinebaug River, Dudley

While it was difficult to tell from the maps we studied and the trail reports we read, it looked as though the Quinebaug Rail Trail in Dudley, MA might offer a bikeable path for us to explore. If we found this not to be true, we had Plan B at the ready, to travel just a short ways north to join up the Grand Trunk Rail Trail in Southbridge.

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Riverwalk, Webster, MA

French River on a sunny summer’s day, Webster, MA

Some Easy Walks are simple strolls through woodland. Others feature something of interest like water views. The Riverwalk in Webster, MA is small (1.66 acres) but provides handicapped access to river views of the French river in downtown Webster, across the street from the Town Hall, at 350 Main Street. While the Riverwalk area presently is small, it is part of a much bigger plan to open up further access to the river.

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