Tag Archives: Blackstone Heritage Corridor

Walking through history-Blackstone Canal Tow Path, Uxbridge, MA

Along the historic tow path of the Blackstone Canal

We recently visited River Bend Farm in Uxbridge, MA, a state park and in the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park. We planned to walk along the one-mile section of restored tow path that follows the route of the historic Blackstone Canal, built to transport goods from Worcester, MA through the canal to Pawtucket, RI. I describe this walk as “handicapped friendly” since there are no steps to navigate in crossing the bridge from the parking area and visitor center over to the tow path. The path itself is packed gravel, which offers safe footing.

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Peddling along the Blackstone river

Along the Blackstone Bikeway, Lincoln, RI

During the height of the pandemic we avoided our local rail trails because this is where everyone else was. As the rates of infection have eased and more have gotten vaccinated, we have felt safer returning to our nearby rail trails, and they are less crowded. We recently headed to Lincoln, RI to peddle along the banks of the Blackstone River on the Blackstone Bikeway. To find all the parking areas along the Blackstone Bikeway, plus so much more int he valley, be sure to check out this new on line intereactive map. The Blackstone Heritage Corridor has done an amazing job helping make us aware of all that is going on in the valley. I am lucky to be a volunteer with this great organization.

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Early spring along the Blackstone River

Maple trees have turned red, preparing to send out their greenery soon. Look close–it will be gone!

My friend Marcy met me at the Blackstone Greenway in Blackstone, MA on a warm early spring day. The tree branches are turning lacy as their red buds fill out and promise greenery will be here soon. We strolled together on the clear path. The last time I was here, the bridges were covered in ice.

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Hopedale Parklands and Heritage Corridor Chat

Hopedale Parklands on a misty autumn morning

We visited the Hopedale Parklands on a misty morning to record a “Corridor Chat” with folks from the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. We were talking about Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are, and tips found in the book to help you have a safer, more positive experience spending time outdoors. Here’s the final 10 minute video: https://youtu.be/NwLnKLFJvJk

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The Blackstone River, river view

View from the water–Blackstone Greenway/Triad bridge in front of us, active railroad beyond the bike path, footing for the third bridge on the right, which was never completed

We have done little kayaking in the last number of years because of a serious shoulder injury by the one who does the heavy lifting to get our kayak into the water. We have become adept at figuring out how to continue doing what we love, regardless physical abilities. We are back to being able to use our tandem kayak, with the helping hand of a small trolling motor that reduces the strain on shoulders.

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Blackstone Gorge on Chronicle WCVB TV

Such fun to share with viewers of the TV magazine show Chronicle (Channel 5 Boston) the wonders of the Blackstone Gorge. I have been visiting the Gorge for over 30 years, in all seasons, and each visit offers a different view of the Blackstone river and the gorge itself.

The head of the Blackstone Gorge, Blackstone, MA

Thanks to the Blackstone Heritage Corridor for their support during this visit. A great time all around. Here’s the 3 minute video clip if you missed it. 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.

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Blackstone Gorge mountain laurels

Delicate blossoms of mountain laurel return to the Blackstone Gorge each summer

Mountain laurels bloom every June in New England, but unless you are paying attention, you might miss the display. It doesn’t last very long. We saw loads of mountain laurel buds recently on a visit to New Hampshire, so I figured the Blackstone Gorge in Blackstone, MA might have some blooms to enjoy. I also checked in with a friend from the Blackstone Heritage Corridor, who confirmed that a trip to the Gorge to see blooming mountain laurel would be worthwhile (as though I needed an excuse!)

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Adaptive Kayaking at Lake Quinsigamond, Worcester

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Launching the first group off into Lake Quinsigamond

The rule, when working with folks with special needs, whether elderly, those with cognitive or physical disabilities, or any other special needs, is to be ready to adapt. The Adaptive Kayaking program the Blackstone Heritage Corridor planned with their partners, All Out Adventures, was scheduled for this fall at Wallum Lake, Douglas. The four sessions planned began in Douglas. Then Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) reared its head and the town of Douglas, along with many other towns in Massachusetts, was considered to be under critical threat of people contracting the serious, even fatal disease. Continue reading

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Till Next Time–Wrap up of Adaptive Biking in the Blackstone Valley for 2019

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A perfect day on the Blackstone Greenway

For all the rain we had this spring, somehow every single scheduled date for the Adaptive Biking program in the Blackstone Valley brought, if not bright sunny skies, at least a reprieve from the near constant rain we have experienced of late. The last date, held in Blackstone, brought clear skies, and a festive mood. Continue reading

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Adaptive Biking Again? Third Time is a Charm in Worcester

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A parade of bikes sets off from the Worcester Visitor Center

Perhaps you have noticed we’ve been talking a lot about adaptive biking when you check in here. For the month of May, it’s been at the top of my “to do” list. ¬†You see, I am not only a National Park Volunteer with the Blackstone Heritage Corridor (VIP), I am also a participant in these adaptive biking events. There is still time to participate in the last two events, but you must register. To register for the remaining rides in May, call 413-584-2052. Continue reading

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