Tag Archives: finding easy walks wherever you are

Wilson Park N. Kingstown, RI beach walk

Long Point, North Kingstown, RI

Beaches get so crowded in summer that it is tough to find a quiet spot to take in the water, the horizon, and the sounds and smells of the ocean. We normally avoid going to the beach in warmer weather for these, and other reasons.

We ventured to Wickford, RI on an errand, and on our way back north encountered Wilson Park, on Roosevelt Ave., North Kingstown, RI just off Rt. 1A. The main portion of the park was jammed with summer visitors. Children climbed on playground equipment, while others picnicked, played basketball, baseball, soccer, or simply lay out in the sun. We hurried past the noisy main park and found ourselves at the Long Point boat ramp, part of Wilson Park. As opposed to most places with shoreline access, this area was surprisingly uncrowded.

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Our own type of fun at Jellystone in Virginia

Fun with Yogi!

Lots of us grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons. But not so many get to really hug Yogi Bear. A series of cimcumstances brought us to Jellystone Park near Natural Bridge, Virginia. We feared the place would be filled with noisy campers, but instead, we arrived early in the season and had the place to ourselves.

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Greenbriar River rail trail, West Virginia

Along the Greenbriar River Rail trail, north of Lewisburg, WV

We love riding on rail trails alongside rivers. The Greenbriar rail trail follows the river of the same name, and passes through two tunnels. Seventy-eight miles long, the trail is in great shape, with solid footing, quite level, and is perfect for biking. Walking works great too; you will simply have to take longer to see everything along the way!

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New River Trail, Virginia

Foster Falls, along the New River, Virginia

This spring our travels took us south along (basically) the East Coast. We headed to Tennessee by way of Pennsylvania and West Virginia to see grandboys, and then back north, through Virginia on our way home to New England. We were able to bring our adaptive tandem bicycle with us, and although we did not saddle up every day, we got a number of wonderful rides in on some really scenic rail trails. The New River Trail State Park was one of the highlights of our spring sojourn. The packed stone dust rail trail (it follows the path of a former rail bed) is a Virginia linear state park, fifty-seven miles in length. We were impressed by the carefully maintained trail surfaces. Branches and fallen trees had been removed making for a relaxed, enjoyable visit. For much of the ten miles (twenty miles round trip) we traveled we could hear, and often see the river right next to the trail.

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New (to us) rail trail section Airline Trail, CT

Along the Airline Trail near Hampton, Connecticut. Difficult to see here, but this pond must have been flooded by beavers. Stone walls from the shoreline lead all the way down past the water’s edge

In our travels with our camper, we have found state forests to be a great resource, often providing camp grounds where we had great experiences. Many have trail networks, one state forest we stayed at had a handicapped accessible overlook, and others were simply great spots to stop and enjoy the scenery.

One access point along the Airline Trail

On our way to a rail trail in Connecticut, we stopped by a state forest we spotted along the way and discovered a gem (and access to yet another portion of the same rail trail we had been headed toward). The James L. Goodwin State Forest in Hampton, CT offers multiple options for enjoying the outdoors. The boat ramp allows small craft to enjoy the pond. The Conservation Center, located inside the State Forest, offers education programs. When we looked at Google maps we realized that the Airline Trail passes directly through this same state forest.

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Carlsbad, New Mexico and Easy Walks along the way there and back north

On our way back north from Carlsbad, at the Surgarite State Park, Lake Alice Campground, near the Colorado line

In our western travels, a secondary goal to our spending time in Glenwood Canyon on the bike trail that wends its way through the canyon was to explore Carlsbad Caverns while we were in the west. For many reasons, including keeping crowds down through the pandemic, a visit to this National Park for the self-guided tour through the cavern requires reservations. Thus, our relaxed itenerary for this trip suddenly became a push to meet deadlines, dates, and specific times reserved to reach Carlsbad, New Mexico. This not only required excessive amounts of driving, It meant places we would have otherwise enjoyed stopping to explore were mostly by passed because we were pressed for time.

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Easy Walks in and around Moab, Utah

Just one of the multiple “arches” at Arches National Park

Traveling out west in the fall is a balancing act when you have a camper. The scenery is even more stunning than at other times of the year, and the risk of freezing weather is increased. Freezing means no running water (I know–a modern luxury of camping in a camper with wheels.) We had been in Colorado and weather reports promised freezing temperatures, yet a few hours west of us in Moab, Utah, the weather was warmer. Thus, an unplanned, but welcome diversion west to Arches National Park was our next stop on our western tour.

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More rail trails and wonders in the Glenwood Springs, CO area

Red Dirt Creek, yet another Easy Walk we found along the Colorado River. We found wild asparagus there too!

We could have spent an entire month exploring the Glenwood Springs area, in addiiton to the Glenwood Canyon rail trail. As it was, we found two additional well maintained rail trails within a few miles of where we stayed in the area. Glenwood Springs offers amazing walking opportunities throughout the town. The downtown has trailheads for both the Glenwood Canyon trail, as well as the Rio Grande Trail, that follows the Roaring Fork River.

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Glenwood Canyon, CO, our destination

Along the trail in Glenwood Canyon. To the right is a landslide that narrowed the river measurably. On the left, retaining walls for I-70

When we first built our adaptive tandem bicycle (thanks to Roulez Cycles of Lynn, MA) that comes apart into three pieces (thanks to the S&S couplings that are built into the bike), my huband started dreaming of getting me (and the bike) out to the Glenwood Canyon rail trail. He hoped we could ride on the rail trail that traverses the canyon alongside the Colorado River. It took three years, but we finally made it out to the canyon, and set out on the trail.

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Finding Easy Walks (and bike rides) along the way– Pine Creek Gorge, PA

NuCamper and adaptive tandem bike, packed up and ready for adventure

Our family set out in September with out new camper and our adaptive bicycle, (and a whole lot more!), determined to enjoy places along the way where we could explore trails with out adaptive bike. It was a journey in and of itself to simply get the tools in place and find a camper that was not only available, but which our truck was able to transport. (Weight becomes an important concern when towing anything). It was a learning curve, and for sure, these first days, we were at the bottom of it!

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