We headed out toward Plymouth on a late summer day to see if we could find a place to walk along the shore. We had heard of Ellisville Harbor State Park, but learned once we arrived that the shoreline is actually about a one mile walk to reach the water. I will be fine walking this far in cooler weather, but despite being on the coast, which is always cooler than inland, the day was too warm for me to make this trek the day we visited. We wandered some more and stumbled across Shifting Lots Preserve, not far from Ellisville Harbor, held in trust by the Wildlands Trust, which also has a number of other conservation properties along the south shore.Continue reading
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We tend to avoid the Cape during the summer months. Parking is difficult, beach access is restricted in places to residents or those with visitor passes, but after Labor Day everything opens up and is simply easier to visit. With this in mind we headed to Falmouth, just over the Bourne Bridge, and found the northernmost parking area for the Shining Sea bikeway, where we set up our tandem bike and headed out.Continue reading
We took our adaptive tandem bicycle to the Salmon River State Forest in Colchester and East Hampton, Connecticut and found such a different place from our visit a few years back. Typically the Salmon River is wadeable in late summer, a small almost stream that cuts its way through steep banks of rock.Continue reading
I have visited Beavertail State Park since before it was a state park. Years ago, it was a cool rocky shoreline with a lighthouse. The access road was dirt, with lots of potholes. Visiting here was an adventure, for sure! The area was not accessible except by those who enjoy rock hopping. When I was younger, that worked fine. Not so much these days.Continue reading
While visiting the area, we stopped along the Quinapoxit River to walk along an abandoned road that offers great views of the river. The pavement is still mostly intact, although several areas have lost some pavement from washouts in seasonal storms. The road is open to walkers and bicyclists.Continue reading
We have visted Sachuest National Wildlife Refuge a number of times, but typically in the winter, and often because we have been nearly certain we will spot snowy owls at some point during our visit. Because of impending rain, we hoped this popular spot would be less crowded, even though it was a holiday weekend in mid-summer. We were surprised, however, at the number of others who had the same idea we did, even as storm clouds threatened.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
Publicizing my latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are, has been taking up a lot of my energy, so it was wonderful to get out on the trail with local grands over the weekend to help them enjoy the temporary Storywalk® posted along the trail at the SNETT in Bellingham near the Center Street entrance to the trail. New storywalks® will be posted each month
This handicapped accessible portion of the rail trail is busy these days, and got busier shortly after we’d finished reading the story when a group of folks hit the trail with the Franklin & Bellingham rail trail committee. Fortunately the trail is quite flat, wide, with extra space on each side of the stone dust trail where we could step off safely as groups of folks passed by. Most walkers wore masks, which we really appreciated.
The grands are both able to read these days, so it was fun to see them taking in the story page by page then rushing on to the next page of the story. They also took in the new signs posted by the rail trail committee, in cooperation with DCR, to identify various tree species along the trail. We got a little practice with our Latin as we walked.
Trolley Crossing Farm, which abuts the trail, has a produce stand next to the trail and local pumpkins were available.
The snag–you have to carry them back to the car with you.
My grands used some ingenuity to figure out a handy way to carry their small pumpkins, or as one said, her “pumpkinette.”
I had been on this same trail just the other day to tape another episode of our new Cable TV show, “Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are.” We wanted to highlight the storywalk® and learned about more railroad history from the rail trail committee member who walked with us that day.
It’s fun to travel, but it’s also wonderful to slip in short walks right around the corner from where we live. We are so lucky to have this great trail, still under development, available to visit whenever we want. Happy trails!
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More 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.