Tag Archives: avoid crowds

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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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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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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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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Getting Out Early–Blackstone River Greenway

Early morning light along the Blackstone River

We arrived with our adaptive tandem bicycle at the Uxbridge trail head of the Blackstone Greenway, just off Rt 146A, before 7A.M, and found only one other car already there. Great. We wore masks, and pedaled along the trail, encountering mostly one, or sometimes two people on the trail, almost all walkers.

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Coventry RI, searching for quiet

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Moosup River, Coventry, RI

When we last visited this area, the state of RI was working on two bridges over the Moosup River in Coventry, RI. The bridge will eventually help connect this area to the popular Trestle Trail, although that day may be far in the future. We headed down Lewis Farm Road and found a place to park across the street from the closed section of the trail, where the bridge work is nearing completion.

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