Tag Archives: finding easy walks wherever you are

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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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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Southborough–Turenne Wildlife Habitat and Town Forest

Massive rock outcroppings are throughout this area–very cool

We headed to Southborough recently to explore a trail new to us, the Turenne Wildlife Habitat. We hoped to find a quiet spot unnoticed by other weekend visitors. We mostly have time to get out on weekends because of my husband’s work schedule, and crowded trails have been a challenge throughout this pandemic, when the outdoors has become a refuge for many of us.

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Hopedale Parklands in winter, with Cable 8 TV

View of Hopedale Pond from along the carriage road

In a time when we have felt so closed in by the pandemic, it has been a blessing that, at least near where I live, the trails have been for the most part ice free. We have enjoyed several very Easy Walks recently, one of which was to return to Hopedale Parklands with Tyler, our ace camera guy from ABMI Cable 8, and my hiking friend Linda. Watch the 16 minute video of our walk here.

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Whitney Conservation Area, Upton, MA

The view, starting off for a visit at the Whitney Conservation area in Upton

In our efforts to #avoidcrowds, we opted to stay close to home and head to a town-owned conservation property without an obvious pond or river. We have noted that trails with pond views, or next to waterways have tended to draw extraordinary crowds in these #Covidtimes. While there is no navigable waterway on the Whitney property, there is plenty of water that flows through this area.

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Top 10 Easy Walks for 2020

The view–Knuckup Hill, Wrentham

This has been a strange year, for sure. Travel plans have been curtailed, we have stayed close to home, and have put a different priority on #avoidingcrowds. Inspired by my good friend Sue, of Auntie Beak’s Place, I realized it would be a good thing to look back on the year to reflect on the joys and surprising discoveries we encountered on the trail, mostly very close to home this past year. Hence, a very subjective list of my top ten favorite places we visited this past year, 2020.

#10 Blackstone Gorge, Blackstone: While I have probably visited the gorge more times than most any other trail in this area, I have never grown tired of it, in any season. While I found nothing particularly new or remarkable on our visits here, it just felt wrong to leave it off. And so, it’s on the list.

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Blackstone Greenway in Blackstone-winter walk

View of the Blackstone River from one of the many bridges along the Greenway

We have squeezed in as many walks as we can manage for our Cable TV show, “Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are”. We met in Blackstone at the Blackstone Greenway, an essential section of bike path that will some day link many of the towns in the Blackstone Heritage Corridor. View the episode we taped, including some amazing drone footage of the area along the greenway here.

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Finding Easy Walks in local cemeteries

Vine Lake Cemetery, Medfield, in winter

Making plans to meet a friend in Medfield, I immediately thought of a local cemetery with a beautiful lake, and paved roads wide enough to allow for space between any other walkers we might encounter. While we are officially into winter, the day was mild, and recent rain had washed all our local snow away, leaving roadways and paths ice free for the moment.

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Handy Pond, Lincoln, RI winter walk

Handy Pond, Lincoln, RI

We walked alongside the Blackstone River the day prior to this walk and got views of the river at near flood level, more what we would expect in spring than in late December. But we also encountered more visitors than we wished. Perhaps for this outing a town-owned property with limited parking might offer the solitude we craved? Handy Pond, (actually Rochambeau Pond, according to a reliable source) along Old River Road in Lincoln, RI was our pick, a first visit to what turned out to be an extended trail network through woodland, with views of the pond, as well as several stream crossings.

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Easy Walk at Choate Park, Medway, MA

Chicken Brook flows into Choate Pond, on its way to the Charles River in Medway

My collaboration with ABMI Cable 8 to bring viewers out on the trail with me has presented challenges. The biggest has been that winter is coming, and cameras do not do well in the cold. So we’ve been working to squeeze in our last few episodes before we have to take a break for cold weather. This episode we ventured to Choate Park, in Medway, MA. You can watch the show here.

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