Tag Archives: avoid crowds

Along the Pemigewasset River, Bristol, Franklin NH

Great views of the Pemigewasset River for miles along this path in Franklin Falls Dam Recreation area

We visited the Franklin Falls Dam recreation area and found a great six mile long trail (basically a fire road) alongside the Pemigewasset River. The trail is in good condition, offering views of the river along almost the entire length of the path. Besides a great spot to enjoy the natural history of the area, we realized we had stumbled into some fascinating cultural history as well.

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Southborough-Breakneck Hill

Lovely views from Breakneck Hill, along with wide trails

When recently in Southborough, we saw an additional piece of open space within walking distance of where we had just explored. We stopped by to get a look, to see if this would be a good place to bring elder parents. In fact, this might not be a great place for unsteady elders in rather cold weather, but for those of us looking for Easy Walks, willing to dress in layers and willing to climb some gently sloping hills, and back down the same slopes, Breakneck Hill in Southborough is a great spot to spend a few hours.

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Avoiding crowds in Westport and Dartmouth,MA

Phragmites in the marshland next to Ocean View Farm reservation, Dartmouth

We headed down near the shore to avoid ice on trails, and also because we knew of several places we wanted to check out that we had missed the last time we were in the area. Turns out there are even more open space trails to explore than we realized, which kept us busy exploring for several hours on a weekend morning. Our first stop was at a very small spot that offered views of the Westport River, the Mill Pond Conservation Area part of the Westport Land Conservation Trust and the Trustees of Reservation. The nicely laid out trail brings visitors through a young orchard quite near the street, offering the feel of walking through a local garden.

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Finding Easy Walks in local cemeteries

Vine Lake Cemetery, Medfield, in winter

Making plans to meet a friend in Medfield, I immediately thought of a local cemetery with a beautiful lake, and paved roads wide enough to allow for space between any other walkers we might encounter. While we are officially into winter, the day was mild, and recent rain had washed all our local snow away, leaving roadways and paths ice free for the moment.

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The Cape in late fall

River headed to the sea at Long Pasture, Audubon, in Barnstable

Lucky for our family, we have practiced #avoidingcrowds for years, and yet even we are struggling this year to figure out where to go where lots of others are not. We avoid visiting Cape Cod in warmer months specifically because of how busy the area is. But late fall, early December on the Cape seemed like a good bet for meeting up with fewer people as we continue to strive to stay healthy in the midst of the pandemic.

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Heading up Knuckup Hill with Cable TV

View from Knuckup Hill on a late fall day

Before the weather gets too cold for the camera to work well, we grabbed another sunny, temperate day to take ABMI Cable TV viewers up Knuckup Hill in Wrentham for an episode of “Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are”.

Richard and Dyan Rook joined us for our walk.

My friends, Richard and Dyan Rook joined me, and cameraman Tyler McMinnaman did the taping, bravely heading up the hill in front of us, walking backwards to better show us walking up the fire road. The final 28 minute episode is here.

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Hopkinton MA Duck Pond Trail

Streamway channeled through the woods

It was another short day, with things to do before we headed outdoors. Where to go nearby before the sun went down? A Hopkinton (MA) trails club member had told me about a trail that was an Easy Walk. I had the sense few others would be there, since no sign is posted at the road indicating the presence of a trail. Turns out, my guess was right.

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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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