Tag Archives: avoid crowds

Avoid crowds by heading to the Schoodic Peninsula

Along the Acadia National Park road on the Schoodic Peninsula–Cadillac Mountain in the distance

We try to visit Acadia National Park every spring and fall in “normal” times, but this year has been anything but normal. Our spring visit fell by the wayside, like most everyone’s plans. This fall, we saw an opportunity, found a place (Windward Cottages) where we had stayed before, which had a full kitchen, firm! beds, and had been unoccupied for three days prior to our arrival. For a time during this pandemic Massachusetts residents were welcome in Maine, so we packed food for the week, planned to keep very much to ourselves, and headed to Mt. Desert Island, Maine.

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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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Finding Easy Walks at Powissett Farm, Dover

2020 has been a challenging year for most of us, and certainly more challenging for some than others. For those of us lucky enough to have kept healthy, we are keenly aware that often, remaining healthy has come at the cost of incredibly loneliness. and facing a different Thanksgiving, we wondered if we could do something different to help ease the loneliness just a little. Easy Walks lend themselves to time with older family members. It works for me too. The day promised to be overcast, and rather than plan a shortened visit, we suggested family meet us at a local trail where we could enjoy time taking an Easy Walk together.

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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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What a difference a day makes–Getting out early

Ahhh, the cool of morning calls me back to Silver Lake (with no cooling vest or scarf)

One of the tips in my new book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are for avoiding crowds on trails is to head out early. When we got up this morning the temperature was in the 50s. Yeah! After a quick breakfast, we headed down to the lake for a quick walk before starting work, and it felt wonderful.

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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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