Category Archives: Blog posts–Easy Walks

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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Headed north for Easy Walks–Maine

Lobster boats in Bass Harbor

While the bulk of my trail books focus on Massachusetts, we like to get to Maine spring and fall, and Maine used to be part of Massachusetts, so it’s not too far off topic. It’s along drive to Mt. Desert Island, so we took a lunch break at the shoreline in Belfast, Maine, and noticed what looked like a bridge that crossed the harbor.

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Finding Easy Walks right where you are

Spring is bursting out all over. Sometimes deep red is a precursor to the lacy greens of warmer weather.

Most of us, if we are looking for Easy Walks (not too many roots or rocks, relatively level, with someting of interest along the way) do not want to (or cannot) drive for two hours to enjoy an hour or so stroll. We need to stay closer to home. But we get bored taking the same paths.

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A simple Easy Walk in Milford, MA

The “missing link” portion of the Upper Charles Trail travels through downtown Milford, yet is hidden from sight as it sends its way, connecting the two major portions of the trail

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.

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Early spring along the Blackstone River

Maple trees have turned red, preparing to send out their greenery soon. Look close–it will be gone!

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.

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A singing brook-Pomfret CT

Mashamoquet Brook flows under a bridge leading to a loop hiking trail

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.

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Edmands Park, Newton offers Easy Walks

What remains of the old skating pond, now filled in wetlands

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.

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