Category Archives: Blog posts–Easy Walks

Walking through history at the Bellingham town common

Watering trough for horses now stands in a place of honor at the town common

Town commons are, well, common throughout New England, but this doesn’t mean they have remained static throughout their history. Many town commons have been altered, “improved” and in Bellingham’s case, built on and almost forgotten. But today, Bellingham has a vibrant town common that is well-situated, beloved, and much visited. Community events take place there often, and visitors, both adults and children, spend time there daily throughout the year.

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Franklin/Bellingham SNETT Tunnel!

Prospect Street Tunnel in Franklin, along the SNETT is open for visitors!

Prospect Street has been a huge barrier on the SNETT in Franklin for many years. When the trail was still a rail line, a bridge carried local traffic over the rail line. When the line fell into disuse, apparently it was easier (and short term was cheaper) to fill the rail line with dirt rather than repair the bridge. Since then, the SNETT has been getting developed as a rail trail, section by section,

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Avoiding crowds–Blackall Preserve Cumberland, RI

Pond on the property of Blackall Family preserve

We had driven past the trail kiosk for the Blackall Family Preserve in Cumberland, RI a number of times, but had no real idea if we would find any Easy Walks in this area. Many trails in Cumberland are quite rocky. This one might have been too. But “Be willing to explore,” is a strategy for finding Easy Walks I urge my readers to adopt. Following on this is, “Have a plan B.”

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The 8 arch bridge Holliston in autumn

The 8 arch bridge in Autumn

The 8 arch bridge is best enjoyed off the trail. The arches are only visible to passers-by, but still, the views from the bridge itself–now that is what keeps me returning to this spectacular spot along the Holliston Upper Charles Trail.

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Forest Bathing in Wellesley

Glowing foliage surrounded us at Elmbank in Wellesley

We had a perfect outdoor fall day to try forest bathing at Elmbank in Wellesley, MA. The bright blue sky offered a perfect backdrop for the glowing fall foliage. The breeze provided a varying shower of leaves as the wind increased then died back down.

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Storywalk® with grandkids on the SNETT Bellingham

Enjoying the storywalk® along the SNETT in Bellingham

Publicizing my latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are, has been taking up a lot of my energy, so it was wonderful to get out on the trail with local grands over the weekend to help them enjoy the temporary Storywalk®  posted along the trail at the SNETT in Bellingham near the Center Street entrance to the trail. New storywalks® will be posted each month

Renata, from the Franklin & Bellingham Rail trail committee, is responsible for getting new storywalks® up each month, and helped lead a group of folks along the trail

This handicapped accessible portion of the rail trail is busy these days, and got busier shortly after we’d finished reading the story when a group of folks hit the trail with the Franklin & Bellingham rail trail committee. Fortunately the trail is quite flat, wide, with extra space on each side of the stone dust trail where we could step off safely as groups of folks passed by. Most walkers wore masks, which we really appreciated.

New tree identification signs along the trail

The grands are both able to read these days, so it was fun to see them taking in the story page by page then rushing on to the next page of the story. They also took in the new signs posted by the rail trail committee, in cooperation with DCR, to identify various tree species along the trail. We got a little practice with our Latin as we walked.

Gorgeous foliage seen from the opening to the trail at Trolley Crossing Farm

Trolley Crossing Farm, which abuts the trail, has a produce stand next to the trail and local pumpkins were available.

They got pumpkins
After posing–one more shot with the pumpkins

The snag–you have to carry them back to the car with you.

Handy pumpkin carrier!

My grands used some ingenuity to figure out a handy way to carry their small pumpkins, or as one said, her “pumpkinette.”

Tyler ready to get some footage for our new cable TV show

I had been on this same trail just the other day to tape another episode of our new Cable TV show, “Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are.” We wanted to highlight the storywalk® and learned about more railroad history from the rail trail committee member who walked with us that day.

Grabbing some shots of the Trolley Crossing Farm vegetable stand

It’s fun to travel, but it’s also wonderful to slip in short walks right around the corner from where we live. We are so lucky to have this great trail, still under development, available to visit whenever we want. 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. She is a co-author of the recent community history, Bellingham Now and Then.

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Finding open doors to Easy Walks

Enjoying time outdoors with Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards of the Massachusetts Walking Tour, one wonderful partnership among others I have been blessed with on this journey!

In my quest to help get out the word about the newest trail book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are, I have reached out to various sources to arrange interviews. I will be on Stephanie Chandler’s Non-fiction Author’s Association podcast Wednesday, Oct. 14th at 1PM EST. Along with the podcast interview, Stephanie invited me to contribute a blog post about my journey. Here’s the post “Strategic Partnerships”--enjoy!

“The thing about strategic partnerships is…at least for me, they didn’t start out feeling very strategic. It helps if you find something to write about that you really love. In fact, it’s recommended, since you will be spending a lot of time with your topic, so you better have some pretty positive feelings about it, or else you are going to become unhappy very quickly. I really love to spend time outdoors. Even so, writing books about Easy Walks was not my plan, especially when I found myself unable to walk because of serious illness.” To read more: https://nonfictionauthorsassociation.com/strategic-partnerships-by-marjorie-turner-hollman/

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. She is a co-author of the recent community history, Bellingham Now and Then.

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Podcast–How to Develop Strategic Partnerships

With the publication of my latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are, I have been reaching out to various media outlets to help get out the word to those who might benefit from what the book has to share. As part of this effort, I have recently been interviewed for several podcasts–one is date sensitive (available only on the date broadcast, except for paying members) the others are available on an on-going, free basis.

For your listening pleasure 😉 here they are:

Author Hour with Wayne Barber, half hour conversation about Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are–recorded in September 2020, available to listen ongoing: https://anchor.fm/wayne-barber/episodes/Authors-Hour-September-15–2020-Guest-Marjorie-Turner-Hollman–Robert-Eugene-Perry-ejm68c/a-a37io44

Judith Briles, Book Shepherd, podcast–hour-long interviews, Do it yourself sponsorship for your book –look for title DIY sponsorship Oct. 1, 2020 available ongoing https://toginet.com/shows/authoruyourguidetobookpublishing

Oct. 14, 2020, 1PM Non-fiction Author’s Association, half-hour podcast with Stephanie Chandler interviewing Marjorie Turner Hollman about Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are free to listen day of broadcast. https://nonfictionauthorsassociation.com/podcast-interview-marjorie-turner-hollman-10-14-2020-how-to-develop-strategic-partnerships-with-corporations-and-nonprofits/

Marjorie Turner Hollman

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. She is a co-author of the recent community history, Bellingham Now and Then.

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Foliage season, Brimfield, MA and surrounding towns

Finding foliage wherever we looked near Brimfield, MA

We headed out to the Brimfield area for a bike ride recently, an overcast weekend morning. We hoped to find the Grand Trunk Trail parking area in Brimfield to be mostly empty. Despite the unfavorable weather, more cars than we were comfortable with had beaten us to the trail, so we moved on to Plan B–road biking a little farther west just off Route 20.

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The other Upton State Forest, Pleasant Street

Signs of beaver alongside the West River in the Upton State Forest, Pleasant Street

We have state forests throughout Massachusetts, and are lucky enough to have several near where I live. Upon has at least two separate parcels of open space, the better known area where the CCC headquarters building stands off Westborough Road, and the parcel of forest behind Nipmuc High School on Pleasant Street in Upton. We visited this second portion of state forest on a recent weekend, and found almost no one on the nearly 2 mile loop trail that takes travelers alongside the West River as it flows on its way to the Blackstone River.

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