Tag Archives: Easy Walks in Massachusetts

Finding Easy Walks right where you are

Spring is bursting out all over. Sometimes deep red is a precursor to the lacy greens of warmer weather.

Most of us, if we are looking for Easy Walks (not too many roots or rocks, relatively level, with someting of interest along the way) do not want to (or cannot) drive for two hours to enjoy an hour or so stroll. We need to stay closer to home. But we get bored taking the same paths.

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A simple Easy Walk in Milford, MA

The “missing link” portion of the Upper Charles Trail travels through downtown Milford, yet is hidden from sight as it sends its way, connecting the two major portions of the trail

The “missing link” section of the Upper Charles Trail in Milford was for many years just that—missing. Not true anymore, but it still has the feel of being hidden in plain sight. Access to this section of the trail is from behind some grocery stores, down a sidewalk to an almost hidden sidewalk type of entrance, or, as my friend and I agreed, to meet at the IHOP in Milford on Rt 109, where the sign says, “Trail parking”. Parking at a restaurant, getting on your bike, or pulling on your walking shoes and heading out works just fine at this unexpected trail access point.

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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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Edmands Park, Newton offers Easy Walks

What remains of the old skating pond, now filled in wetlands

We visited family on a recent weekend and as we approached our family’s home we noticed that few others were at Edmands Park on Blake Street. We headed over there to do an afternoon explore and found wide, level trails that provided very Easy Walking. My husband grew up within walking distance of here, so he spent lots of time here as a kid. But his memories of the park are quite different from what we found on our recent visit.

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Skunk cabbage and outdoor fun

First skunk cabbage shoots emerging from the leaf litter

The trees are still leafless, but I see hints of red on the swamp maples at the edge of our yard. A recent walk in the woods nearby offered my first glimpse of skunk cabbage, just poking up above the leaf litter.

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Signs of spring

My crocuses are croaking!

For all the times I say I hate change, the seasons remind me this really isn’t true. With each sign of spring, I look even harder for other signs that color is returning to our lives.

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My backstory

Whenever I meet someone new, perhaps meeting them to write an article about something they have done, I like to understand their backstory. How did they get to where they are today? What are the choices they have made, or the events, the influences that pushed, pulled or drew them in the direction they now find themselves in?

Over the years I have referred to various parts of my own backstory. There’s a reason I only take Easy Walks. This article, an interview with the “Brenda After Sixty” website, offers a clear summary of my backstory, including important events that influenced who I am, and choices I have made along the way.

Marjorie, how did you get the idea to publish your Easy Walks books?

I have written for local newspapers for the past 20+ years. Ten years ago I wrote a short series of articles on local places to walk, which my editor titled “Naturally New England.” After publication, I had a sense the information was of continuing value so I created a blog on my writing website, MarjorieTurner.com for “Local Walks.” Pretty soon people found their way to my blog, and the most common search term was “where is Joe’s Rock?” (It’s in Wrentham, MA and offers a nice view).

After about the 500th “hit” on my website, I recognized a need, researched available sources, (found none) and realized I could fill this void. This was 2013. What began as idea for a newspaper column has grown into the “Easy Walks” brand because of the multiple Easy Walks in Massachusetts books I have written. The first three are trail guides to over 130 trails in 37 contiguous towns in south central Massachusetts. The latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are, offers a broad overview of methods I used to find these (and other trails in our travels throughout the country), strategies that others can put to use, and basic “outdoor” tips for how to dress to keep warm, stay safe on the trail, find walking partners, and more.

Why Do You Focus on Easy Walks?

Well, I only take Easy Walks. Twenty-seven years ago I found myself unable to even walk across a room. Surgery to save my life left my right size paralyzed.  To read more, here’s the entire articleBrenda after Sixty Easy Walks article

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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When is an easy walk not an Easy Walk?

This is not an Easy Walk…

We were scrolling through Google Earth, fantasizing about visiting the English Dales when travel is a “thing” again. We had enjoyed watching PBS’s All Creatures Great and Small, and have gotten a taste for the Yorkshire countryside. For now it’s a fantasy. Perhaps some day, but not yet.

As we scrolled across the landscape, we headed to Yorkshire Dales National Park—ohhh, looks like some stunning waterfalls, trails, stone walls and gorgeous scenery. But what are the trail surfaces like? I am all about trail surfaces when talking about walking, since lots of the muscles in my right foot and leg just do not work well.

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Outward appearances

Blue sky, lots of white

Paths outdoors are filled with ice hereabouts, so we are sticking to the quiet, clear, dead end road that runs alongside the lake near where we live. We see little difference to see from day to day. The lake is frozen, and snow fills the yards alongside the road, insulating the ground of my neighbors’ properties. Except for days when fresh-fallen snow provides a fresh bright coating, our world offers a rather monochrome view.

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Winter footing–staying close to home

Out with a daughter and grands at Silver Lake

I might be alone in this feeling, but I’m having a hard time getting out by myself these days. So when my daughter called with the offer to bring grandkids over for a walk along the lake, the answer was an easy “yes!” The road alongside the lake is a dead end, so traffic is minimal.

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