Tag Archives: avoid crowds on trails

Biking in November-West and East Greenwich, RI

A perfect, late fall day to be outdoors (and no, the picture is not upside down–mirror reflection of the sky from a roadside stream)

The day promised to be warm enough for us to get our adaptive tandem bicycle back out and head out for some road biking. Trails are once again subject to overcrowding, so rather than risk getting too close to others, we chose to explore more rural roads in West Greenwich, RI.

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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 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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Dudley, MA by bike-Pierpont Meadows and Buffumville Dam

Water’s edge at Pierpont Meadow, Dudley, MA

Summer for me means getting outside on our adaptive tandem bicycle. Outings during Covid-19 have increasingly become road biking since our beloved rail trails are so well-loved they are more crowded than we feel comfortable visiting. We headed out recently to Dudley, our second try. The first attempt my cooling vest clogged and the trip was aborted because of the heat. This time, the day was cooler, and we also have another cooling vest in hand.

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Excitement on the trail Bellingham SNETT

Bittersweet vines cascade alongside the trail

The morning was overcast, and we started relatively early. Both are great strategies for finding fewer people on trails that have felt overcrowded in these days when we are still rather limited in our activities due to the ongoing pandemic. Sure enough, only one other car was in the parking lot when my friend and her children arrived to meet me for a physically distanced walk along the SNETT in Bellingham.

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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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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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