Tag Archives: finding easy walks wherever you are

Access to the ocean, Plymouth, Scussett Beach

Shifting Lots Preserve, Plymouth

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.

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Shining Sea Bikeway, Falmouth, MA

Great Sippewissett marsh

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.

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What a difference some rains makes–Salmon River, Comstock Bridge and Airline Trail CT

One of the multiple cascades we enjoyed on our visit to the Salmon River and Airline Trail after a recent hurricane

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.

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Beavertail State Park, Jamestown, RI

Fisherfolk (and others) seek out this rocky outcrop jutting into the ocean

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.

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Peter Oliver’s Mill Park, Middleboro

The fish ladder at Oliver’s Mills Park, Middleboro

On our way elsewhere, we passed by an intriguing spot just off Route 44, 8 Nemasket Street, in Middleboro, and discovered a very cool historic site along the Nemasket River. As soon as we pulled into the good-sized parking area I knew I had heard of this before–Peter Oliver’s Mill Park has a fish ladder that is essential for migrating herring in the spring. My friend Brenda (Natures Fairy on Youtube) has shared videos of the migrating herring, but I had no idea it had all the historic features we found.

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Old roads–along the Quinapoxit River, West Boylston, MA

Along the west bank of the Quinapoxit River, West Boylston

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.

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The importance of maintenance-Upper Charles Trail Holliston

Our newly poweder coated adaptive tandem, ready to ride at the Upper charles Trail Holliston

Maintenance is a fact of life. As much as we’d like to simply have things work, there are times we have to spend time (and money) and effort to maintain things we depend on. We had put off getting our adaptive tandem repainted, but rust is a serious concern on a steel bike, so off it went last month to Pike Powdercoating of Allston, in an effort to protect the bike from rust. It was wonderful to get it back and take it for its first test ride, out on the Upper Charles Trail in Holliston.

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Sachuest in summer, Middletown, RI

Fisherman hoping for a catch even as the waves grew higher

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.

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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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Carver’s Pond Bridgewater, MA

Carver Pond, Bridgewater, MA

Years ago I lived about three blocks from Carver’s Pond when I was a student at Bridgewater (then College, now University) and I had no idea the pond and trails were even there. Thanks to the Facebook Group I created, Easy Walks, Massachusetts, RI and nearby, I learned about Carver’s Pond from a participant in the group and used the information shared to meet a friend there recently.

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